How can you enhance text for a biochemistry exam?

MartinMuller Posts: 29
edited March 2017 in Post-production techniques

Hello everyone!

Short version

Is there a way (maybe a trick) to enhance text in Hitfilm 4 Pro that was shot with a mobile camera? For a quick look, the youtube video below shows the two footages from the same event. I would like to be able to read some parts of the text from this video, but the resolution of the two footages are just too low to read it. Inside Hitfilm 4 Pro, I tried some colour correction tools, but I am still a beginner. So I thought, maybe you guys have a great idea how to read it?!

Longer version

I study Chemistry in Groningen (the Netherlands) and yesterday, a teacher challenged the class to try to make a picture of the biochemistry exam he was about to show on the projector. The teacher scrolled down really fast through the exam on Word. A friend and I recorded the screen so we could look it back, but the resolution of our mobile phones was just too low to read it. If you put it inside Hitfilm 4 Pro and go frame by frame, the diagrams and drawing are clearly visible, but many phrases are not. I tried to enhance the footage a bit, so I could read it more easily. For example, it helped to adjust contrast and brightness, to make the video into black and white (and invert the colours). I figured out some questions of the exam, but many are just not readable yet. I am still learning the colour correction tools and there may be a way to read it, but I do not know about it yet. I uploaded the two footages to youtube in one video, displayed below, and uploaded the original files to OneDrive. Maybe one of the other Hitfilm users has a solution?  

Is this considered as... cheating?

Since the teacher himself asked us to record it, I do not consider this as cheating, but more as a.... challenge.  >;p


The 2  full videos can be downloaded here.

In the video, the part that is most interesting is the part where the document is scrolled really fast, the begin and end are clearly visible. (there are parts that are impossible to read due to the speed of scrolling, but maybe we could get some questions out of there).

Photo of the problem.

Above image is 1 frame, but the text is not readable.


Any help would be really appreciated!


  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,181 Expert

    @MartinMuller   As far as the Hitfilm resolution problem, I'm afraid it goes beyond my abilities. But it's not a very smart teacher to issue a challenge that would cause the students to waste their study time over the weekend trying to meet his challenge instead of studying the material in my humble opinion. 

  • @tddavis The teacher was explaining some parts of the exam, for example, which formulas you had to learn by hard. He meant this 'challenge' probably as a joke. 

    Besides that, I am of course not going to fully rely only on this video. I will study the work, but I found it funny and interesting to discover a way to enhance the text (and learn Hitfilm while doing so). There are parts that are impossible to read anyways.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,181 Expert

    @MartinMuller  I'm very glad you aren't getting too wrapped up in the VFX work.  It can be hypnotizing to do and figure out little problems and cause one to spend far too much time in front of the computer screen. 

  • @tddavis  Yes video editing takes a lot of trial and error. I mostly do video editing for fun but combined with chemistry and 3D modelling it can really help me for my study as well!

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,181 Expert

    @MartinMuller  Waay back in 2005 I was trying to teach myslef modeling with 3DS Max and working at a Nuclear/Chemical plant as an operator.  One of the areas I worked was called SF6 and tried (very poorly) to model part of the unit up to having to animate liquids (which I wasn't able to crack)  I made this little animation.  Since it's chemistry-adjacent you might find it of interest or maybe not.  

    Please forgive my hillbilly accent.  A hazard of growing up in the South Midwest, I'm afraid.

  • @tddavis  It looks cool! We haven't talked much about nuclear reaction yet on school, but definitely something for the future! The reaction described in your video sound pretty interesting tough.

    Last year, I tried something in 3DS Max as well, but I animated everything inside Hitfilm. 

    Please ignore all the spoken parts and text, it's Dutch (This was a project for school). My friend and I spoke about the reaction going on when paint is drying. 



  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,181 Expert

    @MartinMuller  oh, so much better production quality than my pitiful attempt, and a really good way to make watching paint dry interedting! I am shamed that your skill is so much better than mine.

    Oh, I do want to clarify, SF6 is sulfur hexafluoride it was not one of the nuclear products we made there.  We mostly turned uranium ore into UF6 so it could be enriched elsewhere,  but since we made fluorine on site for that process it was an outlying process to make SF6 and a few other fluorine based products. I worked there 29 years so I got a bit of practical chemistry knowledge but no degree. :)

  • @tddavis  Thanks,  I worked weeks on that video and watching lots of tutorials. You shouln't be shamed though, you did that WAY back in 2005, and I can image there are more tutorials and people online now that can help you!

    It is my first year of this study, and we only spoke about what exactly molecules are and how they react, no practical chemistry yet! I would like to see some chemical plants to gain some more practical knowledge, which you don't really learn at school. So in that regard, you are with 29 years WAY ahead of me!