Paul Howson’s Website

A Film Restoration Diary

Mapping out a Restoration Roadmap

Having assessed the four Tarax Show Christmas Pantomime kine scans, it is time to plan out a restoration roadmap.

Restoration Steps

The steps now required to restore these scans ready for release on DVD are (not necessarily in this order):

  • Stabilisation of jitter if possible and practical. Tests have shown jitter can be most accurately measured and corrected at high resolution.
  • Downsampling of the scanned frames to PAL SD+ resolution — this means PAL SD resolution (720 x 576 pixels) plus allowance for the overscan.
  • Grading of the video levels so that white peaks and shadow detail are not clipped — i.e not too much contrast. At the same time, we don’t want the result to be “flat”. We want want to utilise the full “broadcast safe” tonal range.
  • Reduction of film artefacts: dust and scratches if possible and practical.
  • Cropping to PAL SD resolution which is required for DVD release.
  • Repair and equalisation of the soundtrack.
  • Mastering for DVD or release on the web.

In the next post, we’ll try out some commercial film restoration software and see how good a job it does at stabilisation and dust and scratch removal.