Restoring Washed-Out Footage
One of the programs that I tend to use all the time is Cleaner 5 by Discreet. This is the only program that I have found within its price range to offer features such as Black Restore and White Restore. With these features, I have been able to save so many projects for my clients. There have been a number of instances in which footage was shot poorly or in inadequate lighting. Most people's first reaction might be to raise or lower the brightness and contrast (depending on which way the footage was off). The problem with that is that brightness and contrast affect the entire image equally. Raising the brightness may help fix the original problem areas, but tends to wash out the areas that were fine to begin with. What I love about Black Restore and White Restore is that these settings affect only the pixels closest to those black or white levels, and have minimal if any effect on the others. Now, I am able to go in to a video clip and adjust just the white or black levels (or both) and bring them closer to the levels they should be without altering (and potentially ruining) the rest of the image. It's amazing how a slight adjustment or two with these settings can make a dramatic difference in your overall picture quality. Don't stick another bad video clip on your Web site or CD-ROM.