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Thread: Topaz Video Enhance AI - Artificial Intelligence Software for Video

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    Default Topaz Video Enhance AI - Artificial Intelligence Software for Video

    Some may know that I collect music videos from the 70's, 80's and 90's. I try and hunt out the best possible copies I can find and if the audio is a bit shitty, I replace it with a quality track that is not compressed ie, I avoid mp3's and try to only use lossless audio, such as a .wav file ripped from a CD or a lossless track that is encoded as a Flac file......basically, it's similar to mp3 but where mp3 loses quality, flac does not.

    There are many songs that I wish I had a better quality copy of. The ABC's Rage is a great source, but boy, what a mess they are. The degraded quality of a lot of their clips is a disgrace for an organization that has an annual budget of over a billion dollars. Unfortunately, Rage is the only place it is possible to get hold of a lot of Australian videos.

    Over the last year, there has been a marked improvement in the quality of some videos mainly all on official channels on Youtube. By official channels, I mean for example, the official ACDC channel. Music Videos in general have not been filmed in a great way on videotape. Prior to current times, there has only been a certain level to improve them. There have been a couple of exceptions - as an example I will use 2 Pink Floyd concert videos.

    1. Delicate Sound Of Thunder - This came out on VHS and was mind blowing at the time. One interesting thing they did was to record the concert on 35 mm film and not video tape......basically the same as if you were making a movie. For the VHS release, they simply cut the sides off so it fitted our then 4:3 screen televisions.

    2. PULSE - Also a brilliant concert, they made a huge blunder (as acknowledged by David Gilmour) and recorded it on 4:3 videotape for release straight to VHS.

    Nearly 30 odd years later, we have a stark difference on improving them. Film is high quality, and Pink Floyd a couple of years ago re- released Delicate Sound Of Thunder on 16:9 bluray. Wow, what a difference. As an example, from my channel below is a link to "Comfortably Numb" from the Delicate Sound Of Thunder concert. I have downscaled it to 1920x1080, and Youtube also compress it, but it still shows what high quality it is.



    Pulse on the other hand, cannot be replicated to that high standard mainly because it was recorded on video tape. Pink Floyd have re-released it, but it's disappointing compared to DSOT. See the same song, but from the Pulse concert below



    But as I mentioned, there has recently been a major move in that record companies are releasing remastered copies of old videos is what can only be described as amazing quality. New Artificial Intelligence software has changed the game in a big way, even some very average videos can be transformed. I will give you a couple of examples, personal examples as I am responsible for the videos. The video is "April Sun In Cuba" by Dragon. I would expect most would know it, and have seen the video at some stage of their life. The video itself has always been of average quality and suffered from a number of problems, particularly with horizontal lines running through it. Here is the original below, I posted it on Youtube 5 years ago :



    As you can see, average. Poor detail, occasional horizontal lines if you look closely. I had a play with some AI software and this difference was very noticeable. Although they are not the exact same clip (above one was from rage), they were similar quality, if anything this one was worst as it had a lot of "noise" on it, like a sheet of rain. See it below after the AI software improved it :



    Although you can certainly see the difference, it doesn't work brilliantly on all clips - some have slight improvement, some are mind blowing. A couple of years ago I uploaded a remastered copy of "Split Enz - Dirty Creature" to Youtube. I state it as remastered as I made slight video improvements as well as straightening a few lines and replaced the absolute crap audio on it with a lossless version. It was the best I could do with an average clip, I can't remember where I sourced it but you just couldn't get it anywhere. See below :



    Not long after I posted it, Rage actually played it so I recorded it from there HD channel. It was a little better in video quality, but the audio sounded like a tin can. I didn't upload it, as I had already uploaded the above copy. But as mentioned, the video was slightly better and the audio was terrible. This is that clip after I had a play :



    The software requires some reasonably powerful hardware. I bought a new PC earlier this year after getting sick of bordering on minimum requirements for a lot of stuff. my current one is an i9, with 32 gb ram and a Nvidea Gforce RTX 2080 Super 8 gb graphics card. Depending on what profile you use in the software, and more importantly how many FPS there are in the video, it can take up to 90 minutes to encode just one. As an example, Dirty Creature above came in at 3.46 gb in size. I would need a data centre to house my collection I cant keep files that big, so I am going to have to either cut the bitrate or downsize to 1080.

    While photo technology has kept going forward in leaps and bounds, being able to improve video has been limited. Until now.

    NOTE - IF YOU CLICK ON A VIDEO, MAKE SURE IT'S ON 4K. I clicked on it and got 360 ?

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    Nice work!

    What software is it that you are using?

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    Why re-encode to 4K when the original is 480p or less?
    For the filters to work 1080p would be sufficient to extrapolate the pixels but you are not adding any content.
    Faster encoding and smaller systems could do the same job.

    However digitising 35mm film to 4K is a different story, although you would be basically digitising grain but for authenticity still desirable and also for filters to remove said grain without losing much content.
    But that is something only the studios have access to.
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 14-11-21 at 11:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtv View Post
    Nice work!

    What software is it that you are using?
    It's called Topaz Video Enhancer AI


    There is a free trial, but it's pretty much useless as it has a giant watermark through the image which is lighter than the rest of the picture. I didn't really get much out the trial, so took a gamble as I know a large number on Youtube are now using it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Fester View Post
    Why re-encode to 4K when the original is 480p or less?
    For the filters to work 1080p would be sufficient to extrapolate the pixels but you are not adding any content.
    Faster encoding and smaller systems could do the same job.
    I'll make it easier for us both by just directing you to the site's FAQ. Artificial Intelligence is obviously a step away from traditional methods.

    This the FAQ section for this particular product (they have a few products)


    At the end of the day, people want their video to look it's best.
    480 sailed away a long time ago unless you are a traditionalist. I cant even find 720 on my phones video camera.

    I wont be keeping giant sized files myself, but am happy to send giant ones to Youtube as I know what they do to them I just downloaded "Dirty Creature" from Youtube, they compressed 3.5 gb to 468.3 mb, very impressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by admin View Post
    It's called Topaz Video Enhancer AI
    I'll give it a go, as it sounds ideal for my needs.
    From the specs, it should run fine on my system.

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    Quote Originally Posted by admin View Post
    I'll make it easier for us both by just directing you to the site's FAQ. Artificial Intelligence is obviously a step away from traditional methods.

    This the FAQ section for this particular product (they have a few products)

    Nice
    Full M1 native support for all M1 machines in version 2.5 and higher.
    Finally a proper use for the 16 core neural engine !
    Apple decided that Machine learning will be coming to the consumer and this would be the first application for me to try it, that goes beyond just data mining user behaviour.

    I am an arrogant, irritating RSole.

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    Just a heads up that the presets are exactly that......there is only one single one that I have found that allows manual settings.
    It's called Proteus Fine Tune.

    As a rough starting guide, load your video and my suggestion is to use the suggested models to start. If you click "compare", it will load up 4 windows at once, with the original video in the top left. It will encode a small piece of video using each of the 3 different presets it recommends, so you can choose which one you want to use. It's worth doing......there is nothing worse than waiting 90 minutes for a video that turns out shit

    The software is moving forward at at a fair pace from what I have read, and about 6 days ago when I bought it it was version 2.4. I got an update the next day to 2.6 and it contained about a 30% speed increase which was very noticeable.
    From a time perspective, a video with 50 fps will take twice as long to encode as one with 25 fps. It's worth considering when you are doing some testing as 40 minutes is better than 80 minutes

    Edit : Edited the title to reflect the software name for Google search.

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    Unfortunately, most music videos from the 70s and 80s are stored on video tape and have probably been dubbed down from the original records which were either 1" (or even 2" if in the 70s). The tapes are probably also shedding oxide if that old. The digitisation process will add to the noise when they are re-ingested for TX. Headend compression adds more shit. What you basically get on digital tv (if the source was analogue) is not the best. The best transfers are those by the NFSA - but the process is very time consuming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Slogger View Post
    Unfortunately, most music videos from the 70s and 80s are stored on video tape and have probably been dubbed down from the original records which were either 1" (or even 2" if in the 70s). The tapes are probably also shedding oxide if that old. The digitisation process will add to the noise when they are re-ingested for TX. Headend compression adds more shit. What you basically get on digital tv (if the source was analogue) is not the best. The best transfers are those by the NFSA - but the process is very time consuming.
    This tape is from 1971 and looks darn good for that time to me:



    I didn't do this but it will be a test subject when I get around to try out Topaz.
    I will also run it through my trusty AviDemux and compare if Topaz is really that much better.
    Getting good results with all the AViDemux filters can be very time consuming, so I assume Topaz will be figuring that out for me.

    This link seems to be the least messed around with that I could find.
    Main issue are the interlacing errors. I also wonder if the over swing on the trailing edges(from left to right) can be removed without softening.
    There are other attempts to fix this on Youtube, one has unbelievable 4million hits, way too softened out to enjoy and sounds terrible unlike this one.
    Last edited by Uncle Fester; 16-11-21 at 09:17 PM.
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    I'd day most probably 2 inch tape and probably dubbed down once before being digitised but definitely not recorded off air - less noise being induced.

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