Appendix II – Use of Weapons: Special Circumstances

You might find your footage has other problems somewhere during the filtering process, or they might be noticeable before you even begin. Consider Phlebas using some of these filters should any special circumstances present themselves. But don’t be a Player of Games – adding random filters that you don’t actually need is not a good practice, and could lead to issues not immediately apparent in the Surface Details.

Also, Look To Windward, something something. I’ll stop that now.

  • Smoothlevels(gamma=1.1)
  • I use this to tweak the gamma on sources that are very dark. I recommend using it sparingly if at all. Turning it up too high can lead to washed-out details on brighter scenes. I wouldn’t go above gamma=1.2. Please note that I am using an older version of Smoothlevels, as the current version does not work under WINE. Put this before SharpAAMCmod.

  • BiFrost(interlaced=true)
  • DFMDeRainbow(maskthresh=10, mask=false, interlaced=true)
  • Use one, but not both!

    These are for cross-chroma noise, AKA “rainbows.” You might see them anywhere where there is a pattern of thin lines.

    Place these before AnimeIVTC – they can be placed afterwards if you use “interlaced=false,” but they won’t be as effective.

    Below is an example of two frames of untreated rainbows. Note the shifting pattern of colors around tongue-girl’s hand and neck, and bandage-girl’s bandages:

    Below are the same two frames, but now with DFMDerainbow (default settings) and AnimeIVTC applied:

    Not perfect, but a significant improvement.

  • Stab()
  • A stabilization filter for jittery titles. It isn’t perfect – it sort-of pushes the jitters to the screen edges. Its hard to describe, but if you place the filter somewhere before cropping you’ll see that I mean. You’ll have to crop a little extra if you need to invoke this filter.

  • DeDot(luma2d=20, lumaT=20, chromaT1=0, chromaT2=255)
  • Dotcrawl is uncommon on laserdiscs. It can mostly be found on computer graphic overlays, which doesn’t come up often at all. Dotcrawl filters must be applied before IVTC.

    Here is an unusual example of dotcrawl. In the following two frames (mouseover to compare), note the “dancing checkerboard” pattern on the left and right edges of the red-bordered badge:

    Here are these two frames again, this time with dotcrawl filter, derainbowed, and IVTC’d:

  • gradfun3(smode=2)
  • This counters color banding. There are several methods for combating this particular issue, this is the one that has worked for me. I have not noticed color banding on many of the titles I have worked on. It is most likely to be noticeable on large planes of color – sky shots, for example, or walls. It is particularly noticeable if there is any sort of fine gradient shading on said planes.

    gradfun3 goes at the end of your filter chain. Some debanding methods are more effective earlier in the chain, YMMV.

  • DeSpot([You'd probably better read the documentation for settings])
  • This one is a little complicated to use.

    From the mod description: “This filter is designed to remove temporal noise in the form of dots (spots) and streaks found in some videos.”
    Bear in mind that FFT3DFilter will actually be removing a lot of small dots and speckles at the end of your normal filter chain. Use DeSpot to try to clean up some of the larger and nastier spots.

    But be careful! You can easily mess up spots that are supposed to be there – things like starfields, little lights on control panels, rivets – little things like that.

  • Descratch([You'd probably better read the documentation for settings])
  • This one is a little complicated to use.

    From the mod description: “This plugin removes vertical scratches from films. Also it can be used for removing of horizontal noise lines such as drop-outs from analog VHS captures (after image rotation).”

    While this plugin does what is says it does, it tends to work poorly on anime footage. Why? Because the filter cannot tell the difference between black lines that should be there and black lines that shouldn’t be there. As such, it will probably do more harm than good if you try to remove dark-colored scratches. You may have better luck with light-colored scratches.

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