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Brightness and color correction using Color Mill filter
When people shoot video in dark conditions or in incadescent light, result can be too dark or have bad white balance (look too yellow, for example). Some movies ripped from DVDs also have brightness issues. Video Enhancer offers a choice of color correction filters targeting this problem, some of them are automatic and some have many manual settings. In this tutorial we'll show how to use one of the best available manual filters for brightness and color correction.

"Color Mill" by Eugene Khoroshavin is a versatile all in one filter for processing brightness, saturation and colors in video. This one single filter can perform several adjustments at once instead of using several filters.

Adding filter to Video Enhancer

Filters are distributed separately from Video Enhancer as .vdf files. The ones placed to plugins subfolder of Video Enhancer folder (and also VirtualDub folder) are detected automatically. If you place filters to a different folder you'll need to show it to Video Enhancer once, it will remember the location for future launches.

Video Enhancer must be in advanced mode in order to be able to use VirtualDub filters.
Click on the "VD Filter..." button to add filters to Video Enhancer.





Color Mill can be downloaded directly from their website.
After downloading, simply unzip the "ColorMill.vdf" file to somewhere on your harddrive.

Click on the "Add..." button to add additional filters to VideoEnhancer.



Browse to the folder where the "ColorMill.vdf" filter is located.
Click on the .vdf file to add the individual filter to VideoEnhancer.



Open video file in Video Enhancer



To open the video which needs to be processed, click on the "Browse" button at the top.



Locate your video file. If you place your mouse cursor over a video, you will see information about it.



After opening the video, you will see a preview of it to the right. Click the "Choose..." button to configure output video and audio codecs.



Choose a codec for video compression. Here a lossless codec was used as an example, but it's not a general guidance. See Video Enhancer manual section to learn what codecs to use.

Using filters in Video Enhancer



Click on the "VD Filter..." button to add filters to your video.



Choose "Color Mill" from the filter list.



You will be presented with this configuration dialog.

  • Middle Point
    Useful for adjusting darkened and lightened videos.
  • HSV
    Hue/Saturation/Intensity.
    If "Real" option is on, it will be same function as Hue/Saturation/Intensity filter by Donald Graft.
  • Gamma
    Adjusts overall brightness level in video.
    All Red/Green/Blue slider should be adjusted at same time.
  • Levels
    Adjust levels in the dark/middle/light color range.
  • Red-Green-Blue
    Adjusts red/green/blue color balance.
  • Saturation
    Adjust saturation in the separate dark/middle/light color range.
  • Sharp<>Smooth
    Sharpen/smooth filter.
    Increasing "Damn H" slider will increase value of sharpen/smooth.
    The small slider controls a lowpass filter.
    "Postprocess" value of + means sharpen and - means smooth.




Filters which will be applied to the video will be listed under "Filters sequence". You can add more filters to the list. Pay attention to the order of the filters, they will be applied in the order of listing here.



Example

Here's a sample frame from a movie that was too dark:

We processed it in Video Enhancer using Color Mill filter with following settings:
middle point: +20, booster: -100, base shift: +100
HSV saturation: +30
gamma: red/green/blue +30
levels: middle +30
sharp<>smooth: postprocess +10.

And here's the result: