I'm pretty salty over the fact that massive cooling issues with my CPU made Neat Video impossible to use (safely), but the material was such a mess that FFT3D managed to give me very similar quality in the end. I've removed the source noise and replaced it with simulated film grain, which I know sounds redundant, but is probably the best thing I could have done with this mess... take a peek at a frame comparison that manages to show, in detail, both the good and bad things that come with restoring 18 year old VHS.
Note the lack of film damage on her ass, as well as the much more natural looking outlines in her legs and hips. This shot - like the rest of the film - was originally crawling in minor film damage, and now there's virtually none. If the only thing I'd done was removed the specs and nics from the print that alone would have been a massive improvement, but the fact that I could clean up edges like this was a bonus that only makes my efforts feel all the more worth while.
I'll be the first person to admit that the outlines in the tile have been corrupted a little through DVNR, but as this is a hazy, slow vertical pan, the sudden specs of print damage are much more visible than the blurred tile grouting. Yes this does show that there has been a loss in background detail, which is an unavoidable side-effect of both DVNR and film damage filters. The only thing I can do is adjust the tools available to me to the point where the gains are more substantial than the losses, and I think the above example is pretty satisfactory.
Maybe others disagree? I dunno, but if you think my restoration's a pile of suck you're always welcome to comment below.
This will also be the first Kentai Films VHS restoration to feature audio filtering. Don't get your hopes up, it'll just be a relatively simple hiss removal pass, but I think it'll help quite a bit. I can't promise that every single VHS sourced project will get this white glove treatment, but I finally have these tools available to me, and I won't get results out of them if I don't practice, so why not give Female Leopard - a personal favorite of mine in the Nikkatsu catalog - the respect it deserves?
Fuck me! I'd rather have hard interlaced frames due to tape issues than relatively stable shots looking like... well, like this! So it's back to the manual IVTC I go. I'll be further tweaking the DVNR/Scratch Removal filters to fit the "new" psuedo-RGB source, too, so the final encode will vary ever so slightly from what you see here after all.