Best Video Enhance AI choice for upscaling old WW2 newsreels from 480 to 1080p?

Hello everybody, I have a bunch of WW2 stock footage that I purchased from a stock footage company on mini-DV tapes in 480i29.97 SD format. I’m using Handbrake to apply de-interlace and de-telecine filters and to change the frame rate from 29.97i to 23.98p (or 23.976 to be more precise) since these newsreels were originally shot at 24fps. I’ve had great success with this part of my work flow.

My question for any of you who have upconverted old newsreel footage using Video Enhance AI, what do you recommend as the best choice for upscaling vintage 1930s and 40s footage from SD to full HD (from 480P23.98 to 1080P23.98)???

Thank you in advance.

I am no expert. But I have been using QTGMC with Avisynth+/VirtualDub and have had great results for deinterlacing (probably better than HB). But with double frame rate.
If you are not familiar with Avisynth or AviSynth+ it does have a bit of a learning curve but it is worth it.
This is my first post so I am not sure if I am allowed to reference material outside. If you are interested check out this video Deinterlacing with AVISynth and QTGMC Tutorial (Late 2020 Edition)

Once deinterlaced outside VEAI, I think the UpScale can be easily handled using VEAI.
The Proteus AI Model or the Aretmis AI Model should do a good job of upscaling. It is better to retain the same frame rate, unless you have other reasons to.

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Thanks very much for your feedback Dilson. I’ll definitely check it out. Back in 2010, I purchased a Kona LHi card for $1,500 to upscale SD to HD video. I’m stunned to see that Video Enhance AI does a far better job of upconverting SD to HD than the Kona LHi for 1/5th of the price! Amazing times! I’m currently using the trial version as I’m planning to buy on Black Friday. Last November it could be purchased for only $100 as part of the $299 Black Friday bundle offer. As I also need Gigapixel AI and Denoise I’m very tempted to wait, but also so tempted to bit the bullet and get to work with it right away.

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I would suggest trying either Gaia-HQ or Artemis HQ or MQ on your footage. Artemis will likely have sharper and cleaner output, however Gaia will retain more shading, texture and grain. Ultimately it depends on your taste. If you have a fast GPU, you might want to run it through twice, first at 100% Gaia-HQ to stabilize it and then upscale with Artemis, or vice versa. VEAI tends to react differently depending on the actual source material, so some experimentation is inevitable.

If you are adventurous, you might want to try Proteus as well, and play with the sliders, as the Auto setting doesn’t always give the best possible results.

I also believe QTGMC deiterlacing and de-telecine is superior to Handbrake. The differences (artifacts) become more apparent once the material is upscaled.

In handbrake when you de-inerlace (to progressive) doubling the frame rate will make the motion smoother. VEAI has some DV models, i’d try this first, i’ve had great success with these models.

Thanks johnnystar. I’m unable to select “Gaia” or “Theia”. They appear in the list, but when I choose either of them, the only option that then appears is “Artemis”. But I’ve been getting very good results with Artemis. Tried Proteus as well and got good results too although it’s hard to know which settings are best with that choice. Haven’t tried QTGMC yet. Is it Mac compatible? I’m on an iMac 2014 with 4GB GPU card.

Thanks paul-4464. Haven’t tried doubling the frame rate but thank you for that tip. I’ll try it out. I’ve had great results with the following Handbrake options so far:

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much success with the Dione options. Dione DV and Dione TV both left me with the speed slowed down to 50%. Didn’t encounter that issue with Dione TD though. But I was advised that it was better to de-interlace prior to importing a file into Video Enhance AI.

I don’t use the latest VEAI version, but I have read that you can activate all models, perhaps in preferences, or look for something like ‘model manager’ (might be named differently).

There is QTGMC for Mac, but you have to find the one installer that installs everything in one go. Otherwise, it can be complicated with multiple installers for different modules. If I can find the link I will post it here.

Dione is not the best option, I agree.

Thanks johnnystar. I’m currently using the trial version with watermark, perhaps that might be why I don’t have access to all options? I’m thinking of waiting until Black Friday to purchase. Last Black Friday you could get all the Topaz Labs programs (Denoise, Sharpen, Gigapixel,etc ) for $299 including Video Enhance AI! Would love to purchase now but that sale makes it so tempting to wait.

The trial should be fully functional, other than the watermark.

Handbrake is pretty good, but in my experience it still leaves some combing artifacts, especially when upscaled.

I’ve had mostly good results with deinterlacing with VEAI. The only problem I had was with a DVD where the video had 3:2 pulldown, and then was interlaced. I had to use VirtualDub to run a deinterlace filter first, and then inverse telecine filter afterward.

It seems that’s where VEAI runs into a problem; when a video has both telecine and interlacing.

When I select Gaia or Thea in Video Enhance AI 2.4.0 , it gives me only “Dione TV” as an option. Also there seems to be no way to expand choices available in the preferences menu.

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I think it’s because you have ‘Clean Up Old Interlaced Footage’ selected at the top, and Gaia doesn’t do deinterlacing, only Dione. Can you change that and see what options you get?

I am not using 2.4.0, so I am only guessing.

This is what I found works best for my projects.
Staxrip QTGMC using Vapoursynth to x264/x265 CRF0 or QP0 Grain 10-bit
(If it’s a soft-telecine, you can re-created the original progressive framerate with Handbrake)
Upscale using VEAI Gaia 1080P to ProRes HQ
FFMPEG -c:v libx265 -crf 12 -preset medium -tune grain -pix_fmt yuv420p10
None of my devices could play x264 or x265 10-bit 4:2:2

If Topaz would allow importing Avisynth and Voursynth and export using FFMPEG commands, all of this could be done in one shot…

I have downloaded 2.4.0 version, and can say definitively that Gaia HQ exists in this version, but you have to ‘activate’ it first by going under the File menu > Manage AI Models. Of course, I am assuming this feature is also available in the trial version of VEAI.

I see it in the list as well but when I select either Gaia or Thea, Video Enhance AI just gives me Artemis as the result:

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Did you do the following steps under the File menu?

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Hi Johnnystar, thanks so much for your help. Found it. Can’t believe it was right there, thanks again! :grinning: