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How to Fix Blurry Videos? Sharpen Premiere Clips with These Effects

Want a Crispy Video in 1 Minute? - Sharpen Your Video in the Easiest Way [Quick Jump to Steps]

How to Sharpen a Video in Premiere Pro CC 2019 – Pictorial Instructions

Sharpen a video is an essential step if you want a punchier and more vibrant look in your footage. Though it cannot utterly fix out-of-focus video, it's capable to make your soft-focus videos crispy to the eye, bring out more details of a creamy footage and visually lit the image. Smart phone videographers are left with little choice but to rely on post processing, and for DLSR enthusiasts, though "in-camera sharpening" is an option, it can produce unwanted noise, that's where post-editing comes to help. This tutorial focuses on how to sharpen a video in Premiere Pro and VideoProc for pros and novices.

7 Steps to Sharpen a Video in Premiere Pro: Meet Unsharp Mask and Its Parameters

There is no such a thing as 1-click sharpen if you are going to use USM (Unsharp Mask) in Premiere. There are three sliders in Unsharp Mark, namely, Amount, Radius, and Threshold for you to tweak in order to deliver an ideally sharpened video instead of ruin the footage with noisy image. But it's hard to find an optimal setting unless you know exactly what these three sliders are doing. If you are in a rush and prefer a jargon-free auto-solution to sharpen a video, you can jump to part 2 How to Sharpen a Video in the Easiest Way that makes you a video editing ninja in no time.

Brain-racking Term Explained: What is Amount, Radius, and Threshold?

Unlike general Sharpen effect that works by making a contrast between color shades, Unsharp Mask Effect in Premiere can detect edges in images and increase in contrast along these edges, or smaller adjacent areas.

  • Amount controls how intense you want to sharpen blurry video. By dialing it up, you will see that the light edge grows lighter and dark edge, darker. So this parameter generally means how much contrast you would like to add.
  • Redius refers to "the distance from the edge at which pixels are adjusted for contrast" according to Adobe Help. You can understand it as how big you want the edge to be. If you set it to a larger number, it grows the edges in pixels.
  • Threshold helps you to blur out high contrast edge and avoid sharpening noise.

You can experiment with these sliders, nudging the knob back and forward to get the best sharpened footage you want.

Tutorial: How to Sharpen a Video in Premiere Pro?

Step 1: Create a Premiere project, import a video clip that need sharpening and drag it to the timeline.

Step 2: Click the file icon right beside the dust bin and select to create an adjustment layer. Drag newly created adjustment layer to the timeline on the track above your video clip.

  • Note: the reason to create an adjustment layer is that, you can later add effects onto the adjustment layer instead of adding effects directly to your video clips. In that way, you can flexibly control any effect by moving around or deleting an adjustment layer that you don't want without affecting your source video.
Create an Adjustment Layer to Add Sharpen Effects
Create an Adjustment Layer to Add Sharpen Effects

Step 3: Decide whether you want to sharpen the whole footage or an array of inconsecutive sections of the video clip. If you feel like the latter option, choose razor tool (shortcut "c" on keyboard) to cut adjustment layer into several clips or copy and paste adjustment layer to the sections you want.

Cut Adjustment Layers for Flexible Video Sharpening
Cut Adjustment Layers for Flexible Video Sharpening

Step 4. Click at the adjustment layer, you will only find basic effect (fx) in "Effect controls" such as Motion and Opacity. Go search "sharp" in Effects and drag Unsharp Mask into corresponding adjustment layer. Now click at the adjustment layer and you will see the newly added effect "Unsharp Mask". Click to expand and you will see Amount, Radius and Threshold under this effect for you to manipulate.

Find Newly Added Unsharp Mask in Effect Control
Find Newly Added Unsharp Mask in Effect Control

Step 5. Adjust the value of each slider to sharpen your video and achieve more favorable effect. You can add a maximum amount and gradually slide it back to the point you feel just right on your footage. The parameter settings really depend on how crispy you want your footage to be and whether it brings out the detail you want.

  • Tip 1. You can add mask (oval/rectangle/pen icon) to sharpen part of the image within the mask.
  • Tip 2. you can click on "fx" to switch on and off that effect and see the difference of your footage with or without an effect. It is really handy for you to decide whether you want further editing.
  • Tip 3. You don't have to sharp every video clip, instead, you can copy and paste effect-laden adjustment layer above other video frames if you are happy with the look it brought to your image.
Set Parameters in Unsharp Mask to Sharpen Your Footage
Set Parameters in Unsharp Mask to Sharpen Your Footage

Step 6: Use Threshold to blur out unwanted high contrast and image noise. To better observing detailed part on the image, you might want to zoom in your footage in preview window by click the fit option and change it to larger scale, say, 150% or 200%. Then adjust the value of threshold to for a delicate editing.

  • Tips: you can widen the effect control panel to have a longer threshold bar to adjust the parameter more precisely.

Step 7. Render your clips and export the final product. Be forewarned that USM can take a long time to render if you are dealing with hour-long video shots.

How to Sharpen a Video with VideoProc in 3 Easy Steps: Fear not if you haven't used any video editing software before.Novices Friendly

If you are fed up with running Premiere Pro on a small screen, or you simply feel lazy today and want a term-free way to quickly sharpen your footage, install this light-weight (< 50MB) video editor and follow these steps:

VideoProc - Sharpen Your Video with a Simple Click

  • Low-spec laptop friendly with lower CPU usage.
  • Streamlined experience to sharpen, edit, denoise and stabilize videos.
  • Process footage from smart phones, DSLR, GoPro and DVDs.
  • Wide format support with 370+ built-in video audio codecs.

Download VideoProc on Windows to sharpen videos

Download VideoProc on Mac to sharpen videos

Step 1. Launch VideoProc > Video > Drag a video into working area.

Drag Video Clips into Workspace
Drag Video Clips into Workspace

Step 2. Click "Effect" right under your footage and select "Sharpen" from the effects box. This shall already make a boost in sharpening your footage, but you can also fine-tune parameters such as brightness, contrast, hue, gamma, and saturation.

When you are happy with the final product, hit done.

Go to Cut Functionality
Go to Cut Functionality

Step 3. Select desired format and hit "Run" to export your video.

Final Words:

Unsharp Mask in Adobe Premiere works really well if you want to simultaneously reducing noise and sharpening. Though it takes time to learn term-rich properties and requires a high-performance computer to deliver a tasteful video, it worth your effort if you are going to display the final product onto a large screen where every detail matters. If you want to sharpen a video quickly and effectively in one shot and share it on multiple social platforms with the most compatible format, VideoProc is a life changing video processor for videographers. Besides sharpen creamy look videos, you can also stabilize a shaky video with VideoProc for a clearer imagery.

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Farrah Penn

Farrah Penn has been a copywriter at Digiarty since 2014. Because of the occupational requirement and personal interest, Farrah has carried on broad and profound study and researches to multimedia related stuff, popular electronic devices and multimedia programs in the market.

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