A Special Mission for Us: Santa Couldn’t Read This Wish List, so He Called Amped for Help!

Dear Amped blog friends, welcome to this special tip on Tuesday, Dec. 24! Today we have a very special request, actually, we have a mission. If we succeed, someone will be happy tonight. If we fail, someone will be disappointed. Keep reading to walk with us on this adventure!

Ok, let’s start with the bare facts: Santa Claus contacted our support team. He seemed desperate: he already left his home in the North Pole for the delivery tour and he realized he forgot one wish list on the table. All of Santa’s helpers are already on vacation (by contract, they are off when the delivery tour begins). The only thing Santa could do was to fire up his home surveillance system and grab a video from his storage room camera. The wish list is there in the video, but… it’s like this (click here to download the original video):

No chance Santa can read that, he’s wearing thick glasses for a reason.

Shall we help him? Sure! And given the importance of the task, we’re going to use our flagship solution, Amped FIVE (if you don’t have it, you still have time to ask your boss for this wonderful Xmas gift!).

Right after dragging the video in FIVE, we notice there is slight motion (oh gosh, maybe Santa Claus left the window open and the wind is blowing in? He’s always so stressed when December comes…). But we like that. It means we can use some super-resolution. But first, let’s drop colors and keep only the Y channel, we can easily achieve that with the Extract Channel filter. We don’t need color for reading the list, and we know colors always suffer more in video compression.

Then, we head to Perspective Stabilization. “But there’s no change in perspective here!”, I hear you say. Well, the Perspective Stabilization filter handles even simple translations very well, you just need to configure it to stick to that simpler motion model.

And then we use the Perspective Super Resolution filter to get a 2x magnification of the list. As it often happens, we have a slight blur after the frame integration step…

So we apply Optical Deblurring to reduce blur and Correct Perspective to bring the list to a frontal view.

It’s already much better! You may notice, there’s an annoying periodic noise, in the form of diagonal stripes…

As we’ve explained in last week’s tip, the Fourier filter can handle that, and indeed it removes the stripes pretty well in our case:

It’s time to use Unsharp Masking to increase the definition, and Levels to boost the contrast. To finish with, we crop the writing only, apply Smart Resize to enlarge it a bit more for displaying purposes, and… we’re ready to help Santa!

All’s well that ends well, dear friends!

One last and very important thing – Merry Christmas to you all, from all of us on the Amped team!

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