How to Improve Your Video Quality Without Reshooting

By Emily KringsApr 10, 2024

You thought you'd captured every frame you needed to make the video, and you finally called it a wrap. But the moment you sit in the editing room, you realize that the video quality looks like it was taken using a 2013 smartphone. Even worse, it’s an event video where you can’t reshoot and recreate the footage.

That’s a nightmare no videographer wants to deal with. However, if this happens to you, don’t fret. You can still fix the video quality without having to reshoot them. 

Fixing at this point doesn’t mean that you would get the same crystal-clear quality as shooting with top-of-the-line equipment from the get-go. Fortunately, with some strategic adjustments and post-production editing, you can still show a much better video quality to your audiences.

In this guide, we will cover how to improve your video quality without reshooting. We’ll start by covering what causes poor video quality before diving into tips on correcting it.

This article is a guest post from Andre Oentoro, a video expert from Breadnbeyond.

Table of Contents

What Causes Poor Video Quality?

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Before diving into techniques for fixing poor quality, it’s important to understand what causes poor video quality to start with. When you know how to identify the root causes, you can avoid compromising your video quality to begin with.

Some factors that can contribute to subpar video quality include:

  • Low Resolution: Poor pixel density makes your video blurry or pixelated, especially when viewed on larger screens
  • Suboptimal Lighting Conditions: Not enough lighting can lead to dark, grainy, or unevenly lit footage that can harm visual clarity
  • Compression Issues: Overly aggressive video compression degrades the quality, which is particularly noticeable in areas with fine details or rapid motion
  • Improper Camera Settings: Incorrect camera settings (such as incorrect exposure, white balance, or focus) produce underexposed, overexposed, or color-shifted footage
  • Substandard Exporting Settings: Exporting a video with low-quality settings, like low bitrate or inappropriate codecs, will cause your videos to lose detail and fidelity during playback

The ideal scenario is to address these issues before shooting your content, but unfortunately, this is not always possible.

How to Fix Poor Video Quality without Reshooting

Even if you don’t have enough resources or the ability to reshoot a low-quality video, you can still fix it. All you need is a video editing tool. The more advanced features it has, the better.

With that said, here are a few ways to fix poor video quality.

1. Upscaling

Upscaling is a video editing technique that improves the resolution of your video to a higher pixel count than its original resolution. During upscaling, algorithms analyze the existing pixels in the image or video frame and interpolate additional pixels to fill in the gaps. 

With all those gaps filled, all edges in your videos will smoothen out, and pixelation will reduced, too.

However, it’s important to note that upscaled footage may still lack the level of detail and sharpness found in native high-resolution content, and excessive upscaling can lead to artificial-looking results or image distortion, so you can't rely solely on this technique alone. Use it judiciously and as a supplementary technique alongside other quality enhancement methods.

2. Use Video Stabilization

Post-production video stabilization comes in handy when you forget your tripod and just have to shoot the video with a hand-held camera.

The post-production video stabilization feature will keep the video's main subject or focal point steady so that it can minimize distracting movements or jitter. The catch is that it may result in some cropped frames as it adjusts the position of the video content to compensate for motion.

3. Apply Sharpening Filters

Sharpening filters increase the contrast between adjacent pixels. It makes every detail of your video appear more defined and prominent. Apply selectively to specific areas of the video or use subtle settings to achieve a natural-looking result.

It’s typically more effective on a little bit higher-resolution videos with well-defined edges, though. Low-resolution or heavily compressed footage may not benefit as much from sharpening and could even be further degraded by over-done sharpening. 

4. Adjust Color Settings

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Tweaking the brightness and contrast levels improves your footage's overall clarity and dynamic range. Adjusting these settings makes the highlights brighter and the shadows darker, so you can get a more balanced video.

Use color correction to fix any color casts or tinting issues and achieve accurate color reproduction. You might also use the color grading feature to manipulate the color. When you correct the gradation, you will establish a specific tone of your footage and give it its own aesthetic or mood.

The key here is to find a delicate balance between adjusting brightness, contrast, color correction, and color grading.

5. Frame Interpolation

Frame interpolation increases the frame rate of your video by generating intermediate frames between existing frames. Simply put, it’s the feature you need to achieve smoother motion, reduce motion blur, and create a more lifelike viewing experience in your videos.

This is a must-use feature if your video has low frame rates or fast-moving action where motion may appear choppy or blurred. The feature will make your video come to life with better fluidity and realism.

6. Noise Reduction

Remember the audio quality, too. Sub-par audio will make your video unprofessional, no matter how HD the visual is. 

Reducing unwanted noise, such as hums, clicks, or ambient sounds, boosts the overall production value of your video and keeps your audience focused on the message you're delivering. It makes sure that your video has clear and crisp audio, free from distracting background noise or hiss. 

If you need a voice-over, make sure you invest in a professional voice-over right off the bat. All is to ensure seamless delivery of your message without distractions so people would see you as a professional.

7. Choose the High-Quality Footage

Get rid of the footage that just can’t be saved, no matter how hard you’ve tried to fix it. Use the best footage available. Prioritize high-quality clips that are well-exposed, properly focused, and free from major technical flaws. 

Look for footage captured with quality equipment, under favorable lighting conditions, and with attention to composition and framing. High-quality footage serves as a solid foundation for your project. It can also help you achieve better, more natural-looking editing results during post-production and reduce the need for extensive corrections or enhancements. 

Final Thoughts

You don’t have to reshoot your entire video to improve its quality and achieve a more professional look. This is made possible with the help of some robust video editing tools. 

As we mentioned, don’t rely only on one feature to fix a low-quality video. It takes a combination of those editing features, thoughtful editing, and attention to detail to improve the video quality.

About the Author

Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos.