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The title says it all. My video is too dark. I Learned how to avoid it next time (after the horse had bolted).

Is there anything I can do to lighten it up? Preferably freeware and not to complex. THe video is .AVI format

[update] Windows 7 pro (and I am wondering whether brightness or contrast is the way to go (ans if some magic s/w has an "auto" feature))

Thanks a 1,000,000 in advance

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migrated from Sep 9 '12 at 3:36

This question came from our site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers.

What is the video format? – Onlyjus Sep 8 '12 at 2:31
AVI - sorry, I will update the question. +1 – Mawg Sep 8 '12 at 2:47
Also, what operating system. windows, mac, linux, etc... – Onlyjus Sep 8 '12 at 2:54
interesting. I gave your comment +1 when it was on the photo site. The question got migrated to the video site & now I can give it another +1 ;-) – Mawg Sep 19 '12 at 4:42
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've used VirtualDub (one of the open source tools) with some success for just this.

It's not trivial to use, and I'm afraid I don't remember the exact settings, etc., but there are plenty of tutorials/explanations around the web.

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+1 I am trying it now, but when I try Video/Filter, it complains "couldn't locate decompressor for format Xvid" and says it requires a "VFW compatible compressor". I D/Led from and it looks good. I will check it out & get back to you. Thanks – Mawg Sep 19 '12 at 4:53

Windows: If you are on windows 7/Vista, you should have Windows Live Movie Maker. You can open your video in that, go to the Visual Effects tab, and select the brightness button. Then you have to re-encode your video. This will decrease the quality.

Free Windows Live Movie Maker

The problem with Windows Live Movie Maker is that there are limited effects and no way to create custom effects. However, Windows Movie Maker from Vista (i.e. WMM 6.0) does support custom effects, etc.

You can download WMM 6.0 for Windows 7 here.

Blaine also provides an extensive list of add on effects here. Which includes contrast effects to increase the contrast.

Mac: If you have a MAC and iMovie, I found this link. You hover over the thumbnail and a "sun" symbol should show up, clicking that should bring up color controls.

Hopefully one of those will work. If not, you'll have to dive into the world of opensource video editing tools, which is a nightmare.

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+1 I can't find Windows Live Movie Maker, but will keep searching. How do I get to the nightmare? (other than through google) – Mawg Sep 8 '12 at 13:03
@Mawg, You can download it for free! I added the link above. – Onlyjus Sep 8 '12 at 16:47
+1 I go it. The brightness is on the visual effects tab, right? It didn't seem to help much, and I can't find any contrast. Any other suggestions? – Mawg Sep 19 '12 at 4:49
@Mawg, that is correct. I do not think that it is possible to change the contrast. – Onlyjus Sep 20 '12 at 0:35
@Mawg, I added another option to use the old WMM 6.0 (vista) and custom effects to change the contrast. I edited the answer above. – Onlyjus Sep 20 '12 at 0:50

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