Is there any way to sharpen video using Blender?

I’m using Blender as a video editor.

The Sequencer of Blender, what I believe is the video editor of Blender, provides numerous functions and effects. One effect, a fairly basic and essential effect that does not seem to exist for video editing in Blender is sharpening.

In this below image some of the effects you get with Blender video editing are shown. There is Gaussian Blur, a close relative of Sharpening, but no sharpening as far as I can tell.

enter image description here

I’ve seen material online that supports this—that the Blender video editor does not provide a sharpening effect.

Is this still true? Is there no way you can do sharpening with Blender, whether directly in the Video Editor or some other way within Blender?


choosing Blender for video editing

Several years ago I went looking for an open-source, free, or inexpensive video editor. I finally decided on Blender. Blender was said to be a not-too-bad open-source free video editor—one whose primary purpose though was as a 3D Modeler and Animator. I thought that I might one day also want to learn some 3D Modeling and Animation.

I acquired Blender and learned the basics of Blender's video editor. The one thing about Blender that I found to be a drawback was the fact that it doesn’t appear to provide a sharpening effect. It has Gaussian Blur but not sharpening. When it comes to image editing, sharpening is a pretty basic and essential kind of effect. And Blender, at least the Blender video editor, doesn’t have it. This was several years ago. Upon looking into Blender again more recently, it still doesn’t seem to have included sharpening as a video effect.

some possible methods to do sharpening

I did read some things online how you might be able to use Gaussian Blur in Blender in some alternate way to get a sharpening effect. I also came across something that said that you might be able to do sharpening with something called “nodes”. The impression I got is that you might have to import the video you are interested in into the 3D animator, I don’t know exactly, and sort of float the video like a TV screen in the 3D workspace, set up the camera to view the video, and go and find some sharpening node function. After applying the sharpening node on the video you would then export the video. This sounded kind of complicated. I never figured it out.

alternative video editors

I could learn another open-source, free, or affordable video editor and do video sharpening there. I don’t know if I want to learn another program just to do sharpening on video. I am now looking into learning Shotcut or Openshot or some other software which presumably will have the sharpening effect. The other consideration is just to abandon Blender’s video editor and just learn another video editor which will have all the basic effects plus sharpening.

Is open-source and affordable software like Shotcut, Openshot, and Filmora more capable than Blender’s video editor? Blender and its video editor are often considered not the simplest, easiest, most straightforward software to use. I still plan on learning some of Blender’s 3D capabilities. But are programs like Shotcut, Openshot. and Filmora more likely to develop and improve than Blender’s video editor since these other programs are more fully invested in the video editing? Do these video editors already have more capability than Blender’s video editor? Would it be more worth my while learning one of these other programs for video editing. I suppose if I ever need to do more sophisticated video editing, I can go and get a monthly subscription for Adobe Premiere (sign up to an Adobe Premiere tax) for several months or whatever time I need. I’ve used Adobe Premiere before.

doing your video effects in an image editor

There is another way that I might be able to do sharpening with video from Blender. I suppose I could export video from Blender as a group of PNG images, batch process them with sharpening in Gimp (or Photoshop). Gimp has a plugin called Bimp that can aid in batch processing of images. I could even batch process the images with other Gimp or Photoshop effects. I don’t know at the moment how much effect-flexibility Bimp gives.

Then I would reimport the Gimp-processed PNG images into Blender as video, which apparently can be done. That would be one method for sharpening video from Blender, although it’s not as quick and convenient as I might like. This might be easier than going and learning a whole new video editing program just to sharpen video footage. Applying a weird image effect from Gimp to some Blender video footage might be kind of interesting.

Blender’s current video editor

Coming back to the video editor of Blender and I see that there still is the same old problem of no sharpening effect for video. This is a bit frustrating! I think that I may have even sent some suggestion to Blender a few years ago to add sharpening to the video editor. I’m not the only person out there, apparently, that sees this as a drawback. It’s been a few years and Blender still has not added a sharpening effect to its video editor.

Blender has made a few changes to it’s video editor. It’s not totally stagnating. I also ran across a video which explains how to do speed acceleration and deceleration with video, which is nice. This is done using keyframes. I couldn’t figure out how to do that before, or I couldn’t do this before.

is the Blender video editor worth investing in?

The question then for me is: is it worth investing time and energy in learning to use the Blender video editor?

I’ve spent the last couple of days watching some videos on video editing with Blender. A few things have changed with the video editor since I last worked with it. Blender is said to have a simple video editor. Enough people like the Blender Video editor that people have created series of instructional videos on how to work with the video editor of Blender. When doing searches for open-source and free video editors, Blender generally does get mentioned as a worthwhile contender. What also is often mentioned is that Blender’s main purpose is for 3D modeling and animation. As far as I can tell, Blender also has some interesting 2D animation capabilities and this animatable drawing function of something called Greasepencil. I’m also wondering if Blender might work well as software to create instructional videos and bypass the need/temptation to buy software like Camtasia that can be kind of expensive.

will Blender develop its video editor?

For what I plan on doing with my current video editing project, Blender looks like it will be able to do everything I want—except maybe for the sharpening. What also gets mentioned about Blender is some concern that Blender, given its focus on 3D and animation, may not especially be interested in developing its video editor. The absence of a sharpening effect may be one example of how Blender may not be overly invested in developing its video editor.

open-source versus high-end paid software

The gap between open-source software and paid higher end software has surprisingly narrowed over the years. Originally, I had to buy expensive Adobe Editing suites to work with image and video editing, but now programs like Gimp and Inkscape can do so much—often pretty well everything I need. There also seems to be a certain excitement about Blender animation becoming qualitatively in reach of higher end animation software and that the movie idustry is taking Blender progressively more seriously.

go to where the development is?

Maybe it might be worth learning something like Shotcut or Openshot (and drop Blender’s video editor) simply because those already may have more capability than Blender’s video editor and because these other programs are more likely to see further development and enhancement. It might do Blender well, though, to invest more than minimally in the development of its video editor. The more Blender becomes popular and gets downloaded and is useful, the merrier it’s potential could become—with enhancement of the video editing even contributing to its development as a 3D and animation software.

final word

This is the situation. If anyone has any advice or feedback, that would be welcome.

  • $\begingroup$ The editor in blender you need to use nodes is "Compositor". There you can delete default "Render layers" node, and add "input/Movie clip" or image sequence. No need to hassle with 3d scene at all. Then use not the "Gaussian blur" (which does the opposite to what you need), but e.g. "Filter/Filter:Sharpen". It's somehow like "Unsharp mask" in GiMP. So, find a good tutorial on compositing in blender, and the life will become muuuch better then! :-) $\endgroup$
    – Mechanic
    Feb 21 at 12:11


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