Launch a web browser and go to the Vreveal website. When the home page has loaded, click the big green Free Download button and, if the File Download Security Warning dialogue box appears, click Save and then choose a location for the downloaded file. Firefox users should select Save File to save the download to Firefox’s default download folder. The program is 88MB, so it may take a few minutes to download over an average broadband connection. Once the download is complete, double-click the file and run through the installation wizard, following the prompts as required.
Next it will be necessary to transfer footage from the camera, phone or camcorder to the PC. Newer video devices either connect to the computer via USB or come with removable memory cards that can be inserted into an appropriate slot on the PC. Either way, you should see an Autoplay dialogue box. Click the ‘Open folder to view files’ option, then browse the folders to locate the video clips, and drag and drop them – usually MOV, MTS or MP4 files – to the Windows Desktop. If the Autoplay dialogue box doesn’t appear, launch Windows Explorer (or holding down the Windows key and tapping E) and use this to navigate to the video files before dragging and dropping them on to your PC. Users of older tape-based camcorders should check our advice on transferring footage.
Launch Vreveal, then click Continue on the launch screen. Only type in an email address here if you want to receive newsletters from the software publisher. Allow the program to scan for video files, then click Close on the Tip screen. Vreveal should automatically add video files found on the Windows Desktop to its library. If not, click the button with the two squares in the top, right-hand corner to switch the program to windowed mode so you can see the Desktop behind, then drag and drop the clip on to the Vreveal window.
What you should have at this point is a column on the left containing the added clips and a large preview image on the right. If this is not the case, try closing and restarting Vreveal. But if you see an error message when you try to add clips or if they just don’t seem to open in the program, skip to Step 9 for some troubleshooting pointers. Assuming the import process has gone smoothly, click on the thumbnail for the clip you want to fix and it will begin to play back in the preview window.
Click the Pause button under the filmstrip at the bottom of the Vreveal program window, then click the Edit button just below that. Some new tools will pop up underneath the preview window. Now click the Fix button underneath to reveal a selection of enhancements and effects. Click the Stabilize option. This will zoom into your shot slightly and automatically attempt to smooth out the wobbles and bumps in the camerawork. Click the Play button to see how the effect has worked.
Smaller shakes should be dealt with entirely and the effects of more significant jolts should be minimised, but don’t expect miracles; there will probably still be a few unsteady moments visible. This is normal but you can eliminate further shake by clicking the Fine Tuning button at the bottom of the program window and then dragging the Stabilization & Zoom slider further to the right. Click the Compare button under the filmstrip and click Play for a split-screen before-and-after comparison.
Stabilisation isn’t the only quick fix on offer. Try using some of the other options listed under the Fine Tuning section. Using the White Balance slider, for example, can correct pinkish or blueish tones. The Saturation slider can enliven or relax the colour intensity. It’s also worth experimenting with the Fill Light, Highlights and Shadows options to correct under- or over-exposed shots. And if you have filmed your footage on a smartphone held vertically, you can rotate the clip so that it plays the right way up – click the button labelled ‘90’ just underneath the filmstrip.
Click the Save to Disk button in the bottom right-hand corner, then select 480p and Windows Media from the dropdown menu and click Save. The new file will be exported to the same folder as the original. Note that the free version of Vreveal will not save files that have had certain effects applied to them (including Automatic White Balance) and will only output in standard definition (480p), even if the original footage was filmed in high definition (HD). A small ‘Vreveal’ watermark also briefly appears at the beginning of each enhanced clip. If you want to remove these restrictions, click Upgrade to Premium in the top right-hand corner. The Premium edition costs £40.
If you’re having problems getting Vreveal to work with some video clips, it could be because your computer doesn’t have the right software to encode or decode the files. This type of software is called a codec. One way to fix this is to install Apple’s Quicktime player. It’s free and automatically adds many common codecs on to your PC when it is installed. Visit The Quicktime download page on Apple's website, click the Download button and save the installation file to the Windows Desktop. Double-click the file and follow the prompts to install Quicktime.
If you still can’t get Vreveal to recognise particular video files, then it may be necessary to install a full codec pack. One of the best is K-Lite Codec Pack Full, which is free and can be downloaded from our website. Download it to the Desktop, then double-click the file and follow the displayed instructions to install. The default options should be fine for most users. Once these have been installed, restart Vreveal and return to Step 3 to import clips.