How to brighten dark videos to make them worth keeping

When you use an expensive camera or know in advance what kind of content you’ll be shooting with your phone, you can typically adjust settings to get the most vibrant, well-lit imagery. But what about the clips you shoot without adjustments, or when something surprising happens, that don’t have that luxury?

Often, we end up with movies that are too dark or too bright, especially when shot at night when details aren’t very visible or in conditions where there’s too much light for the camera sensor to handle. Content that you might consider unviewable and not worth sharing can be saved with the Online Video Adjuster by Clideo. This tool lets you adjust several imagery settings to get the most out of what you’ve captured and the edited movie can be optimized and exported in multiple formats or resolutions and downloaded for use on whatever iPhone or Android device you like or on your Windows PC or Mac.

How to use Clideo’s Online Video Adjuster tool

With Video Adjuster, you can change the settings on a clip, whether it comes from a computer or your mobile phone. It offers many of the same kind of options you’d find on expensive video editing software, but it’s free for files up to 500 MB (larger files require a paid subscription) and can be used on the web without installing any software on your device.

You’ll have the ability to lighten up a video by changing settings such as Brightness, Contrast and Saturation, the same kinds of features you’d find on Instagram’s photo filters or in photo-editing software.

  1. Selecting your clip

    Now you’ll begin the process and learn how to make videos brighter and clearer, or making other adjustments, using the editor. First, select the footage you want to work with in the video brightener. It allows uploading the clip from your mobile device or computer, or you can select a file from Dropbox or Google Drive accounts or a URL online where the file exists.

    Upload a video file you want to brighten

    If you’re working on a computer, drag and drop it onto the Upload File box or select it from your system. On an iPhone, you can open files from your camera roll or iCloud Drive. Once you choose the clip, a progress bar appears showing you the status of the upload. It could take a few minutes if you’ve selected a very large file or don’t have fast upload speeds on your internet connection, so be patient until the transfer is complete.

  2. Editing the clip

    Once it’s uploaded, you’ll see a preview box that allows you to view the clip. You have the option of playing the preview with sound or with audio muted.

    Adjust settings to brighten your video

    At the right of the preview box are six sliders for adjusting the look of your video. They are “Brightness,” which can change the exposure of the imagery by changing the brightness of the pixels themselves. “Contrast” makes the light areas lighter and the dark areas darker. “Fade” is an effect that can make it look aged. “Hue” changes the wavelength and color spectrum while “Saturation” can make a washed out video look more vibrant in its colors or an oversaturated image look less colorful. Lastly, “Vignette” is an effect that can spotlight the center of your footage by adding a circular photo-frame border effect around it.

    Make your video brighter and change other settings

    Using different combinations of these sliders can create different effects; you should experiment with all six, particularly Brightness and Contrast, before moving on to the next step. If you made changes you don’t like and want to start over, you can select “Reset all” at the bottom. Once you are happy with the settings, select “ADJUST”.

  3. Preview and download your content

    Processing the adjustments may take a few minutes depending on the size of the file.

    Download your bright video easily

    You can download directly to your device by selecting, “DOWNLOAD”. Alternately, you can add the file to your Dropbox or Google Drive account. You can remove the watermark from the video by selecting “Remove watermark.”

    If it needs tweaking or you’d like to edit another piece of audio, go back to the Online Video Adjuster page.