Hello everyone. There is an issue that recently started in my stop mo that I hope someone here can help me with. I am noticing an unwanted flickr/strobe effect in my stop motion animation lately. I'm using Dragon Frame software to animate and my iPhone 6S to capture. The subject I shot a test with last night is a 3 3/4 inch action figure in front of my green screen. I noticed a very harsh flickr/strobe effect happening in the play back. I changed my exposure settings (both shutter speed and exposure with no considerable difference in the strobe effect) Any suggestions as to what I may be doing wrong?  I have used this method in the past months with great results. No noticeable flickr/strobe effect in the past. 

Thanks,

Michael

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I didn't even know you could use an iPhone with Dragonframe.  

With a phone or tablet, I've only tried a free app on the device, Stopmotion Studio, and with that you could lock the exposure, white balance, and focus so they didn't keep changing.  

With Dragonframe I've always used a Canon DSLR, and I had to go through all the menu settings on the camera to disable any helpful auto functions, and also use a Nikon lens and adapter to make it fully manual.  What functions on the iPhone camera does DF control?

I just checked, I thought I could connect an iPhone to DF and see.  But I have Dragonframe 3.6, I think the iOS device support must have come in with DF4.  DF Tether seems to only date back to earlier this year.  

There is another way you can get flickering light levels - that's when the lights are actually changing in brightness because there is often a slight variation in the mains power voltage.  I don't know what that would suddenly be a problem, when it wasn't before, though.  And you might get a very strong flicker with fluorescent lights with a short exposure (less than 1/2 sec) because fluoro lights actually do flicker rapidly.  Long exposures average it out.  Have you changed the lights you use?

StopmoNick,

Thank you for your response to my posted question concerning the flicker issue I'm having. The version of Dragon Frame I am using right now is the free trial version that lets the amimator get familiar with the software. It comes with an embedded "ghost image" DF icon in the center of the Frame until the full version is purchased. (which I fully intend to do) You are correct, it is version 4 that was released earlier this year, and with the new version came the added ability to use the iPhone along with the Tether app. I really am enjoying the DF software. You bring up an interesting detail about lighting, specifically fluorescent lights. I AM using the fluorescent tube lights to light up my greenscreen while I have led's to illuminate my action figures. I AM noticing the majority of the strobe/flicker effect on the greenscreen and not so much on the figures lit up by the led's. The Florescents most likely are the root of the problem. I need to get my hands on some led's and ditch the fluorescents.

Oh, one more thing: the DF 4 software controls my iPhone's focus, exposure and color balance.

these functions can all be locked-down to as not to auto-expose, focus..etc.  HOWEVER--I DO notice that when I have stray light hitting the iPhone's camera lens, the flicker is more pronounced. If I shade the lens from stray light, the flicker effect lessens overall.

When I get the florescent tube lights for my greenscreen, I'll make sure to post my results.

Thanks again,

Michael Ahumada



StopmoNick said:

I didn't even know you could use an iPhone with Dragonframe.  

With a phone or tablet, I've only tried a free app on the device, Stopmotion Studio, and with that you could lock the exposure, white balance, and focus so they didn't keep changing.  

With Dragonframe I've always used a Canon DSLR, and I had to go through all the menu settings on the camera to disable any helpful auto functions, and also use a Nikon lens and adapter to make it fully manual.  What functions on the iPhone camera does DF control?

I just checked, I thought I could connect an iPhone to DF and see.  But I have Dragonframe 3.6, I think the iOS device support must have come in with DF4.  DF Tether seems to only date back to earlier this year.  

There is another way you can get flickering light levels - that's when the lights are actually changing in brightness because there is often a slight variation in the mains power voltage.  I don't know what that would suddenly be a problem, when it wasn't before, though.  And you might get a very strong flicker with fluorescent lights with a short exposure (less than 1/2 sec) because fluoro lights actually do flicker rapidly.  Long exposures average it out.  Have you changed the lights you use?

I wonder if it is to do with mixing fluorescents and LEDs and having a phase interaction? Then the flicker would be exaggerated. You could try using just one light source to see if it disappears. Or, as you say, just change out the fluorescents. There are some reasonable LED builder's work lights available.

Simon Tytherleigh,

I had not considered the mixing of florescents and led's to cause a phase interaction. You make a good point in that it most likely does cause the exaggerated flicker/strobe effect i'm getting. I'll try using one source (the LED's) and see if i still get the flicker.

Thanks for the tip. I appreciate it. I like learning about this stuff. 

Michael Ahumada

Simon Tytherleigh said:

I wonder if it is to do with mixing fluorescents and LEDs and having a phase interaction? Then the flicker would be exaggerated. You could try using just one light source to see if it disappears. Or, as you say, just change out the fluorescents. There are some reasonable LED builder's work lights available.

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