Hi guys

I have this issue on my videos where my lighting for each frame looks different, so the light looks like it vibrates all throughout a video.

I am obviously not changing my lighting between shots and I have done my best to remove external lighting from my animation area.

I film on my iPhone. Could the issue be that I should be using a legit digital camera so it will have the same light reading? (I'm wondering if the iPhone might autofocus between frames and change the lighting?)

An example is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaEVhcGeS98

Let me know if anyone has a similar experience! It's been bugging me for months - but so far I've just been trying to tackle the basics one at a time!

Thanks!

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usually for stop motion you have to turn the camera on all manual setting, if the camera has some automatic parameters light could be different on each frame, also focus must be set on manual and so on. i think that iphone can't be set on all manual (but maybe i'm wrong) so it compensate exposure in automatic for each pictures. If you want to get a professional look to  your animation then a camera with a full manual setting will be usefull. 

Unfortunately iPhone cameras don't make good stop-motion cameras. You need a camera that you can disable auto exposure and auto focus. It appears as though your phone is adjusting the exposure from shot to shot. Of course, using your phone is perfectly fine if you simply want to practice animating and learn basic skills. And then whenever you are ready, find a proper DSLR that you can control manually.  Good luck!

Like they said - an auto camera like a phone cam will keep trying to adjust the exposure so every time you go in front of the camera to move the puppet the camera will change the brightness, then change it back again, only it may not go back exactly the same.  It can happen with focus and auto white balance too. 

I use a Canon DSLR, with a lens mount adapter and older Nikon manual lenses, which is fairly standard for professional or serious amateur stop motion work.    All Canon lenses don't have an aperture ring on them now,  neither do the kit lenses that come with Nikon DSLRs, so you can't just set it by hand and have it stay put all the time you are shooting.  So I use older 2nd hand lenses that are fully manual exposure and focus.   There are some 4/3rds cameras with fully manual settings that also work well, but Canon and Nikon DSLRs are the ones that most framegrabbing software is set up to work with - the cameras have the ability to connect to a computer and be controlled by it, so Stopmotion Pro or Dragonframe and others can use that to let you see your live view and previous frames on screen, and take the shot with the mouse or keyboard.  Some cameras that would be great for animation otherwise, don't have that built into their firmware.

Upgrading to a DSLR would be ideal of course, but if you would like to keep using your phone, some of the stop-motion frame grabber apps allow you to lock-in exposure settings to avoid this issue.  "iStopmotion" and "Animate It!" offer this feature, I'm sure others do as well.  The iStopmotion app is actually designed for iPad, but you also have the option of using an iPad and iPhone together.  You can capture the frames using the iphone camera, and view/edit/organize on the iPad.  No risk of bumping the camera.  I have no personal experience with this arrangement, just throwing out ideas...

Hi guys

Thanks for the feedback. I'm not sure I can afford a digital camera yet, but I appreciate that as I advance I should consider investing in one! 

I actually use my iPhone connected to iStopmotion on my mac, Bucker, which does have a focus and exposure lock - but despite that, there was still the light flickering. However, I did just notice in the help menu a way to set and lock the white balance, which I've not seen before in the app, so I might give that a go and see if that helps!

Otherwise, I appreciate that I may need to level up soon and get a real camera!

Thanks everyone for all your help and ideas! Much appreciated! :)

If you're too strapped for cash to buy an expensive digital camera, you can try to buy a webcam. They shoot in HD these days, and the higher-end ones usually come with software where you can control certain settings like exposure, white balance, etc. The frame averaging feature of webcams may also help your flickering problem if it's coming from fluctuations in your current which can't bee seen by your eye, but are captured in photos.

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