Dear people,

(probably not entirely a newbie but this seems a good place to ask basic questions)

I'm planning a new small project. Since it was a few years ago I did something with stopmotion I decided to test a few things before hand.

I got all set-up and shot a small test with an old Dalek toy I had laying around. So I animated it by taken shots with my camera, imported in my software, added some sound and was done in a few hours.

But as you can see I have some lighting issues. Half way and in the end there are some frames that has more light exposure then the rest. Tomorrow I will try again but am wondering what went wrong? Is it just that the light that shined on the camera lessened because of the Dalek or has it to do with my camera? I put all AUTO setting off, work with a fixed ISO setting and so on.

So if anyone has some pointers for me I would really be grateful :)

Cheers

Gerard "DoubleG"

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It's a cop out answer, but it could be any number of things. My best guess is that something in your setup is still running on automatic. It's near impossible to answer these sorts of questions, but I put together this video to answer every question that can come up with flicker. https://youtu.be/Y6jKE22Pkec

Best of luck.

Steven, thank you for the answer. I thought I eliminated all possible interferences but I now think that there are some things I could approve. I will tell you what the outcome will be. Cheers DoubleG.

Did you control your lighting or just use ambient light? If you are shooting with real light even on a cloudy day the variations are enough to be visible.

Another possibility is that the lights, assuming you are using them, are flickering, possibly invisibly to the eye. Using a long exposure helps to iron this out.

Finally, if you are using an auto lens it will stop down before each frame and may not get to the same position each time. Using a manual lens eliminates this.

OK Simon thank you. I use artificial light in a dark room.

After I saw the tips from Steven I changed the settings of my camera and I think that it looks a lot better now.

For the new project I'm planning I will better my lighting also by adding a new lamp and a reflector screen for more indirect light. So we will see how that works out :)

Yes, it is definitely better. There is a moment where it gets dimmer when the Dalek exits R and brighter again when it comes back on, so could this be some auto exposure issue, that it stops down a little when the scene appears to be brighter overall (no dark object)?

Have a look at the threads on lenses and workarounds like slightly unscrewing an auto lens to disconnect the contacts and disable any adjustments the camera might make.

Otherwise very smooth and nice lighting. If you increase the exposure time, you may need to get some ND filters for the lights to reduce the amount of light so the frame is properly exposed.

Much better! But still some change in brightness.

What camera are you using?  I had to go right through all the menus on my Canon 40d looking for "helpful" auto features, then when I got a 7d there were a couple of new ones I had to disable.  It does look like the camera reacting to the brighter overall scene with the Dalek going off screen, darkening it down just a touch, just like Simon said.  Then it brightens up when the Dalek returns. There are other possibilities, like a varying voltage in your mains power actually causing the lights to change in brightness, but the fact that it happens when the dalek exits and re-enters makes me think it"s the camera. 

I use manual Nikon lenses with adapters, so the camera can't adjust the lens, but it can do some exposure compensation internally.

@Simon and Nick: Yes in the end there is still some reaction of my camera.

In the second clip all my camera setting were set to manual. Fixed ISO and no interference from metering and thus changing my exposure, aperture or ISO.

My own opinion is that I think, since the lighting was quite dim, there suddenly was more light in the scene overall when the black Dalek exited. Since my settings were all on manual I should have checked my metering manual, it had probably changed and so I should have changed my aperture, exposure or ISO setting to get the same metering and brightness as with the Dalek in the scene. But this is only hypothesis :)

Yesterday I changed my set lighting. I have now one light above and two indirect lights from left and right from direct lights on white carton-boards. So that should work better. But we will see and I will check my metering manual better anyway. Thanks again for the advice and I will keep you posted with my new small project that I planned to finish in a few weeks.

Your reply suggests you might be thinking of adjusting during the shot, which would not be a good idea. If you make sure the metering is on manual it should not change at all during the entire session.

Simon, do you say that you never adjust during a shot? Even if the brightness of your shot changes?

Have you exterminated the possibility that your own shadow may be causing the difference in lighting?

If you're changing your position to better reach the Dalek as it exits and enters on the right of the screen, the light/shadows could be bouncing off your body and onto the set.

You have to stand/sit well clear of te stage when you capture a frame. It also helps to wear dark colours.

Sorry if I'm stating obvious things you already know :)

Absolutely. I use Dragonframe, where you can set the camera controls, and lock them. I use manual lenses attached to a Canon T3i (600D) and/or Canon 7D, with all controls set to manual or off. When animating I do not adjust anything except focus on the camera.

If I needed to change the exposure during a shot for any reason, I would do that in post so I had some control over it.



DoubleG said:

Simon, do you say that you never adjust during a shot? Even if the brightness of your shot changes?

@dean: Yes I think this could also be the problem with the last clip. So who has some spare black overalls I can buy? :)

@simon: ok that sounds better then adjusting during shooting because that is also not what I would want. I could have edited the brightness of the last two or three frames to match the other frames better, so I will try that next time. Thanks again.

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