I found this today in the ether. It looks like some useful information for anyone who has had issues with flicker, how to reduce it and also ways of fixing it in After Effects.
I used the "soft mask" technique to correct some rather horrendous flicker problems. I did it frame by frame in Photoshop as opposed to After Effects, but the process is essentially the same.
Nice find. Personally the best and easiest flicker removal tool I've used is Antiflicker filter by Donald Graft for Virtualdub software.
If you have 20000 shots you don't want to deflicker manually!!! I've used Granite Bay, RE:VisionFX, and AE's own Color stabilizer. They all needed a lot of work and the results were varying a lot. Some good and some horrible, depending on the scene and amount of flicker.
With Virtual dub I manage to stabilize flickering every time without much effort. The results are close to perfect. Only problem is that you can only work with 8-bit images :-( Free software is rarely perfect.
What is the cause of your flicker, and is it consistent for all light sources in the shot?
When I had flicker, I was using some halogen lights which varied in brightness as the mains power went up and down, but also some fluorescent lighting for general fill light. The fluoro lights did not vary in brightness - so any corrections done to stabilise the brightness from the halogens would actually change the brightness from the fluoros. I twidddled about with contrast as well, but could only reduce the flicker so it was a bit less obvious. Like Grecodan, I had to replace most of the background with a single frame, and erase around the moving character frame by frame so the flicker was mostly confined to a puppet that was moving anyway.
I tried Granite Bay Deflicker but it didn't help much. I did slightly better manually adjusting in TV Paint, but really nothing could fix it. If all my lights had varied the same, or if it was the camera changing exposure, I expect the software could have done much better at fixing it. My solution has been to spend money on a power conditioner for my own studio so I don't get flicker to start with.
There was a bit unstable electricity in the studio where I shot that animation. Some shots were better than others. The one I used for the test above, was one of the bad ones. If it's electricity that is flickering, and all lights are the same kind (halogen or fluoro, but not mixed), then it's possible to fix even quite heavy flickering. I had only halogen lights so it wasn't a big problem. The light changed equally throughout the frame.
i recently happend to have the same problem because i accidently had auto-exposure turned on in one sequence.color correction and deflickering didnt work in afx. luckily i shot my images in RAW - in Adobe Lightroom there is a function called match total exposure - worked great, fast and reduced the flickering a lot! i can only recomend it! but i will have a look at your tip as well! thank you!
Thanks for the tip Jennifer. I'll try that out.
Ah crap - it's fall here in the northern hemisphere (flicker season), and just turned cold last night. Summers are fine, because my fan doesn't affect light levels (just have to make sure it isn't blowing toward the set and moving things around). But now the heater is going to be kicking on and off constantly - guess I need to adjust the thermostat during a shoot so it won't come on while I'm animatiing, and just put on a few layers of clothes.
Aw, no more animating naked? Where's the fun in that!
...guess I need to adjust the thermostat during a shoot so it won't come on while I'm animatiing, and just put on a few layers of clothes.
Ok, maybe a thick layer of grease would insulate me...
That is some good result you got there! Thanks for the tip.
Leevi Lehtinen said: