After Effects: Insight into Effects
Illustration by John Hersey

Color Stabilizer


From:

After Effects: Insight into Effects

with Chris Meyer and Trish Meyer

Video: Color Stabilizer

Sometimes you may encounter a shot that flickers. The Luminance values change erratically throughout the shot. This can happen with old or archival footage that's a bad development of a film or it can happen, if you say how auto contrast or auto exposure turn on the camera. Something flies through the scene to temporarily darken it or brighten it and causes flickering in the overall luminance. Well, there is an effect in After Effects called the Color Stabilizer, which can help to remove some things, flickers and contrast or color throughout a shot.
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  1. 2m 6s
    1. Welcome
      2m 6s
  2. 7m 27s
    1. The Effects & Presets panel: finding effects
      2m 42s
    2. The Effects & Presets panel: animation presets
      4m 45s
  3. 1h 24m
    1. Bilateral Blur
      5m 30s
    2. Box Blur
      5m 33s
    3. CC Vector Blur
      6m 18s
    4. Creative Channel Blur
      2m 2s
    5. Corrective Channel Blur
      1m 47s
    6. The pros of Compound Blur
      4m 35s
    7. The cons of Compound Blur
      3m 3s
    8. Directional Blur
      2m 35s
    9. Fast Blur and Gaussian Blur
      5m 16s
    10. Lens Blur: iris effects
      6m 17s
    11. Lens Blur: depth maps
      4m 41s
    12. Overview of Radial Blurs
      4m 16s
    13. Radial Blurs shootout
      3m 29s
    14. Reduce Interlace Flicker
      4m 12s
    15. Corrective Smart Blur
      4m 26s
    16. Creative Smart Blur
      7m 40s
    17. Unsharp Mask theory
      5m 5s
    18. Unsharp Mask and Sharpen
      3m 59s
    19. Unsharp Mask power tips
      4m 14s
  4. 41m 5s
    1. Overview of Calculations
      3m 55s
    2. Creative Calculations
      3m 32s
    3. CC Composite
      4m 54s
    4. Overview of Channel Combiner
      2m 49s
    5. Channel Combiner and color space
      3m 56s
    6. Channel Combiner and transparency
      4m 0s
    7. Remove Color Matting
      4m 24s
    8. Set Matte vs. Track Mattes
      6m 45s
    9. Set Channels and Shift Channels
      2m 0s
    10. Solid Composite
      4m 50s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Auto Color vs. Auto Levels
      6m 21s
    2. Auto Contrast vs. Auto Levels
      4m 44s
    3. Channel Mixer
      5m 34s
    4. Corrective Color Balance
      8m 15s
    5. Creative Color Balance
      3m 19s
    6. Color Stabilizer
      4m 51s
    7. Overview of Colorama
      7m 40s
    8. Tinting with Colorama
      5m 48s
    9. Colorama and color cycling
      3m 12s
    10. Hue/Saturation tips
      5m 4s
    11. Hue/Saturation vs. Color Balance
      2m 17s
    12. Tint vs. Tritone
      4m 34s
  6. 14m 40s
    1. Compound effects
      5m 43s
    2. Grayscale shootout
      6m 45s
    3. Repeat Edge Pixels
      2m 12s

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Watch the Online Video Course After Effects: Insight into Effects
3h 31m Intermediate Jul 30, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

After Effects: Insight into Effects was created and produced by Trish and Chris Meyer. We are honored to host their material in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.

After Effects gurus Chris and Trish Meyer share their real-world insight into how to get the most out of the effects that come bundled with this popular software. After Effects: Insight into Effects covers their favorite effects, hidden gems, optimal parameter ranges, "gotchas" to avoid, and alternative effects to consider. Among other tidbits, this course also contains "special topic" movies that pertain to more than one effect, demonstrate how to use After Effects more efficiently, and compare different effects to try in order to achieve a desired creative result. After Effects: Insight into Effects is recommended for all After Effects users, regardless of which version they use. This ongoing series that will be updated with new movies on a regular basis.

This course was recorded using After Effects CS4, but it contains many timeless concepts and effects. After Effects: Insight into Effects is recommended for all After Effects users, regardless of which version they use. This is an ongoing series that will be updated with new movies on a regular basis.

Subject:
Video
Software:
After Effects
Authors:
Chris Meyer Trish Meyer

Color Stabilizer

Sometimes you may encounter a shot that flickers. The Luminance values change erratically throughout the shot. This can happen with old or archival footage that's a bad development of a film or it can happen, if you say how auto contrast or auto exposure turn on the camera. Something flies through the scene to temporarily darken it or brighten it and causes flickering in the overall luminance. Well, there is an effect in After Effects called the Color Stabilizer, which can help to remove some things, flickers and contrast or color throughout a shot.

Let's give it a quick look. Here is a piece of archival footage that's has an issue with some flickering in the luminance. You're particularly notice it in this black to white gradient on the back wall where the gradient seems to move, because the midtone values of the shot are changing over time. Let's select our footage and apply Effect > Color Correction > Color Stabilizer. Color stabilizer gives you a few different options on how you stabilize this image. For example, if the whole image is getting brighter or darker evenly, you can select just Brightness.

This will give you one point to go ahead and pick and move around to what's a representative color and say keep that point. The Sample Size of 3.0 pixels or say 20.0 pixels or whatever you choose, the same color throughout the shot. However, few shots have even differences in exposure throughout. There are differences in the highlights and in the shadows. And if we were to RAM preview with this setting, you could see how now the entire image is flickering, not just the gradient on this back wall.

So this is not the correct setting for those shots. If it is just a highlight/shadow issue, here's where you want to use so called Levels, where you get to pick a Black Point and I might pick something like his tie, and a White Point, I might pick something to like this headband on him and say keep those two points stable and do whatever you need throughout the shot. This is almost like an Auto Contrast to this point except for it's affecting the color. Now a most subtle shot like this where the black-and-white was frankly staying pretty even throughout the shot, but the gradient was moving, this is where I'll use Curves as my stabilizer setting.

Now I get to pick my Black Point. Again, I'll use this tie. My White Point point. Again, I'll use this headband. But I'll also pick my Mid Point. In this case, I'll pick something as close as I can to about 50% gray and say stabilize that throughout the shot. Make sure you choose points that are going to stay constant throughout the shot, then nothing is going to fly cross them like a hand or bird or whatever to throw off the correction. Then this point on, Color Stabilizer is very automatic. I'm going hit 0 on the numeric keypad to calculate a RAM preview.

Let's see how it looks once we're done. Here is the preview and you will notice that this gradient is no longer chasing up and down this wall. It is a pretty smooth gradient along this wall. I'll turn off the effect, preview again. Now you see what we had before. It was really jumping around quite a bit. The Color Stabilizer on and preview, you'll see how steady it is. This is what Color Stabilizer is good at: removing these flickers throughout a shot.

What if the first frame in your footage does not have the ideal colors or contrast that you like to stabilize? What if there is a different frame later in the footage, which is a better representative reference frame? Here's where the easily missed Set Frame button comes on. Move the Time Indicator to the frame, which you want to be your reference. Let's say after his hands down right in that area, then click Set Frame. At that point Color Stabilizer will now use the colors underneath these points, at this frame as the reference and then bend the colors in the rest of the shot to match this reference frame.

A Color Stabilizer is not a Color Correction effect. If I want to say improve the contrast of the shot, I may apply to something like Color Correction > Auto Contrast, and put it before Color Stabilizer, so I have a nice maximized image. If I want to add a tint to this effect, I might apply something like Color Correction > Color Balance to really tweak out the image or even something as simple as Hue/Saturation just to do a quick shift to the whole image such as get a skin tone of more yellow rather than red.

But Color Stabilizer is what will lock in this contrast and this color throughout the entire shot and stop these bits of flickering and shifting there going on. So it's nice to tool to add your arsenal.

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