Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Flicker Free, part 1, part of Shooting a Nighttime Time-Lapse Video.
- Let's continue our look at a few more post production techniques. First up, I want to talk specifically about Flicker Free from Digital Anarchy. Now you'll recall we addressed minimizing Flicker while shooting by making sure you used a manual aperture lens. So they didn't bounce in between takes. Additionally avoiding things like aperture priority where the camera lens changes, will ensure that the camera minimizes fluctuation. But still, it's possible to end up with flicker. And to smooth this out I like to take advantage of a tool called Flicker Free.
It's a plugin from Digital Anarchy that runs in most video editing tools, as well as Adobe After Effects. So let's process the sequence and then show you the before and after as we take out the flicker and how it leads to a better overall shot. Let's bring in some shots into After Effects that have already been developed. I'll choose File, Import, File. And navigate to the files that I need. I'll come down here to my drowboat, and go to my shots from the valley of fire. Right.
Let's grab some here. And I'm working with some bulb ramp shots that were developed. Bulb ramping is the process of making changes to the camera slowly over time. In this case, using a Triggertrap. And let's just sort these by name here. There we go. I'll choose the first one. And choose TIFF Sequence as well as force the alphabetical order, in case there is any gaps within. There you go. Click Open and it brings it into the project.
Let's do that one more time. We'll grab the second one here, Sort, and choose Open. Alright once we have those two in the project it's just a matter of selecting it and choosing File, Interpret Footage, Main, and I'll assume this fame rate 23 976. Now if you don't have that correct frame rate in there you can type in the frame rate that you need for your project. Once that's done, you can assign that to Others. Remember it's pretty easy to say File, Interpret Footage, Remember, which is opt + cmd + c or alt + ctrl + c And then you can Paste that to other clips by using alt + ctrl + v or opt + cmd + v Alright, I've got this clip here, let's drop it into a new composition.
We'll click OK. And I'm just going to check my Composition Settings. Let's make sure under the Advanced tab we're sticking with classic 3D. There's no reason to use ray tracing. And we'll set the delivery preset to match whatever we intend to deliver. In this case I'll do 720 P. And change my frame rate to 23 98. There you go. And we'll do the same thing here for the other clip. Drag that in. Choose Composition Settings.
Choose a preset. And assign the correct frame rate. Alright, now we have these and let's just scale the clips so they fit a little bit better in the frame. Remember it's easy to add KeyFrames, or Moods, or other things to these shots, but we're just going to keep it pretty simple right now. And we'll scale those. And let's invoke a RAM preview, so you could see the potential flicker. Now it's not atrocious flicker, because I did shoot these correctly.
But due to the fact that we were bulb ramping, making changes to the shot using an external controller, and the dramatic changes in lighting, I do expect there to be a certain amount of flicker. So I'll invoke a preview here and we'll let that cache into the disk and take a look back at some of the shots. We have a small amount of flicker there due to the light change. And I think we'll see it even more on this shot which had dramatic lighting changes, due to the sunset. You notice there are some definite shifts in the lighting.
That could have been caused by people changing the lighting on the rock, or just the camera making a small jump as the light in the scene changed quite a bit. let's take a look at a few seconds there. And you see we have a little flicker as that lighting is really changing and we're transitioning from sunset to nighttime. Alright, let's fix that. In this case, if I want to do anything to the shot I'll add any Keyframes or Zooms just to put a little bit of visual interest.
Let's start the beginning here. And I'll press s for Scale and hold down the shift key and press a for anchor point. And this allows me to add two KeyFrames for the movement. I actually like how the shot is composed and we're going to set that so by about five seconds it lands in this position. So let's add two more KeyFrames. Jumping back to the beginning here, I'm gonna change the scale and push it a little bit to that rock. And we can pose the shot just a little bit.
So that the rock is a little bit more prominent at the start of the shot. Let's lasso the clipboard and right click on those KeyFrames and choose Ease Out. And at the end here we'll right click and choose Ease In. And what that's gonna do is create a transition on the shot. So if you look at the movement there, we'll just let those frames cache really quick. You'll see that there's a transition in and out of the shot that creates a nice subtle move into the landing position.
And that's going to simulate like we were using a slider, or a motorized camera system in the field. Now I did have a motorized system with me but I want shooting four cameras on this sunset. I'm a firm believer in setting up multiple cameras to capture the shot. That way I get different opportunities to try different things, and could potentially make multiple useful shots at a single location. Alright there is that slow transition in and it finishes out. Let's play that. There we go.
And some definite flicker there in that shot.
- Choosing the right gear
- Setting up the camera: adding stability and balance
- Choosing the right interval for shooting
- Monitoring the shot in the field
- Developing test shots
- Putting the camera in motion
- Assembling shots in After Effects, LRTimelapse, Photomatix, and Photoshop
- Creating star trails