23 Replies Latest reply on Dec 21, 2008 8:45 AM by Jim_Simon

    Flicker removal

    Level 1
      I have recently upgraded from Premier 6.5 to CS3. When I have to insert a graphic, usually a bitmap either as a frame or part of a title, it flickers when displayed on a CRT TV. In 6.5, Field Options/Flicker Removal worked quite well. In CS3, using the same option, the image becomes so fuzzy as to be unusable. I expected improvements in CS3, not a reduction in image quality. Any suggestions on how to get a clear image?
        • 1. Re: Flicker removal
          akribie Level 2
          Sometimes the video/deinterlace effect in PhotoShop can help reduce flicker on stills used in video.
          • 2. Re: Flicker removal
            Dan Isaacs Level 2
            Try applying a Gaussian Blur (or fast blur) with "vertical only" turned on. Set the radius to .25, .5, .75 ... as low as possible until the flickering goes away.
            • 3. Re: Flicker removal
              Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              When a frame taken off a video you use the 'always deinterlace' option from the field option and also check when in DV 'reverse dominance' because Premiere sets itself in 'always deinterlace' to upper field. DV is always lower field.
              When it is a photo you use the anti flicker filter from the effect controls (a sort of blur)
              The flicker removal from the field options is used when thin horizontal lines flicker (it blends fields to reduce interlaced flicker or the moire effect)
              • 4. Re: Flicker removal
                Dan Isaacs Level 2
                > use the 'always deinterlace' option

                I would never use that option. Premiere has the worst deinterlacing I've ever seen. It is better to blur the fields than to discard them -- unless you are trying to get a sharp still while freezing on fast action, which will never look good anyway.

                > also check when in DV 'reverse dominance' because Premiere sets itself in 'always deinterlace' to upper field

                Good to know, but "reverse" would depend on which field you'd like to keep, which is not necessarily the lower (first) one.

                > The flicker removal from the field options is used when thin horizontal lines flicker

                True, but it is always a 50/50 blend of the fields. Using a blur filter like Gaussian Blur or Fast Blur will allow you to control the amount of blending.
                • 5. Re: Flicker removal
                  Level 1
                  Thanks for your input, all. The problem is not with stills from video. Clients often send me still digital photos to include in the video. Also, scans of documents saved to bitmaps always need flicker removal - which now is hopeless. I'm quite surprised how much better it was in the older version of Premier.
                  • 6. Re: Flicker removal
                    Curt Wrigley Level 4
                    Use flicker field in the motion settings.
                    • 7. Re: Flicker removal
                      Level 1
                      Thank you, cwrig. The scalable Anti-Flicker in Motion settings seems to be the answer. My tests show 0.60 to be the optimum setting for my purposes.
                      • 8. Re: Flicker removal
                        Level 1
                        I also have a flicker problem. Though mine occurs with regular clips not stills. The thing is that whenever I a apply an effect such as AutoColor or AutoContrast from the effects folder, my clip flickers. Grass for example would alternate colors between dark green and a lighter dark green, though not at a fast rate. Sometimes there are like 5 flickers in a second, sometimes there is 1 flicker in 2 seconds. I see the flickering in the preview window as well as when exported. WHat do I do?
                        • 9. Re: Flicker removal
                          Dan Isaacs Level 2
                          > whenever I apply an effect such as AutoColor or AutoContrast

                          This has been covered in these forums before: The gist of the advice was "don't use these filters". It appears that the "auto" filters cause this flickering issue.

                          I suggest trying some alternate color correction filters, like "Luma Curve", "Fast Color Corrector", or "3-way Color Corrector". IMO, these are Premiere best built-in CC filters.
                          • 10. Re: Flicker removal
                            Level 1
                            As I wish to kill Flicker for photos given Pan and Zoom in Premiere CS3, I have tried two methods:
                            1) Anti-flicker Filter (settable from 0 to 1) on the Effects Control panel
                            2) wait until exporting to PAL MPEG2-DVD and then change the Field order to "None (progresive)".

                            The first needs to be applied to each Slide (copy attributes) and the second is far easier, since it is applied to the entire project on export.

                            Both worked! However, the DVD was played in a standalone that can handle progressive as well as interlaced video and was fed to a digital plasma TV.

                            Questions:
                            1) when using 'None' field on export did Premier simply treat the stills as havng no fields and then interlace it for PAL?
                            2) If not how does Premiere apply No field when it encodes to suit a PAL DVD which (by defintion) is interlaced?
                            3) how can I check whether the result is interlaced or progressive?
                            4) In othe words would the result play in an older DVD player?

                            Thanks in anticipation!
                            • 11. Re: Flicker removal
                              Level 1
                              I can answer some of my own questions:

                              1) when I exported from Premiere CS3 using Field order = 'None (progressive)' the export took only 60% of the time to encode as interlaced. When examined in Gspot, the 'progressive' file was seen as 'PROG' and the Interlaced as 'I/L'. The quicker encoding time suggests it was not interlaced. Then when burning to DVD Encore did not transcode either M2V, so, if the first, called m2vP, was progressive it still is.

                              2) I had two interlaced files, one with much flicker and one with none (anti-flicker filter set on max). The file m2vP was given no anti-flicker treatment in Premiere, apart from being supposedly exported as progressive.

                              3) All three files on a DVD played as expected in a progressive DVD player set to output 1080p to a plasma TV -- the first interlaced had flicker, the second had none but some blur and m2vP had no flicker and was sharp. All these facts suggests to me that Premiere did in fact export the m2vP as Progressive and Encore placed it without change onto the DVD.

                              4) On playing the DVD in an interlaced DVD (5 years older) using composite output (interlaced), the two interlaced files played as before, but, m2vP was altered. It now had some flicker, the image quality had altered a little and subtitles I had used for comments had moved. This suggests that m2vP was not originally 'interlaced' and had been changed -- from progressive to interlaced!

                              Please comment!
                              Are my conclusions correct?
                              Does Premiere produce progressive files when Field order = none?

                              Does an interlaced DVD player see such files as progressive and auto convert them to interlaced?

                              If so, this is an excellent way of killing Flicker - one mouse click on export and no loss of image quality (no blur)!!

                              All one needs is a modern progressive DVD player.
                              • 12. Re: Flicker removal
                                Harm Millaard Level 7
                                > All three files on a DVD played as expected in a progressive DVD player set to output 1080p

                                That is impossible, since it is out-of-spec.

                                > Does Premiere produce progressive files when Field order = none?

                                Yes.
                                • 13. Re: Flicker removal
                                  Level 1
                                  Thanks Harm
                                  By 'impossible' I guess you mean 'it does not comply with the DVD Spec' even though the Spec defines flags used to identify to a player whether a frame is progressive or interlaced.

                                  Despite you suggesting 'it' was impossible (I had made it up?), all 3 files (2 interlaced and one Prog) were placed on a DVD and in my proressive Player they played as I expected: One played clear with flicker, one was slightly blurred without flicker and the one I encoded as Progressive was both sharp and flicker-free.

                                  Your second response was as I hoped, but in the light of the above I await a more definitive and informative answer.
                                  • 14. Re: Flicker removal
                                    Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                    > That is impossible, since it is out-of-spec.

                                    Well, not really. The "spec" is really pretty sketchy (anyone got an official DVD spec sheet? I'd love to see it.) The DVD standards appear to be evolving to include "true" 25p and 30p in order to facilitate modern TV shows shot in those formats.

                                    Modern progressive scan DVD players will handle it fine. Even older players (like the one in Robin's test) will generally do an OK job.

                                    > This suggests that m2vP was not originally 'interlaced' and had been changed -- from progressive to interlaced!

                                    Yes, by the player or the display perhaps.

                                    If you want to most compatible 25p version, use the steps I outlined earlier. This should "render" (to AVI) as progressive but "encode" (to MPEG2) as interlaced. As I said, most PAL film titles are encoded this way.

                                    Dan Isaacs, "Progressive export" #5, 28 Nov 2008 10:27 pm

                                    You may also want to use some moderate flicker reduction for the sake of those with interlaced displays. Keep it low enough that it is still fairly sharp, but high enough so that the flicker is not terribly distracting. This type of filtering is also common for film titles.
                                    • 15. Re: Flicker removal
                                      Harm Millaard Level 7
                                      Dan,

                                      1080 is impossible. The DVD spec allows 480 NTSC or 576 PAL, but not 1080. And 1080P/25 is not even in the BR specs.
                                      • 16. Re: Flicker removal
                                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                                        I think it was the player that was doing the 1080p, Harm, not the disk. There have been several "upscaling" DVD players come out this past year. It's Toshiba's idea of payback for losing the Hi-Def war to Blu-ray. ("Why spend more money on a Blu-ray player and disks when you can get 1080p from our players and use regular DVDs" is the Toshiba mindset.)
                                        • 17. Re: Flicker removal
                                          Dan Isaacs Level 2
                                          > I think it was the player that was doing the 1080p

                                          Correct. (at least that's what I assumed Robin meant)
                                          • 18. Re: Flicker removal
                                            Level 1
                                            > I think it was the player that was doing the 1080p

                                            Yes, Jim and Dan, my 'new' player was set to (upscale) to 1080p (more correctly 1920 x 1080p). In fact most players I looked at 7 months ago could upscale.

                                            > That is impossible, since it is out-of-spec

                                            Sorry, Harm, for being a bit sharp in my response to this, I didn't realise you were referring to the 1080p.

                                            Dan: thanks for your comments. I can now accept that when exporting from Premiere CS3, Field order = none results in Progressive! I also gather from you that, just like my player, modern progressive players will also handle a progressive file OK.

                                            > Yes, by the player or the display perhaps.

                                            Dan: it must have been my 'old' player that converted prog to interlaced since I used its composite output (interlaced only?).

                                            I tried your suggestion of first exporting to AVI with Field = 'No fields (prog scan)' and then, back in Premiere (same project since already a DV PAL project) and on the Timeline it had flicker!? To reduce it I had to use Anti-flicker = max (still did not remove the flicker).

                                            I was hoping to use your double-take method as a means of playing safe. But, I must have missed something because it didn't work for me.

                                            In any case, my far-quicker method, works for me (no flicker at all), even though it possibly ducks through a hole in the DVD Spec.
                                            I am also assuming such a DVD (with prog content) would play well in other modern progressive players!

                                            Thanks chaps
                                            • 19. Re: Flicker removal
                                              Level 1
                                              One more comment Dan: Premiere CS3 seems to do a rotten job in handling Stills on its Timeline when moving (pan and zoom), even if rendered. Unless of course the Anti-flicker filter is used (I need max). Without the filter, exporting to AVI simply retained the flicker that was evident when playing the rendered Timeline. So, how was your AVI to MPEG2 method able to avoid flicker? Or was it just the means to strictly satisfy the DVD Specs?
                                              • 20. Re: Flicker removal
                                                Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                >since I used its composite output (interlaced only?).

                                                Correct. Composite and S-Video will be interlaced only, even on progressive players.

                                                Progressive output needs at least a component connection.
                                                • 21. Re: Flicker removal
                                                  Level 1
                                                  I'm using Premier Pro CS3. I have tried video effects (Auto Contrast, Auto Colour and Auto Level).
                                                  On the final output on the DVD, that particular clip where i have used Auto contrast, the picture is flickering very heavily and you cannot see the change i have made with Auto Contrast, but when i play the DVD on fast forward (x2) it doesn't seem to flicker, and also you can see the effect of Auto Contrast. If you could please figure out a solution for this i would be very grateful.
                                                  Thank You
                                                  Mr Mukesh Patel
                                                  • 22. Re: Flicker removal
                                                    Harm Millaard Level 7
                                                    All these AUTO corrections will AUTOmatically destroy your image to non-watchable. Avoid them like the plague.
                                                    • 23. Re: Flicker removal
                                                      Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                      Harm's right. Do the work manually.