5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 18, 2010 7:16 PM by the_wine_snob

    Removing camera flash from video

    Steve C2 Level 2

      Is there a way to remove camera flash from video clips within PE8?  If not natively, is there a plugin that can do this?

       

      Thanks,

      Steve

        • 1. Re: Removing camera flash from video
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Steve,

           

          The only way to remove the flash is to physically cut it out of the footage. This can be pretty easy, if the Audio is not required. Because of the brief duration of an electronic flash, you are only talking about 2 - 3 frames, that have to be removed.

           

          Another way of dealing with this is to just leave the flash included, and then add a SFX Audio Clip of a camera shutter. I have a couple dozen of these, for different camera types. For "period" pieces, I even have SFX Clips of old Crown Graphics w/ the "pop" of a flashbulb - way back before there ever was an electronic flash. This indicates that a still photograph was taken during the videography, so it's really part of the scene. Since I edit in DD 5.1 SS and Export that Audio with a special encoder in PrPro, I position the SFX Clip's Audio in the "stage," to simulate the location of the camera, say coming from the far right and behind the video camera, if the effect of the flash is seen on the left-side of the subjects' faces.

           

          Because the brightness of the flash has "blown out" the image on the film, there is not usually enough detail to show - it's burned up. If the flash is not that bright, one could go in and alter the image via the Effect>Levels, but because there will be a Frame-by-Frame difference in this extreme overexposure, it will be Frame-by-Frame adjustment and the quality and Contrast of the resultant Frames will likely show - the Contrast will be muddy/gray and though one can adjust it to a degree, will still show up as a change.

           

          Good luck, and hope that you can make one of those methods work well for you. Unfortunately, there is no magic-bullet.

           

          Hunt

          • 2. Re: Removing camera flash from video
            Steve C2 Level 2

            Hi Hunt,

             

            Thank you for your help.  I'm sorry for the delay in getting back - I became distracted by a pc problem, but I think you are already aware of this.

             

            The things you say about overexposed areas becoming grayed-out makes sense.  It happens to digital still images that are badly overexposed.

            Since audio is involved, I think I will just leave the flash alone in the video.

             

            But, your answer prompts more questions...

            1) why do you go from Premiere Pro to Premiere Elements?

            2) How do you synch the audio and video  (I'm guessing that you record off-camera).  I synch it by eye and ear and it can be tedious.  I don't have time code synchronized equipment.

            3) I don't know much about DD 5.1 SS and this is just from the point of curiosity at present, can it be a problem keeping long clips in sync?

             

            Steve

            • 3. Re: Removing camera flash from video
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Here are the best answers that I can offer:

               

              1) why do you go from Premiere Pro to Premiere Elements?

               

              Actually, about 90% of my work is in PrPro. The rest is in AfterEffects, PrE and other NLE programs. Basically, I use those, including PrE, when they do something better than PrPro. PrE will accept a broader range of formats/CODEC's, than will PrPro, so I use it to Import those odd Assets, and get them ready for PrPro. Same with CyberLink's PowerDirector, and Magix MovieEdit Pro.

               

              2) How do you synch the audio and video  (I'm guessing that you record off-camera).  I synch it by eye and ear and it can be tedious.  I don't have time code synchronized equipment

               

              Most of my shooting is actually done with camera audio capture, though usually through either a shotgun, or wireless mics, attached to and recording to the camera's tape. When I do separate audio & video capture, I slate, so that I have the visual and audio sync. When I am faced with having to do manual sync, I will look for the visual and then the accompanying audio, and just nudge and listen. This ARTICLE will give you some of the mechanics of the process.

               

              3) I don't know much about DD 5.1 SS and this is just from the point of curiosity at present, can it be a problem keeping long clips in sync?

               

              I do not record to DD 5.1 SS, as that is a very expensive and technically challenging process. It takes six well-designed and well-placed mics, a multi-channel recorder and a mixing panel, run by a skilled tech. My DD 5.1 SS Audio is with regard to the music for my Projects. Some of it is recorded as 6 discrete channels and then mixed, while some is faux 5.1 and is "created" from 2-channel source material.

               

              Much of the work from Hollywood is actually faux 5.1, in that the source material is seldom recorded in 5.1. Most is stereo and mono, and is blended from myriad sources. These can be SFX, dialog, ambient audio. Most of those are mono TO separate them out from any other audio sources. Narration is a good example. Few audio techs, would consider using a stereo mic for narration and would choose a very directional mono mic, so as to better reject other audio signals.

               

              Now, I can take a mono SFX file and pan/fade (not in the terms of a "fade" Transition, but front to rear location) it across/around the sound stage. I can place that bumblebee anywhere that I want, when I want it with 5.1 SS Audio. I'd almost always work with mono sources, so that I have the pure signal with no clues as to the source location - I set those in mixing.

               

              I must add that with regard to mixing of music, there are constraints on doing faux 5.1. If the material was not recorded on multiple tracks to begin with, the RIAA, and other organizations, greatly frowns on creating a 5.1 "master." That came after the failed quadrophonics experiments from the '70s/'80s. With Hollywood's music, the recording IS done multi-track in the studio/symphony hall, so it IS multi-track and just gets mixed down to 5.1 Audio. This will be about the only time that the audio is done multi-channel in recording, as few environments lend themselves to doing 5.1 during the initial recording. There are exceptions, like live concerts, but that is almost a genre unto itself.

               

              Sync, in and of itself, is not difficult to maintain, but so much depends on the recording equipment. Many, using separate cameras and recorders, often find that there is sync drift, and need to establish the % of "cure." In the old cine days, we hooked our camera to the Nagra recorder, and chose which unit's crystal clock would establish sync. Then, we had a cable between the two. Nowadays with digital, it seems a bit more difficult. There are several recent threads in the PrPro forum about the sync drift between pro-level cameras and recorders. One user has found that altering his recorder's output by 104% fixes the OOS issues. Others need to test critically. The sync clocks in different equipment just does not match up perfectly, and there is usually no universal crystal clock that overrides the internal ones - like in the "good old days."

               

              Hope that this helps. If I missed something, please let me know,

               

              Hunt

              • 4. Re: Removing camera flash from video
                Steve C2 Level 2

                Hi Hunt,

                 

                Thanks again.

                 

                Regards,

                Steve

                • 5. Re: Removing camera flash from video
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  Steve,

                   

                  Happy Editing

                   

                  Hunt