13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 12, 2010 7:37 AM by the_wine_snob

    CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night

    Level 4



      I have a video clip, 720x480i dv ntsc 29.97.. of some people eating dinner at night outside on a porch/veranda...


      It's lit by what looks like a single source ( floodlight maybe ..out of frame )...and the light flickers.


      It looks like what you might get shooting film with HMI sine wave instead of square wave ballast....


      Orrrr...looks like what an incandescent light would be like if the cycle per sec of the power was about 40-45....


      The country is Zimbabwe...and I saw in other shots power cables going to the building...so I doubt it's a generator but don't know.



      Anyway, I know this is crazy but is there any way to make the flicker less noticeable when dealing with low cycle per second incandescent type problem like this looks like ??  It's the only shot I have of  " dinner" at this location....  GRRRRR...



        • 1. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
          Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Nope, only way to avoid this is adjusting the shutterspeed while filming.

          • 2. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
            Fred Mann Level 1

            A flicker is sometimes produced, if you have  used an effect like Highlites&Shadows on Auto.


            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
              Level 4

              Hi Ann, Fred...good morning !


              I guess I was hoping someone had tried to mitigate this dumb flicker with some extreme trickery...so in a nutshell I think you're right Ann.


              Fred, thanks, I read a thread here about that filter trouble (auto setting). This is a different animal.


              This is nuts, but I'm gonna try it now....if it works I'll post any success...

              You know how in photoshop for print you sometimes limit black output and white ??  In levels that would be the second (lower) slide bar you see (output)...this is because of " dot gain " in the case of black --- and white can be made so it's not pure white too...


              So, if I adjust the white output so it matches the lowest light level of the highlight that flickers...in effect filtering out that highlight's brightest level...and then add another "adjustment" for contrast etc...I might be able to make it look less horrible...  doubtful I know, but I thought of it in my sleep and will give it the Ol college try.



              • 4. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                Level 4



                Results ....( note: in emergency it would be worth playing with this some more..the settings for each effect / filter to get better results )


                added levels and made white and black output for r,g.and b channels 10 and 245  (basically made it flatter )

                made copy

                put copy above original clip

                added slight blur, increased brightness / contrast, added unsharp mask ( sorta fishing here..as it might just be negating blur )

                made opacity about 35-40%



                large open areas of frame ---still noticeable flicker

                busy areas of frame -- hard to see any flicker


                BUT more blurry than original and more contrasty....  can play with settings and probably make it better


                drawbacks: took a very long time to render just 6 seconds

                rendered original looks better than when played back in CS3...flicker not as bad exported as in playback


                soooo, I trashed the whole idea of trying to get rid of flicker ...as it's not as bad exported as I thought it would be and the stuff to make it slightly better makes it slightly blurry and isn't worth it in this case...





                • 5. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  My guess is that it IS a generator, or just poor power in the mains.


                  What I would do is show  an image of a candle, in a cut-away, and add some warmth to the footage. Remember the "gotta' see the cat... " comment from a few weeks ago?


                  You will go totally crazy trying to Keyframe Levels, or similar, and never get it looking much better, if at all.


                  Good luck,



                  • 6. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                    Level 4



                    Good idea !  hehe...you sure do come up with cool ideas pretty quick....I

                    would do a light behind a ceiling fan though....looks more like that...

                    But really, it doesn't look TOOOOO terrible once it's exported....  and I

                    could scrap the shot and use a dinner scene from the 2nd country they go to

                    (interior...could be anywhere...)...


                    But guess what ?  This will crack you up....as it is the absolute HEIGHT of

                    STUPIDITY on my part....no matter what I do from now on , the rest of my

                    life, I can only exhibit more SMARTNESS....that's how far north I've gone

                    with STUPIDITY...


                    My latest timeline, outline, storyboard, whatever you want to call it...in

                    order to have a coherent story for this hunting trip....was to have mainly

                    the first part concentrating on the hunt for cape baffalo....  in the end

                    the ol herd gets spooked before he can close in and get a shot... (open

                    sights on this trip - all tracking and sneaking up on sort of stuff ).

                    THEN (after the minor disappointment of NOT getting the ol buffalo, we end

                    on a HIGH NOTE....going for the big ol elephant !  And we GET the elephant !

                    Success !  Everyone eats elephant in the local village for a week and

                    everyone is happy !


                    Sooooo, I got about 25 min into this thing, thinking it's going to be about

                    an hour or 1.3 hours altogether....and I've finished the buffalo part....


                    Guess what screwed up the whole thing ????  Which, yours truly didn't even

                    notice till now, due to being STUPID beyond measure ?!


                    Yep....wardrobe continuity.   GAWD !!!!!!!!!!  Everything is now totally and

                    amazingly TOTALLY MESSED UP....


                    I am going to sulk in the corner by the plastic plant with the dunce hat

                    on.....see you later



                    • 7. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Ceiling fan, or maybe a light behind palm fronds in the wind?


                      Good luck,



                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Ah, continuity. That's why the young lady with the Polaroid camera and the big notepad, holds the actors in the scene, after "Cut!" Guess that she was in the bar having tall cool drinks, or something...


                        Though continuity, or lack thereof, has bitten me on many occasions, I still love picking out these breaks, whether wardrobe, interior decorations, lights on/off, whatever. Love when the bad buy is driving a new Maybach, but when it goes over the cliff, it is a '73 Ford, with no engine!


                        My comments drive my poor wife crazy. She hates to watch a movie with me, especially if there are guns and gun-handling involved, or photo gear, or wines.


                        Good luck,



                        • 9. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                          Level 4



                          Hmmm....  another good idea....but the flickering is really very

                          regular...like out of sync power cycle /sec with wrong shutter speed....

                          boy, if that camera dude was here, .....why, I oughtta...


                          Thanks for good ideas...at the moment that just took the back burner due to

                          wardrobe continuity DISASTER.


                          Which I just solved because CS3 is the coolest program in the whole world

                          ( it has it's moments doesnt it ? ).  I marked with sequence markers the

                          clips that had walking and walking and walking with the wrong shirt

                          on....and put them all on another layer of video....Then I basically ripple

                          deleted or moved the remaining clips back together, moved all the raised

                          clips together, moved to end of timeline where the new day starts with new

                          wardrobe, and dropped the stuff in there....


                          You might well ask, "What about your pacing, your timing ???"  and I would

                          have to say, "What pacing, what timing ??"





                          • 10. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                            Level 4



                            Ugh, what a day !  Just "watched" the first 25 min in real time to see how

                            the pace is...with "wardrobe corrections"...

                            It has been rescued...but if it wasn't for using CS3 ( NLE) , I woulda died



                            Live and learn. Spoke to Josh. He's going back to Africa someday to get more

                            video and THIS TIME he's gonna wear the same darn style shirts / pants EVERY

                            DAY... as will the professional hunter ....courtesy of Josh's credit card.


                            I still have a lot of work to do but I'm sorta happy with what I got so

                            far...there's a LOT of stuff on the floor now...junk...and all I have to do

                            is get the elephant while wearing a plaid brown shirt.....and match that

                            with 5 hours of stuff where you never see a plaid brown shirt....




                            • 11. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              Yes, a great white hunter needs to wear the same ensemble, for every day of the safari. Think a khaki jacket, with the same leather patches for the butt of the 458. Same sweat-stained outback hat, and trousers - every day! That allows the the continuity girl to spend more time in the bar.


                              Good luck,



                              • 12. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                                Level 4



                                Well, there has been some jealousy expressed among other crew members as to

                                the script girl spending too much time in the bar (while said crew sweats it

                                out in the bush ) - so she has been enlisted by the prop / sfx guys to pull

                                the rope attached to the stuffed buffalo on track , when "action" is



                                The trick ( with the ensemble ) is to make the 21 day safari look like it

                                all takes place in about 8 hours on the same day !


                                Although the shooting title is " Buffalo Day ", any suggestions for a

                                release title are welcome !



                                • 13. Re: CS3 - lights flicker- ext/night
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9
                                  stuffed buffalo


                                  Some years ago, my partner did a major catalog shoot for a scope/accessory mfgr. and used three stuffed elk in the "wilds." He also had those stuffed elk carted all over Colorado and Utah, and shot them in all sorts of terrain. This was before digital, so the composites were analog in the lab, but got some wonderful material, and was able to use those images for several years. As he'd fronted that part of the job, he ended up with thousands of sheets, that could be used for all sorts of images w/ elk in them. As these were all stills, there was no track, and no rope, but carting stuffed elk through some rough terrain did prove a logistical nightmare.