Lightroom/Camera Raw: Flickering and raw time-lapse/image sequence video

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Camera Raw creates flickering video when processing DNG sequences (RAW video from Magic Lantern). Because of the way Camera Raw works, using any of the exposure sliders can create wildly varying results from frame to frame when developing DNG sequences from Magic Lantern RAW video (5D Mark II and III), even when you synchronize settings. I realize CR dynamically sets white and black points for each frame, and when the content shifts, so does the exposure. But we would all like to render our DNGs in Camera Raw / Lightroom. I would like you to consider making it possible for us to develop sequenced DNGs in Camera Raw so we can do our beautiful RAW videos without terrible flickering.
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Mathias Vejerslev

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Posted 6 years ago

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Mathias Vejerslev

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Camera Raw 7 process 2012 here, but confirmed in other process versions as well.
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Shaun Winters

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I was considering not letting this secret out, but heck... plainly people are having headaches over this, and I hate having headaches when it comes to doing things I love. Photoshop will open video... and Photoshop CC has the new Camera Raw Filter, unlike CS6... if you open your video in PS CC and convert the video layer to a smart object, you can then apply the Camera Raw Filter and grade to your heart's content... you can even scrub the timeline to see how the grade looks over the whole clip... and chop your footage into subclips (which will split into layers) and grade those with different Camera Raw Filter settings.

The only caveat: I haven't messed with Magic Lantern's RAW video yet, and I'm not familiar with raw video formats, so I don't know if Photoshop will load it natively... but you should be able to load it as a frame sequence
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Mathias Vejerslev

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Right. What we get from ML is typically a DNG sequence. Now the shots are all with identical camera settings, but applying Camera Raw to this sequence often results in flickering due to the changing contents of the video (black, white points). I don't see how your idea could resolve this matter, unless ofcourse the cc version of Camera Raw has improved in this specific area. I'd love to get a dev opinion on this. Are there any devs in here? (long time beta tester here).
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Shaun Winters

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//Right. What we get from ML is typically a DNG sequence.//
K, I wasn't aware of this... I thought it was some sort of single file.... hence my disclaimer at the end. If it was a single video file that Photoshop could load, the Camera Raw Filter on a video turned into a smart object could grade it without changes in exposure.
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Mathias Vejerslev

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Export to CinemaDNG is a new possibility. So instead of a sequence you get one file. But I dont think Photoshop can open CinemaDNG.
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Alexander Chu

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At what point do you do this export? Are you using Premiere CC? I covert the dng video files into tiff or jpgs then I edit in PCC and export the video as h.264 format. But I still get flickering throughout the entire video. Here's my video to help you visualize my problem. TIF 4k Footage from Magic Lantern: http://youtu.be/37Em8DqObD0
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Mathias Vejerslev

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Hi Alexander, I do as you do (although I convert to .DNG and then again to JPG, then to h.264). To a pro grader or editor this would be a clunky and heavy workflow though. It is possible to convert the .mlv to cinemaDNG with certain converter tools (see ML forums), or even to import the .mlv directly into Premiere CC via a plugin. I haven't really tried either of these options or workflows as it would be radically different from my own preference (prime grading in CR).
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Alexander Chu

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How do you explain the flickering though? Why won't it go away?
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Shaun Winters

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K, so I just downloaded some sample RAW footage from Magic Lantern on a 5DMKII ... in After Effects CC, you can FILE -> IMPORT -> MULTIPLE FILES .... select "Camera Raw Sequence" and you can then set the grade on the first frame and it will apply that grade to the entire sequence and generate a clip from it... no wonky auto-exposure issues. You can then export as whichever formats AE will allow. I can't find a similar option in Premiere, so I'm guessing AE is your best bet.
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Alexander Chu

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Will this fix the flicker in this video of mine? TIF 4k Footage from Magic Lantern: http://youtu.be/37Em8DqObD0
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Alexander Chu

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Works perfectly now.

Results from shooting raw with my 5Dmkii

1. Extras time spent coverting formats of the raws
2. Extra money needed to buy more memory (in form of external TB hard drives & compact flash cards)
3. Extra time spent exporting these tremendously large files
4. Extra time spent smoking while waiting for exports
5. Extra glossy HDR quality in the end

Conclusion:
If you are too bill a client for this work and quality, charge more. I will now offer then the option of HDR raw 4k quality. At the expense of all these extras, I will most likely charge them hundreds if not easily a thousand more for this labor.
(Edited)
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Viktor Devjatov

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Ok guys. Tried Photoshop smart object metod - flickers, After Effects method - flickers.
You were probably just lucky to test it with a files where black or white point doesn't changes through the sequence ;)
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Derlis Medina Rojas

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me siento frustrado, tengo una canon 7D y Magic Lantern instalado, y cuando grabo videos raw, todos mi videos tienen este terrible flicker!!, cuando edito en premiere o after effects, pero porque en el display de la camara se ve sin problemas de flicker?, esto pasa solo al editarlo!!
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Derlis Medina Rojas

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Help please!
I am frustrated, I have a canon 7D and Magic Lantern installed, and when I record raw videos, all my videos have this terrible flickering !! when I edit in premiere or after effects, But why in the display of the camera dont have a flicker ?, this happens only when editing !!
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Mr KAS

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Download free DaVinci Resolve....herehttps://www.blackmagicdesign.com/prod... ...then your raw files can be 10, 12, or even 16 bit rendered to DPX type files....then open in AE or AP.....flicker is then eliminated!
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Alexander Chu

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Why would Davinci remove the flickering?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Here's a workaround/trick while processing image sequences with the Camera Raw engine (from Eric Chan):

It depends on which controls the users use. If they use controls that depend on image content, then flickering can happen. So the trick is to limit oneself to using controls that have (mostly) static behavior in PV 2003/2010, namely:

Exposure
Brightness
Blacks
Brightness
Contrast
Vibrance
Saturation
Parametric/Point Curve
HSL / Convert to Gray (do NOT use "Auto" mode for Convert to Gray)
Split Toning
Manual Lens Corrections
Grain
Post Crop Vignette
Color Profile
Camera Calibration Sliders

In particular, avoid the following:

Fill Light
Clarity Effect
Dehaze (PV 2012 only)
'Recovery' will be borderline.
(Edited)
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Alexander Chu

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This response did not help edit camera raw video footage. The flicker issue is very specific.
(Edited)
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Mathias Vejerslev

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Hi Jeffrey, nice to see you here and thank you for your response.The community has picked up on the 'no clarity / fill light' trick. But I'd ofcourse still love to be able to use these as they are core to what makes CR my raw editor of choice. I realise it was never intended for this purpose.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Yup. There's a possibility we can figure out a way to make it work for all adjustments but that's the current state.
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Rod Edwards

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Is there any update on this luma problem in ACR and Lightroom yet ?
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Ilya Terentyev

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This is very frustrating behaviourĀ of ACR engine. Please give us the ability to disable automatic dontent dependable adjustments.
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matthiasbasler

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If the flickering is not too heavy you might try specific deflickering software, such as "GBDeflicker" fromĀ  GraniteBay. It is available as Adobe Premiere Pro/Aftereffects Plugin as well. However I haven't yet worked specifically with the plugins myself.
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Henri Luoma

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So this is still a problem. I love to use highlights, dehaze and clarity but it creates awful flickering with the Cinema DNG. Hopefully we could one day turn off the image adaptive setting.

I use LRTimelapse but the flicker is local so there's no help for it but to reduce the use of image adaptive settings like highlights, dehaze and clarity.

It mostly ruins the dark areas here and it's even worse with the dark scenes like milkyway and sunset timelapses https://vimeo.com/345455481/25e14fd363