They make it easy to get the right settings very quickly, without reading a huge manual. Plugins should just work. There are several presets for different types of video footage. These are settings we've found to work well in our tests and often work as is to fix flicker. If not, usually they just require minor tweaking.
Video plugins should make your life easier. The software should be doing the hard work behind the scenes so you can get work done quickly without watching hours of training videos. Flicker Free is not a plugin you need to use all the time, but when you do have flicker on video footage there's no need to re-learn it every time you use it.
Flicker Free doesn't require any 'pre-analysis' to work. Just apply it to your footage, render a couple seconds as a test and you're ready to render your entire project.
No matter what’s causing the flicker, Flicker Free can fix it. It was designed for Time Lapse videography, but works on slow motion footage, rolling bands caused by the camera being out of sync with LED or fluorescent lights, drone footage and more.
A time lapse video requires taking a photo at intervals (1 sec., 1 min., etc) and combining them to make the video. This can result in beautiful videos, but the exposure tends to change between frames. When played back this shows up as flicker.
Flicker Free was designed to deal with Time Lapse flicker and works beautifully on it. If you, like us, are a connoisseur of shooting Time Lapse we suggest taking a look at just how powerful Flicker can be creating these types of videos. And take a look at this video series on creating time lapse!
Many lights will cause flicker in slow motion footage. Normal lights running on AC can fluctuate in brightness as the electricity fluctuates (the 'alternating' in AC). These fluctuations in brightness can affect your footage if the camera is shooting 120fps or faster. The higher the frame rate of the footage the more apparent it is. This can happen regardless of whether you're shooing with a Phantom Flex, Sony FS700, GoPro or iPhone 6 (shoots 240fps).
Flicker Free will smooth out the fluctuations and make the brightness consistent throughout the video clip. Take a look at how Flicker Free makes this possible. Since slow motion often requires a lot of light, this makes it possible to use inexpensive lights. Even Home Depot shop lights!
LEDs are one of the more common flicker problems we've seen. Cheap LEDs or ones that have been dimmed can cause severe strobing or rolling bands. Many places have switched to LED lights but it's not obvious to production people when shooting. You don't discover they're LED lights until you get the footage into post and see all the flickering. Luckily Flicker Free is there to help! It saved some of the shots on this music video by the Bloody Beetroots and Tommy Lee. Check out our examples here for a glimpse at what Flicker Free can do.
If you're restoring older footage, flicker comes from a few sources. 1) The film may have degraded over time, 2) The camera was hand cranked making it difficult to maintain a consistent exposure over the course of the shot, and 3) older lights were more prone to flickering.
Most of these problems are easy for Flicker Free to fix. Your footage may look better than it looked when it was originally shot!
Drone footage can have flicker caused by a couple problems. Shadows from the propellers can get cast on the lens causing flickering bands. Secondly, you can get compression artifacts in areas with a lot of detail (e.g. a grass field), which creates a very regular (e.g. every 8 frames) shift in pixels which causes flicker. Unfortunately, these can make otherwise beautiful birds-eye-view shots of expansive landscapes unusable.
Luckily, Flicker Free can be used to lessen or eliminate prop flicker or the GOP compression problems to make your aerial footage fit for client delivery or personal use. Using a two pass method our plugin is able to get excellent results and gets you out of having to commit to reshoots!