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Burning Question: How Do I Remove Flicker from my Footage?

burning question: removing flicker

Flicker, brightness fluctuation, and strobing is a really annoying problem in video. It occurs when the frequency of the lights and your camera’s shutter speed don’t jive. You might get strobing or rolling bands when shooting under fluorescent lights. You’ll also get strobing bands when filming a video or computer screen. If you’ve done any film restoration, you’ll see flicker there as well. In addition, it can rear it’s ugly head when shooting time-lapse footage.

Speaking of film restoration, I recently saw Peter Jackson’s documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, where his team took old footage from World War 1 and fixed it and colorized it. The footage was shot during the war in Belgium and followed British soldiers into trenches and the battlefield. This footage is over 100 years old and the documentary was incredibly interesting. If you haven’t heard of the film, here is the trailer.

The film was about 90 minutes but after the film, they had a 30 minute documentary on how they made the film and fixed the footage, which to me, was even more interesting than the film itself. In the second documentary, they explain how the footage was hand cranked so the shutter speeds varied. They certainly had to do a lot of flicker removal. Here’s a short interview with Peter Jackson about the film.

So how can you remove flicker from your footage?

Digital Anarchy Flicker FreeDigital Anarchy Flicker Free

Now I don’t think that they used Flicker Free on the film They Shall Never Grow Old, but who knows, they may have. They certainly removed the flicker somehow!

Deflicker Time Lapse, Slow Motion, and Old Video

Flicker Free is a powerful, new way to deflicker video. It fixes flicker that’s common in video footage and can be caused by many things, be it from lights and cameras being out of sync, time-lapse or slow motion video. It’s easy to use and works with many video editing applications, like AE, Premiere Pro, FCP, Avid, Resolve or Vegas.

Flicker Free works in many hosts including:

  • Adobe After Effects CS3-CS6, CC+
  • Adobe Premiere Pro CS4-CS6, CC+
  • Final Cut Pro 6, 7, X
  • Avid Media Composer 6.5+
  • Assimilate Scratch
  • Resolve
  • NUKE
  • other OpenFX host apps.*

Learn More

Fix Flickering Video: How to Remove Flickering and Strobing in Videos

Justin Brown explains how to fix strobing and flickering with Flicker Free.

Fixing Flickering Rolling Bands Caused by Camera and Light Sync Problems

Jim from Digital Anarchy shows you how to fix it with his tool, Flicker Free.

Boris Continuum BCC Flicker Fixer Boris Continuum BCC Flicker Fixer

Apply Digital Makeup, Remove Flicker, Reduce Noise, and Fix Pixels

Imperfect footage happens. Instantly fix flickering footage, reduce noise, and remove damaged pixels. Apply digital makeup and more. Includes 12 filters & 75+ presets. Cross-host license.

Learn More

To download a trial version, click on the product page.

BCC Flicker Fixer is also found in the Boris Continuum – Perpetual License and Boris Continuum – Annual Subscription


Repair Video with BCC Flicker Fixer

In this video, Kevin McAuliffe explains how to remove flicker with BCC Flicker Fixer.

Quick Tips: Fixing Flicker with BCC inside Media Composer

Video editor Nathan Ryan explains a few different methods, tips, and tricks for quickly fixing flickering footage with Continuum Complete in Avid Media Composer.

RE:Vision Effects DE:FlickerRE:Vision Effects DE:Flicker

Your solution for problematic high frame rate and time-lapse footage!
DE:Flicker is designed to smooth out those annoying flicker and artifacts when shooting high frame rate or time-lapse video. This plug-in is unique because it not only fixes flicker from artificial light sources but also fixes flicker on multiple objects, even when those objects flicker at different rates. In addition, it minimizes problems when shooting directly at light sources, causing them to “breathe” and change size when shot at higher frame rates.

Learn More

To download a trial version, click on the product page.

Intro to DEFlicker High Speed

Granite Bay Software GBDeflickerGranite Bay Software GBDeflicker

Adobe After Effects plug-in to remove time-lapse flicker

Flickering is a common problem in time-lapse or stop-motion footage that was captured using a digital still camera. Frame by frame variations in lighting or in exposure lead to perceptible brightness fluctuation or flicker. GBDeflicker is available as an Adobe® compatible plug-in or Windows Application for removing time-lapse flicker. GBDeflicker solves the problem and removes flickering from any video source.

Learn More

To download a trial version, click on the product page.

GBDeflicker – Two Layer Demo

Featured image credit: Eric Michael@ericmichael

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