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Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?

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Mike Sweet
Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Oct 28, 2010 at 4:38:20 pm

Can anyone suggest the best post repair tool available (for Final Cut Studio or Avid) to repair dark and light spots caused by dust on the lens? I have heard good reports of 'CHV Repair Tools' but is there something better? The spots were caused by dust on the lens on an EX3 shooting HD 1080i - in two constant places on the frame. The spots are most obvious when the iris was around f16, and can be seen often in both still and moving frames.

Thanks.



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Gareth Randall
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Oct 30, 2010 at 8:03:05 am

I can't recommend anything else because I've only just heard of CHV Repair Tools, but just out of interest, have you tried creating a matte for the dust spots and then using that matte to key an offset/blurred copy of the same footage back over the top? That's pretty much exactly what something like Repair Tools does, but all the functionality you need is already built into Motion.



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Mike Sweet
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Oct 30, 2010 at 9:42:51 am

Many thanks. Is that using Motion? I haven't tried any of the possible fixes yet.



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Gareth Randall
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Oct 30, 2010 at 9:59:40 am

You'll do it most easily and with the maximum control and finesse in Motion, but AFAIK you could also achieve it completely within FCP.

Looking at the CHV Repair Tools website, I don't see anything it's doing for dust/dirt repair that you can't already do using the tools built into FCS. Once you understand the basic principle - create a matte that isolates the dirt spots and then use that to key the original image back onto itself, offset in X and/or Y just enough so that the dirt spots are being covered by clean, immediately-adjacent sections - it's just a matter of experimenting with different offsets, blurs, feathers etc to get the best-looking result.


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Colin McQuillan
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Oct 31, 2010 at 7:47:47 pm

Is the footage behind the dust-spot still OK looking aside from the brightness/colour levels?
If so try this: (I did this with excellent results to repair light spill/lens flare on priority footage I had no choice but to use)

1. Duplicate the footage
2. on the upper layer draw a mask around the dust spot
3. add a colour correction filter and a contrast/or gamma filter.
4. adjust the colour and gamma/contrast until the dust spot looks the the footage outside of the mask area. (the footage is probably slightly washed of contrast and colour saturation from the dust spot)
5. feather out the mask so it blends into the rest of the frame.
6. Duplicate the upper layer and redraw its mask around the next dust spot and adjust the colour/contrast correction to work with that spot.

If the footage is optically distorted from the spots then use a combination of the masking steps above and cloning in/blurring the surrounding pixels.

Colin McQuillan
Vancouver, B.C.


"Live, love, laugh and be happy."


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Mike Sweet
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Nov 1, 2010 at 7:24:20 am

Many thanks Colin. Do you recommend doing this in Motion? (Rather than in Final Cut?) The hexagonal spots appear appreciably lighter or darker depending on what is behind them, and I would guess that most of the colour data behind the spots is probably unavailable.

Here's one of the frames, with the two main spots highlighted





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Colin McQuillan
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Nov 1, 2010 at 9:09:47 pm

I would definitely be doing this in Motion (or After Effect, either will work)

Those are some sizeable chunks! Time to start bringing a lens brush and micro-fibre cloth out on location!!

do you see any picture detail through the chunks?
From this picture it looks to me like any picture detail behind the chunk is lost.. If so cloning-in the surrounding pixels might be the way to go... This band-aid method is most noticeable on moving shots but definitely better than those lens-chunkies.

Colin McQuillan
Vancouver, B.C.


"Live, love, laugh and be happy."


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Gareth Randall
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Nov 2, 2010 at 6:28:46 am

[Colin McQuillan] "do you see any picture detail through the chunks?"

By the looks of things there's no picture detail there anyway - they're just areas of (generally) flat colour, which ought to make them fairly easy to fix. I'd just use two blobs of paint in Motion to create the mask, and then use that mask to key the image back onto itself, offset in either X or Y so that the chunks are covered by immediately-adjacent picture information.

It would obviously be nice if Motion had a clone tool, but hey ho... maybe in Motion 5? ;)


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Mike Sweet
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Nov 2, 2010 at 6:35:10 am

Many thanks. Not knowing Motion perhaps I need to find an appropriate post facility to handle this (?), or is it easy enough to pick up? (I'm reasonably proficient in Final Cut and Photoshop.)



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Gareth Randall
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Nov 2, 2010 at 10:54:54 am

You could do it in FCP. Just use a couple of shapes shrunk down to cover the dirt as your mask.



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Bill Zude
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Dec 15, 2010 at 8:56:30 pm

Hi Gareth,
I just read this thread because I'm looking for a solution to remove camera sensor dust specs on video footage from HDDSLR cameras. I see you may have some experience with this and had some success using Motion to clean them up so I'm requesting more details from you if you would be so kind.
I'm working with the video clips in FCS 2 transcoded to ProRes 422. So I have Motion 3 to work with these clips. In your experience, can Motion 3 be used to remove sensor dust specs? And can Motion work with ProRes 422 material?
Thank you or anyone else who cares to respond for any help.

Bill Zude


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tom franz
Re: Lens dust removal in Avid/FCS post. Motion/CHV Repair Tools?
on Aug 13, 2012 at 8:02:30 pm

I have just come across a similar problem on a time lapse sequence using images....

the solution i have thought of is too -
remove the dirt using the heal brush tool in photoshop.
save this as an action and batch process all the images....
i reckon it should do the job as the dirt is in the same place on the lens

you could do the same by exporting your video as single frames.

does any one have any suggestions on this technique?

has any one got any other solutions that doesn't involve buying plugins?


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