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How best to eliminate strobing effect on post production pans across high resolution landscape stills

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Jimmy See
How best to eliminate strobing effect on post production pans across high resolution landscape stills
on Feb 15, 2019 at 8:17:14 am

I'm about to start a role on an existing project that will feature a lot of high resolution scans of long, wide, etched stills. The offline edit has post moves on these stills that are basic slow pans left to right but there is very evident nasty strobing on the temp offline moves which I'll be expected to fix.

While I have ideas in mind, I'm also aware from past experience that the problem is often quite pernicious and not always easily alleviated with the techniques I know of.

To mind, the way forward I'm planning is:

  • Motion blur, to varying degrees

  • Fiddling with the speed of the pan

  • combining the above 2 techniques until you get the best compromise.


  • While I'm confident that approach will at least partly work, if not completely, I've been frustrated in the past with how hard it is to predict the effectiveness of this approach. From experience, seemingly similar situations where the same above techniques are applied will sometimes work magic and other times have basically no effect at all. This worries me because I have to keep budget in mind for how long I spend on this problem in addition to many other things I will have to do and it seems there isn't much option but to try it out on every circumstance where intervention is required and then decide if it will work or not after the fact, not very efficient.

    The other issue is that the timings are likely relatively fixed, given there's a lock picture edit in place so I can only adjust speed to a certain extent. If what's needed is a significantly slower pan for example, I may be in trouble since the edit's locked and there's only so much time available for the pan in the edit. Faster pans, especially with motion blur can be similarly problematic because a quick, wooshing pan will be sickening to watch and obscure the view of the very artwork being showcased.

    My other issue is that when my limited set of techniques don't work, I'm a bit sunk. In the past I've often had to basically reconsider the post move, and do something else, or include cuts during a continuous move to allow for slower moves that still come to rest at the correct location in the time available. If worst comes to worst I might be able to do something like that, but I'd like as much as possible to preserve the current intent set by the director and editor and not have to persuade people that a move that faithfully imitates the current temp will simply not work on a technical level.

    What I'm after is any more techniques that might help the post moves strobing issue besides just adjusted move speed and motion blurring, and also a more scientific way of applying my existing techniques so I know when it will/won't work and why/why not. This would also provide some sense of how much to adjust things like move speed to best avoid strobing during a pan.

    Anyone have any ideas for me?


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    Dave LaRonde
    Re: How best to eliminate strobing effect on post production pans across high resolution landscape stills
    on Feb 15, 2019 at 5:51:51 pm

    You can also add a tiny bit of blur to the animated images.

    But the real problem is very thin lines, and there is no good way to fix line widths that are scaled to a pixel or less -- sometimes they appear, sometimes they disappear. The solution is to increase the width of the lines on duplicates of the original images, for use in After Effects.

    I don't think you will find that to be an appealing solution.

    Dave LaRonde
    Promotion Producer
    KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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    Max Haller
    Re: How best to eliminate strobing effect on post production pans across high resolution landscape stills
    on Feb 15, 2019 at 6:58:05 pm

    Yeah like dave said if its strobing due to tiny lines flashing on and off, it'll be hard to fix that without changing the design.

    I don't know what this is an image of or how it's being used but perhaps you'd be able to zoom in until the lines are a reasonable width. Maybe creative camera moves could be your friend here. Something like a quicker pan of the top half and cut to a quicker pan of the bottom half so it's still the same time length for the pic lock or something along those lines.

    Tell the producer or whoever that its a problem with the design of the lines and they should stop using images like that. Its like wearing striped shirts on camera


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    Damien Ivan
    Re: How best to eliminate strobing effect on post production pans across high resolution landscape stills
    on Feb 15, 2019 at 7:15:38 pm

    Not sure if I'm understanding your problem or not, but if you move the images in exact pixel increments, does that help? For example, if you're at 30 FPS, and you move the images at 30 pixels a second, how does it look?

    Damien Ivan
    Animation + Video
    Just a dude tryin to be awesome.
    damienivan.com


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