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smoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects

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Greg Sagesmoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects
by on Nov 22, 2016 at 3:56:43 am

There are a number of effects that turn each frame into a sketch, cartoon, brush stroke, etc.

I have the same problem with all of them, though, that they look great on individual frames, but an absolute mess of frantically appearing and disappearing bits when applied to video.

Basically, the issue is that such plugs typically have thresholds where x number of pixels of a certain type qualify as an area, edge, or whatever it's looking for, and as the footage moves, the edges or whatever's being detected keep appearing and disappearing. Of course, you can dial it down a bit to detect only very strong edges, but it's still a bit of a mess, and you lose all the detail.

It occurs to me that what is needed is to prep the footage first by running it through something that does some sort of frame blending, averaging, or otherwise making sure that all motion is as smoothed out as possible... probably to the point where it would look ridiculous without the cartoonize effect being added afterward.

Anyone got a secret recipe here, or found any way to really get very smooth cartoonize or sketch type effects without all the noise, but with some almost surreally smooth motion?


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Chris WrightRe: smoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects
by on Nov 22, 2016 at 4:41:19 am

does it fail on 60p footage or just 24fps? that would answer your question.


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Greg SageRe: smoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects
by on Nov 22, 2016 at 12:38:23 pm

Any frame rate... and it's not just one plug I'm talking about. Essentially any effect that redraws based upon threshold rules, so any of the cartoonize (inside AE or external) fx that draw cartoon lines around things, or convert the picture to sketch (running through PS), or any of the brush or paint dab fx, etc.

Essentially, I think I need some sort of frame averaging de-noising with a deep setting, but I don't think that's going far enough. Is anyone using something like this, but then with some particular combination of settings, or in combination with something else to smooth out any motion with minimal blur?

For instance, if you're slowing something down below the actual frame rate, Twixtor interpolates the frames and at least tries to redraw the image at various interpolated stages to fill in the correct motion between the known frames.

Is there some sort of intelligent frame averaging that does something similar, but with actual footage that's not being time stretched, so it looks at actual frames, yet shifts them around a bit to give best fitted curve to all motion based on surrounding frames?

If not, what's the most advanced frame averaging effect that can denoise intelligently and give a nice clean output with minimal blur? That's at least a start.

Surely anyone that's ever used any sketch effect or anything like it has had the same thought, that it's a bit chaotic and would be much nicer if the motion was slower and smoothed out... I'm just trying to figure out how to actually dial that in.


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Chris WrightRe: smoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects
by on Nov 22, 2016 at 2:05:25 pm

for the edges, i doubt any of the plugins compare adjacent frames which means that you would need to blur edges with find edges effect alpha matte or use timewarp's shutter blur or reelsmart motion blur. I would also use Neatvideo for the actual noise.

for the jittery, if increasing the framerate before adding the effect doesn't work, consider frame averaging after the effect. an example would be timestretch the layer 50%, then add timewarp 50%. This will create a net effect of some newly created optical flow frames to be discarded.
it smooths camera movement so might smooth stutter.


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Greg SageRe: smoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects
by on Nov 22, 2016 at 3:37:25 pm

Interesting trick about stretching and back. Hadn't heard of it. Might be just the ticket (in conjunction with frame averaging to simplify and denoise each frame). Just to be clear, you're talking about making it half speed, then back to normal, right? Just using the built in AE tools to do so? No 3rd party plugs to dial in the process?

I'd think that would be better off BEFORE the effect since any jumps in threshold would have already triggered jumpy lines by the time the stretching is done. Point is to smooth it out so those jumps don't occur if possible.

Also, I came across RE:Vision plug called DE:Noise Frame Average which seems to be what I was describing about taking out any chatter that's not persistent across x frames. Any particular reason NeatVideo would be better?


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Chris WrightRe: smoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects
by on Nov 22, 2016 at 3:54:22 pm

yes half speed whole frames, 200% increase speed optical interpolation frames to get original speed
timewarp comes with with AE.

I haven't used denoise so couldn't say. it looks more like film restore than jitter removal. I
could be wong about that.

I wrote a luma smoother for AE. dunno if that would work either. It removes grain but I don't know how well that would
work temporally.


skin and noise repair AE cc 2015
https://f1.creativecow.net/10816/skin-and-noise-repair


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Michael CassidyRe: smoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects
by on Nov 23, 2016 at 12:12:35 pm

I started doing all of my images in Flash, importing them into PS and then into AE.... Seems like doing it this way, at least on my machine, get's rid of all of these sketchy chops between frames


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Chris WrightRe: smoothing out changes between frames to avoid jittery sketch and cartoonize effects
by on Nov 23, 2016 at 4:19:36 pm

flash will do tweening(interpolation) that's why.

thanks for posting solution.


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