ADOBE AFTER EFFECTS: Forum Expressions Tutorials Creative Cloud

How to boost low light footage?

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects

<< PREVIOUS   •   FAQ   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Michael BrehmsHow to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 5:20:57 pm

Hi there,

I recently got a Kodak Zi8, very nice camera :)

Like other cameras in that price range, it does a pretty poor job in low light conditions - it creates a lot of noise.

I thought of filtering this noise: get all areas with a "black value" of x, smooth them, maybe boost the light a bit (as long as it's looking good). But I already run out of ideas on how to get the black areas :)

Can someone point me in the right direction? Or is there a better way to accomplish what I'm trying to do?

Thanks in advance!


Return to posts index

Dave LaRondeRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:46:59 pm

[Michael Brehms] "I recently got a Kodak Zi8, very nice camera... it does a pretty poor job in low light conditions - it creates a lot of noise. "

All right class, can anyone spot the contradiction in the statement above?

You can attempt to remove some of the noise with AE's Remove Grain filter. Just be warned: it is a render HOG. It will seem like AE's rendering for hours... and depending on the duration of the footage, that could be true!

To avoid this situation in the future you can 1) shoot in high light levels or 2) get a different camera.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


Return to posts index

Michael BrehmsRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 7:58:29 pm

Thanks, will try that one out. I know the results might not be THAT good, but I just couldn't afford anything better (and more expensive). Bottom line: buy a decent camera in the future.


Return to posts index


Robert MorrisRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 9:26:49 pm

If you already have the footage, and don't care about spending the time fixing it, your idea of removing the noise from the darker areas might help. You could use a luma inverted matte, consisting of a copy of your footage with levels applied to control what areas are effected. Then apply the "remove noise" filter to just that layer with the matte on it. Also, you may want to use another copy of your footage laid on top with a "Screen" blending mode. I've used this to brighten up footage and minimize the noise.

Dave, I've read a lot of your posts, and they haven't seemed all that helpful. I really think the forum here should be for offering solutions. Everyone has different situations and different challenges and different skill levels.


Fine Art Drawings | Photography | Compositing | VFX | Titles | Keying | 3D


Return to posts index

Todd KoprivaRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:10:07 pm

> Dave, I've read a lot of your posts, and they haven't seemed all that helpful. I really think the forum here should be for offering solutions. Everyone has different situations and different challenges and different skill levels.


Robert,

In my opinion, Dave does something that is very valuable: He gives the voice of hard-won experience. A lot of people are asking questions about how to use their post-production software, and Dave is willing to say "Next time, you can save yourself all of this pain by thinking about this long before you get to using your post-production software."

His answers aren't what a lot of people want to hear, but they are the answers of a practical professional who values his time and is willing to bet that other people value their time, too---and don't really want to spend their whole day fixing things in post.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If a page of After Effects Help answers your question, please consider rating it. If you have a tip, technique, or link to share---or if there is something that you'd like to see added or improved---please leave a comment.


Return to posts index

Robert MorrisRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:50:42 pm

That's valid, and perhaps Dave doesn't know other ways to fix grainy footage. Perhaps his tone and wording could be a little less condescending so that his helpfulness comes through a bit more. Having years and years of experience myself, I'm also aware that it is best to avoid problems when you can by planning ahead. That being said, I'm also aware of how valuable it is to know how to solve problems once you are in the midst of them. And that's more along the lines of what the OP was asking. He wanted to know what the options were with his current camera.


Fine Art Drawings | Photography | Compositing | VFX | Titles | Keying | 3D


Return to posts index


Joey ForemanRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:24:42 pm

Robert, your suggestion was good, but why not focus your energies on just being helpful, rather than critiquing or criticizing the style of others?







Return to posts index

Robert MorrisRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 24, 2010 at 10:44:39 pm

Because I believe help can be offered in a variety of ways. To me, saying "avoid low light" or "get a new camera" is being dismissive and not really offering a solution to the OP or to anyone else searching for similar advice. The original poster clearly stated he already HAS this camera and wants to know what his options are for working with footage shot in low light. And now it seems I'm getting some mild flaming for... you know what, never mind.


Fine Art Drawings | Photography | Compositing | VFX | Titles | Keying | 3D


Return to posts index

Michael SzalapskiRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Feb 26, 2010 at 2:22:29 pm

Dave LaRonde = Simon Cowell
He says the harsh truth that people need to hear. He is their wakeup call. Then I, or one of the other regulars offers the, "But if you MUST do it the not-as-good way, here's how" advice.

Dave often offers good advice too. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't have Dave's Stock Answers 1-3.

He has a long history of helpful advice here on the COW, that's why he is one of the fourm leaders. I will concede that lately his posts have tended toward the curmudgeonly, but that's usually when questions that really should be in the basics forum end up in the main one. Plus, he's been in this industry for quite some time and, like an elderly relative, should be allowed to gripe at us young people every once in a while.

:)

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


Return to posts index


Andreas BremerRe: How to boost low light footage?
by on Jan 24, 2011 at 12:37:36 pm

Excellent Robert, this did the trick for me !!
I had hopelessly underexposed night footage from a boat in the open sea where the lights didn't reach anymore.
I was able to isolate the dark areas with the luma invert matte and blur them, when at the same time I could crank the light areas up on the duplicate layer. perfect.

btw: "go buy a better camera next time" is also a good idea - but Roberts suggestion was definately more helpful in this situation :-)


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]