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Editing out lens spots in Post - Seeking Advice


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#1 shawnh

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 10:30 PM

I am looking for some advice on software (plug-ins or the like) for removing spots from video fottage. Imagine you get that shot of a lifetime only to find that there were smudges on you lens. My situation is not quite that severe but I do have some footage I would really like to clean up.

I have heard that Final Cut Pro may have plug-ins to do this. Who, where and how much does something like this cost? How difficult is it to impliment? How good is the finished product?

-shawn :(
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#2 wagsy

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 11:06 PM

Shawn
You can export the video clip section out as a filmstrip and then import into Photoshop, remove the problem on each frame, then export back the filmstrip into your editing program. Its called rotoscoping & you can do it with After Effects as well.

Yep it takes alot of time.

Best way is to make sure your lens is clear, treat it as the same importance as turning the camera on. If the camera is not on you cannot film, if the lens is not clear you cannot film.

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#3 shawnh

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 08:07 AM

Ok...that does sound like a ton of work. Would it be the same amount of work in Aftereffects? OK...will need to keep that in mind for the future.

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#4 larsdennert

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 02:40 PM

Some packages have noise reducers that might help. There was also a program to remove static images like station logos from footage. I want to say Virtual Dub but I don't think that's right.

#5 shawnh

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 03:16 PM

Interesting. There is a Software plug-in to Final Cut called "Shake" (USD2,999 price tag...ouch!). It has a plug-in from Pixel Farm called "PF Clean" (only 12,999 pounds!). So for USD 20000 I can fix my spots....what a deal! Is this for real?
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#6 SimonSpear

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 03:25 PM

Best way is to make sure your lens is clear, treat it as the same importance as turning the camera on. If the camera is not on you cannot film, if the lens is not clear you cannot film.

wags

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Out of interest what do you use for cleaning your lenses while underwater? Cheers, Simon

#7 wagsy

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 05:42 PM

Aftereffects its takes time as well. You have to do every frame.

You can add a spare inflator hose to your first stage reg with one of those bendy air cleaning nozzels on the end. Just zap the lens underwater with that to blow all the bubbles-dust off or just use your hand by waving it infront of the lens.

Never touch the lens nor wipe it to dry, only dap it to dry or with a clean soft lens cloth to clean or go to GATES and get their lens dome cleaner. Even a small stratch will show up when shoting up into the sunlight underwater.

You can also get some wide clear sticky tape and lightly stick it on the lens then peel it off to clean the lens of fingerprints-dust etc. Then use a soft clean lens cloth and compresed air to blow any fluff off. Give the cloth a blast of air before touching the lens with it to get any dust particales off it. I have a scuba tank with air nozzel just for it.

Your lens should be clean before you get into the water and shampoo on the wet lens or lots of good old spit will help with water beed.

Good Luck

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#8 Drew

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 07:27 PM

There is also Commotion, the film/video version of Photoshop. I believe there is a Commotion DV. It's not cheap but the rotoscoping tools are the best in the biz.

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#9 shawnh

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 10:43 PM

Wags great advice on the lens. I use real care with my lens but it sounds like I need to use even more care...sounds like you just can't be careful enough. When transporting your lens with the housing, what do you do to safeguard it against vibration on the neoprene cover?

Drew, I'll check out Commotion. Was a Pinnacle product...wonder if Avid is keeping it alive...will check into this.

Also, I just heard of another useful technique for dealing with spots. Apparently you place a second video on the timeline of the same background color. You then adjust the size and position to align with the spot position. Set the opacity so it just barely hides the spot and soften the edges. When darker objects (fish, reef, etc) intersect with the spot, you key frame the opacity to transparent and back again. Given I am still waiting on my HD editing system, I have not tried this yet. I'll let you know how it works.
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#10 shawnh

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Posted 11 January 2006 - 11:08 PM

Just did a quick test with Premiere using some older DV content. Looks promising but will have to work out some kinks. Once the blue part of the "mask" frame was clipped, I had to fill color the remaining portion. I then added edge feathering and some brightness. I then scaled the frame to approximately the size of the spot. The most notable part is the edges still and the fact that it is slightly darker b/c by it's nature you are overlapping two videos. I'll keep experimenting and see if I can improve this.

This ideal solution would be if I could create a video mask the same color of the background and key frame the birghtness. The mask would need to be the same shape of the spot and then make the remaining part of the video completely transparent. Any thoughts?
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#11 SimonSpear

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 01:06 PM

Thanks Wags that was good advice. I have some problems with some of the footage I took while we were in the Bahamas over Christmas. I wish I had thought or been told about the inflator hose idea before we went away!

Cheers, Simon

#12 shawnh

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 10:04 PM

Wags, I know where to pick up an inflator hose, but where is the place to find the right air nosel (scuba store, hardware store, bike shop)?
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#13 wagsy

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 05:49 AM

HI Guys
Once you have the frames in Photoshop, sometimes the clone tool is very good at covering up mistakes. I have not done it the way you are trying now.

With transporting I either have it in the pelican box I got with the housings or in some type of other box for the journey making sure that the lens is not resting or touching on anything even with the neoprene cover on. Lightly stick some sticky tape on it then peel it off when you get there even gladwrap would work, hey I just thought of that, will try it myself. With other housings I just had a old square URPRO filter in front of the lens for transport.

Any dive shop should be able to get the flexable air nozzel for the LP hose. The ones you bend and it lets the air out.

On another note, I have some H.264 Quicktime 7 files loaded up now. www.hdvunderwater.com for those that have broadband. After more testing QT7 H.264 is indeed better than wmv or Divx files. Takes abit to encode though.

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#14 shawnh

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Posted 16 January 2006 - 08:55 AM

Wags, i really like the glad wrap idea...I will go with it. just found some more spot options for final cut that look pretty good. will share once I learn more. i'll check out the files...qt7 may be the way I go.
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#15 NickJ

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:35 PM

OK Photoshop et al. are all going to have you working on single frames, what you need is a VIDEO clone tool.

I searched high and low for some such beast to edit out dreaded 'Black Spots' from an unrepeatable video shoot in Belize last year where we had whale sharks coming verically out of deep water and hitting the surface chasing snapper spawn.

See post at LAFCPUG http://www.lafcpug.o...776#reply_95776

I eventually bought CHV's clone tool see http://www.chv-plugi...clonepaint.html

I whinged a bit (being a Pomm with an Aussie passport) about having to buy the whole 'clone and paint' set of plugins because I'm such a cheapskate, but eventually I forked out a whopping US$49 (yes!) and believe me this tool alone is worth it.

You can key frame source and target areas, change size and shape of capture and target areas, feather the edges, blur the outcome etc etc - sure you can even do frame by frame, but where there are whole seconds of your 'spot in the blue' well - no need to key frame etc.

This is a very versatile tool and should be part of every adventure diver's post production suite.

If you are still trying to do all this stuff in Windows (which I was until last year!) I can only say I love my G5 Quad and Final Cut Studio, and I ain't EVER looking back :D

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#16 shawnh

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Posted 03 February 2006 - 08:50 AM

Nick,
Great find and i already have several uses for it.
this one is worth checking out.
shawn
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