Tag Archives: flicker

Phantom TMX 7510 does 76000 fps in HD!

Phantom TMX 7510

The scientists at Vision Research are at it again at their favorite pastime of hyper slow motion gear creation.  The new TMX 7510 Phantom camera is the fastest ever in their arsenal with a mind-bending spec of 75 Gigapixels throughput which is capable of delivering 76,000fps  1 Megapixel resolution or slightly higher than HD at 1280 x 800px.

The camera features the first BSI or Back-side illuminated sensor ever used in a Phantom camera. This allows for much better low-light performance which is crucial for slow motion applications.  The camera tops out at a ridiculous 1.75 million fps frame rate at 1280 x 32px in standard width mode or 640 x 64px in Binned mode.  One second recorded at that speed creates a file that plays back for 972min or just over 16hrs in a 30fps timeline.  Yikes! → Continue Reading Full Post ←

Flicker Free 25% Off Until 12/12!


Digital Anarchy’s flicker free plugin will be reduced in price 25% -regular price: $149 Holiday Sale price: $111 until this Saturday December 12th. As you may or may not know flicker is a side effect of phase pulse on artificial lighting affecting the image quality of video and especially bad in slow motion high frame rates.

Flicker Free is a plug-in for Adobe After Effects & Premiere Pro that combats and usually fully eliminates flicker within the video image with a  variety of customizable parameters. It is easy to use, fast rendering and it is as of now the best software tool available to get rid of flicker. HSC does not get a referral profit from the sale of the Flicker Free software, we just like the software and saving a few bucks is great for our readers.

HSC did a review of Flicker Free here for you to see!

Here are the details you need to know for 25% off:

Voucher Code at check out: ANARCHISTELVES

(Sale Ends: Saturday, 12/12)


“When we say everything, we mean everything! Bundles, full licenses, upgrades… all of it. Even Digital Anarchy tshirts! We only do this a couple times a year, so this is your chance to get some great plugins at a very discounted price!” Digital Anarchy

Flicker Free regular price: $149 Holiday Sale price: $111
Beauty Box regular price: $199 Holiday Sale price: $149
Beauty + Flicker bundle: reg: $289, Holiday Sale price: $217

You can get the software demos and purchase at their store here:


HSC – Flicker Free Video Samples:



In previous parts of this article we saw three methods to combat flicker in some form or another; in this part we will look at what may be the most advanced Flicker Removal tool available since the inception of software.

Flicker Free by Digital Anarchy is a plugin for “Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro 7 & X, Avid Media Composer and Da Vinci Resolve” Mac and Windows that eliminates most any kind of flicker with ease.

While testing the product we were so impressed that decided to get our own copy and skip the trial and watermark associated with it. Some of the most demanding scenes that we believed impossible to fix were completely free of flicker with jaw dropping results.

We tried tungsten, CFL and even LED light flicker in solo and in combinations to make it difficult for the software. Only in the most extreme test with the three light sources generating flicker was the plugin struggling to fix it completely but it still did a pretty amazing job.

HSC Video Test of Flicker Free:

Regarding the slow motion flicker which is our main interest in the software it was almost unbelievably good at eliminating the flicker from AC light sources. Suddenly using cheap 500 w work lights for shooting slow motion became a possibility again. If you wanted to shoot with cheap lights in slow motion the flicker would completely ruin the shot before Flicker Free. This can bring some substantial savings in lighting when you are shooting slow motion.

The interface is very simple, after applying the plugin you get a very handy set of presets that let you test different parameters that work with the type of problematic footage you want to eliminate. There is everything from Timelapse and Slow Motion to Stage lights and Rolling banding common in CMOS sensors like those on DSLRs.

If the presets do not get you near where you want to be then you can alter the three main sliders to create thousands of combinations and then save our own presets for best results. We found that using the regular presets and just slightly moving the sliders yielded instant perfectly flicker free results in most situations.

A lower sensitivity number is ideal for slow motion as it will detect changes in very few frames and eliminate them.   A higher sensitivity will be ideal when the flicker is at lower frame rates like that of time lapse where the changes in illumination are not periodic and can change depending on many factors.

We also found that as with most things you really can’t have a free lunch; In some instances object halos may appear and or ghosting in frames. It has to do with the way the frame is fixed by the software. It is using information from multiple frames to generate the final result which depending on the severity of the flicker problem it may generate some ghostly artifact. There is a preset specifically designed for reducing halo artifacts and we found that it helped a lot and further tweaking created an even better result from out footage test.

You really can use the software by just applying presets and be done with it quick; but it is also powerful enough to allow some freedom to tweak the settings further to a specific piece of footage. Not all footage is created the same and a specific light or camera/sensor combination could be a nightmare that you will have to tweak further.

 Timelapse Results:

To say that this is the best de-flickering software we have used for time-lapse is selling it short. It de-flickered well every single time-lapse we threw at it. GB Deflicker was good but this is much better, it fixes things that were previously unfix-able and distracting on timelapse.  It can also create halo artifacts if pushed too far but we only encountered a few instances where further tweaking of presets helped to minimize the effect and be transparent.  If you do timelapse footage of any kind you want this plug-in in your arsenal no two ways about it. It is that good!

Slow Motion:

Slow motion is notorious for flickering even with the most expensive HMI Ballast lights depending on the frame rates.  You would need a set of lights for a 1000fps camera that is upwards 5k in cost per light to get you a couple of thousand watts.  Flicker free at $149 US could be the best investment if you plan on shooting slow motion video with studio or indoor lights.

But the question remains can you really skimp on lights for that paid gig by using flicker free and cheap lights?  In some cases absolutely and even with expensive lights flicker can appear and ruin your shots at great cost. So you really need it if you are an amateur or pro, you can’t really leave it to chance.  You can try shooting some tests with cheap lights  and see how the plugin reacts to your footage by even using the demo version available here…   Then see if your style and gear will be enough to not write that big check for expensive HMI or LED panel lights that control flicker.

Flicker Free Tutorial Video by Digital Anarchy:

It is true that most LED lights control flicker very well at 100% intensity but in many cases you can get contamination or intermittent flicker due to AC power fluctuations which will again be helped by the Flicker Free software.

For slow motion you really can’t go wrong by getting this software, you can fix that pesky flicker finally and once and for all especially if it was the only shot possible as it is usually the case in slow motion.


  • Works Wonders On All Timelapse Footage
  • Fixes Most Slow Motion Flicker With Ease
  • Removes Most Banding on Footage Including Monitors and TVs
  • Many Presets Work With One Click
  • You Can Tweak Settings And Improve Results Manually
  • Works On LED, CFL and Tungsten Light Flicker
  • Fixes Old Archival Footage or Modern Film Scan Flicker
  • Very Fast Working Almost Real Time – No Pre Calculations
  • Demo Version Available to Try – Click Here!
  • Inexpensive Solution


  • Some Ghosting May Appear If Pushed Too Far
  • Some Halos Can Appear In Severe Flickering Situations
  • Requires 3rd Party Software Ownership
  • No Standalone Flicker Removal App Available
  • May Fail In Some Severe Multi Flickering Light Combinations
  • May Require Some Trial And Error On Harsh Flicker Footage


Flicker Free by Digital Anarchy is somewhat of an unexpected out of left field piece of software. It does so many things and so well that it almost seems like voodoo magic in your screen.  We tried to get some info from the software  gurus at Digital Anarchy but the inner workings are closely  guarded.  Their main coder is from ILM fame which goes to show what kind of greatness is behind this software.

While not perfect it is by far the best flicker removal software we have ever encountered. If you can get it in your budget; do so with confidence. You will need After Effects, Premiere or Apple Final Cut 7 or X, Avid Media Composer or DaVinci Resolve so depending on your editing software there can be additional cost associated.

In the end we are impressed and excited about the possibilities Flicker Free brings to the slow motion video production crowd and even the timelapse author.  If you only can afford a single new piece of software this year we believe Flicker Free would be our choice.

We give Flicker Free Our Highest Award “Platinum” for advancing the science of slow motion video processing forward.

You can get Flicker free here for $149 US . Check out also their other video plugins like Beauty Box for Skin Blemish Removal In Video and others.

Flicker Free Demo Reel Video:

Disclaimer: HSC did not receive any compensation or deal from the software maker for writing this review. We do not gather any compensation from sales of their software.

Thanks for your support of HSC by visiting our sponsors you help keep this site alive!

How to Eliminate Flicker In Slow Motion Video Part 2!


Continuing with the free ways to combat flicker in timelapse, slow motion video and regular video we now turn to Virtual Dub and the Deflicker Filter for the app created by Donald Graft.

Virtual Dub is a GNU Public License distributed application for Windows in 32bit and 64bit versions.  The Deflicker plugin only works in 32bit mode so stay with the Virtual Dub distribution in 32 bit only.


Download Virtual Dub Here 32Bit for Windows 98 to Windows 8.1 Mac Users will have to run it in Bootcamp.

Once you download Virtual Dub just unzip the file and the executable is ready to go, however you still have to install the Deflicker plugin in order for it to work.

Download the Deflicker 1.3 Filter for Virtual Dub Here!

Place the Deflick.vdf file inside the plugins32 folder. Then re-open Virtual Dub.

The application is not pretty to look and and a little daunting at first but it is pretty straight forward and very powerful.

You need to have your footage in a format that Virtual Dub will understand and will be able to use without much trouble. Quicktime is not really supported despite some coders doing some work on it so you will need to use .avi .asf or .mpeg-.mpg videos in order for it to understand it.  For your clip you should trans code the footage in an intermediate codec with low compression. We chose AVI YUV uncompressed in after effects in order to prepare the clip for Virtual Dub.

Step 1:

Once you get your video open in Virtual Dub “File Open Video File” you now have to apply the filter to it.   Go To Menu Video and choose Filters…

Step 2:

Choose the Option Add… and You will enter the filter Selector:

Navigate down to deflicker by Donald Graft and press the Ok Button.

Step 3:

The filter deflicker window options will appear.

Default settings work well for most time lapse footage and old archival footage. As for custom settings  for slow motion see below:

The following tweaking of options are available according to the Deflicker Info File:

Window size: This is the size of the moving average of frame luminance values. This produces the luminance value that frames are adjusted to. The idea is that you want it as small as possible while still removing flicker. Ideally, it is equal to the number of frames that one flicker period spans. For example, if the video frame rate is 25 fps and the flicker is at 7 fps (example of 18 fps shot at 25 fps; 25 -18 = 7), then one flicker period is 25/7 = 3.57 frames. We want our window to exactly cover an integral number of flicker cycles. So a good choice here would be a window size of 7 (~ 2 * 3.57). You can always set a long window size if in doubt, but doing so will spread out luminance changes in the clip. A window size of 10 is a good general-purpose compromise.

HSC: We found that for super slow motion lower values on the window size for flickering lights worked more than larger values. You need to count the period in which the flicker occurs and repeats. In Super slow motion this can be quite short and a window period of 2-8 worked best.

Softening: This is the threshold for the final temporal softening phase. Often, the physical process that creates the flicker also creates within-frame illumination changes, causing adjacent frames to differ. This softening phase greatly reduces this effect. A higher number causes greater temporal softening but can leave motion trails. If the physical process does not produce within-frame changes, this phase can be disabled by setting the softening to 0.

HSC: Softening will work better for super slow motion with higher frame rates however it can be detrimental as it can create motion blur on objects close to what the first article in this series discussed. Keeping this setting below 10 seems to reduce the artifacts.

=&2=&: At a scene change it is desirable to reset the filtering so that sudden changes of luminance are not smoothed out by the filter. This threshold determines the sensitivity of the scene change detection. Use lower numbers for more sensitive scene change detection. Use a threshold of 256 to disable scene change detection.

HSC: This setting can help preserve luminance changes that you want in the scene but we found it didn’t do anything noticeable enough on super slow motion to enable it. However for time lapse it does help in some cases.

You should experiment with this settings by pressing enter in the Virtual Dub interface to preview the footage with filters applied.

We found for 256fps and 120fps these work well:  6-8-256  If banding is still a problem increase the 6 and 8 accordingly.

Step 4:

Rendering the footage back with the effect applied needs two steps.

A) You first need to specify the codec in which the video will be rendered on. We select Intel IYUV which is a Lossless codec and very compatible. If you install a codec pack you might get better options.

A) Click Video>Compression and select your codec.

B) Choose now File>Save as AVI   and choose where your file will be saved.  

Virtual Dub will now start rendering the footage and when done you will have your de-flickered file where you specified a location.  Depending on your computer it might take a while for it to be ready and it can take a lot of hard drive space especially in HD and UHD formats.

Deflicker Sample footage:

MrTerryPresley’s Timelapse Fix

deflicker Test By 

One more thing…

There is another deflicker plugin for Virtual Dub called MSU Deflicker.  The procedure to use it is the same  just choosing the filter in the list changes to MSU Deflicker.  However MSU is not a free plugin and requires a license for commercial use as opposed to deflicker which is free.  You are free to try and use it for personal use.

MSU Deflicker is partly based on deflicker but with improved calculations.  Project, idea by: Dr. Dmitriy Vatolin – Implementation by: Kostya Strelnikov

If you use MSU Deflicker it works without a watermark and it is up to you to contact them and ask for a license if you want to use it for a paid job. We recommend compensating the author for the work in creating this plugin.

Get MSU Deflicker Here if you need it!

MSU Deflicker Video Examples:

Timelapse by Barbara Gancarek-Śliwińska

Flickery Footage Grapefruit by: Damian Karczewski


Both Virtual Dub Deflicker and MSU Deflicker are amazing pieces of software to get rid of flickering in timelapse, regular footage and slow motion video.  By being accessible through Virtual Dub the barrier of entry is very much non existent.  If you have a flickering clip that needs a fix this is where you might start if method 1 was not working out for you.

Be aware that the results may vary but overall we are very impressed with the results and are easily in the top shelf of options for curing flicker.

Stay tuned for part 3 and 4 of this article coming soon. The paid options GBS Deflicker and Flicker free from Digital Anarchy are some tailored paid software for that flicker elimination you just need done for your footage. The best is yet to come!

How To Eliminate Flicker in Slow Motion Video Part 1!


Flicker is the “F” word of the slow motion video world.  It can ruin shots or make them distracting enough to fail in conveying the message to the viewer.  It is hard to detect while recording and even with tools to minimize it on set it can still show up later as faint throbbing light.

There are however a few solutions that can take care of the flicker of a vast majority of affected shots after the recording has been made. There is no do it all Swiss army knife for fixing flicker on a shot; no real 100% foolproof plugin or method to get rid of it exists. However a few solutions come very close and that means great news for people on an inexpensive light budget.

Flicker comes from the subtle fading and increase in luminosity from light sources. All light sources flicker to some degree from the incandescent bulb to LED diodes and ultimately the Sun.   However the Sun flicker does not pose a threat to slow motion video capture until you get in the trillions of frames realm which is not feasible today. The sun flickers imperceptibly to us and while it is not infinitely bright, it is considered a constant light source on earth.

As for other light sources LED lights at full power are sometimes flicker free and HMI lights with fast refreshing ballasts which cost a pretty penny are also good options. Most regular incandescent  and fluorescent lights flicker badly when used for slow motion. CFL bulb ballasts are slow and will show heavy flickering in any fast frame rate video.  Regular incandescent light bulbs flicker because the heating element cools and heats up by the factor of the 50Hz-60Hz refresh from the electric current.

The trick in Slow motion capture is to find a light source where the flicker frequency is not lower than the refresh rate of the camera sensor. The reason why a camera from the US that records 30fps if taken to Europe generates flicker when artificial light is present; is because the light fixtures in Europe operate on a 50Hz frequency. Cameras in the US are refreshing at 60Hz so that 10Hz disparity generates flicker.

In slow motion the problem is increased if the frame rate and the refresh rate are mixed and not in line with the light fixtures. Hence why in fast frame rate video the flicker is much more apparent.  What also works against a slowmo shot flicker is that the actual shot is detailing a moment in time with much more criticism from the viewer. If a shot lasts 30+ seconds instead of the 2-5 seconds of a regular speed shot in a video work then you are more prone to notice it.


We are focusing on four different solutions, two of them free VirtualDub and Frame Blending” and two of them require the purchase of a software plugin GB Deflicker and Flicker Free from Digital Anarchy.

*In this part 1 we are focusing on the frame blending method. Part 2,3 and 4 will cover the rest.

Frame Blending Fix:

The first method can be all you might need if your flickering problem is not as pronounced.

Step 1-

The method consists of layering the same footage in two layers and moving the upper layer offset by 1 frame. This means pushing the video track only one frame to the right. However this is not all as the upper video will obscure the lower track and you will see no effect.

Step 2-

The final step is to reduce the opacity the top video layer which was offset by one frame. Reduce the opacity by 50% to fix the flicker. The percentage amount will vary depending on the clip. Be sure to trim the upper clip by 1 frame at the end to avoid a visual artifact in the edit.

Pros: Easy quick fix that works for standard 50Hz and 60Hz light fixtures in a shot. Does a pretty good job.


a) By offsetting one frame you create a ghosting blur effect that trails the original footage for that frame time. Most of the time it’s unnoticeable especially if the frame rate is higher but generates a very visible artifact if the frame rate is lower ie: 60 or 120fps.

b) Will not work for every shot and will not cure banding or flicker that is in itself coming from two different light sources that are off sync. Not ideal for Timelapse flicker.

Video Example:

Filmmaker and all around nice bloke Phillip Bloom offers a cure for slow motion flicker of light strobing in this great quick video tutorial explaining the technique:

The frame blending method can be used with any modern video editor like final cut, Vegas, Premiere Pro or After Effects. It is a simple way to fix it without spending cash on software and it is very quick to boot.

In future articles we will analyze other de-flickering options. Stay tuned!

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