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Problems processing X7 footage in AE CC18
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Alex Dawson
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Hi,
I am processing my cinemaDNG videos in Adobe After Effects CC 2018 but cant get it to render trees well. Its flickering in the greens. Is that due to a setting in AE or is it the X7 cinemaDNG files not compatible with the latest version of AE?  

Whats your predferd cinemaDNG processing program?

I think the RAW processing in Davinchi Resolve is realy crappy compared to the camera RAW processing in AE.

kind regards // Alex
2018-2-1
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Skyclip
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Can you show us an example of the green flickering?
Im on X5S.
I process the CinemaDNG´s thorugh the raw converter of photoshop,
because i can choose which frame i use to develop and not only the first frame of the clip.
After that i load it into after effects and generate an prores422 clip for FCPX.
2018-2-2
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Alex Dawson
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Skyclip Posted at 2018-2-2 01:46
Can you show us an example of the green flickering?
Im on X5S.
I process the CinemaDNG´s thorugh the raw converter of photoshop,

Hi, thats exactly my workflow to!

I will upload a few DNG's from a sequence and if you look at them in camera RAW you will se how the greens shift in color/exposure between the images. All shot in manual WB, Manual aperture, shutter & ISO.
I have removed auto sharpening in camera RAW and gone trough all settings 100 times so my only conclusion is that the X7 Raw doreen really work with AE.
It works perfect in DaVinci Resolve 14 but looks terrible compared to Adobe camera RAW conversion except my issue.
Highlights and midtowns looks great in AE though?
2018-2-2
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Alex Dawson
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-2 02:04
Hi, thats exactly my workflow to!

I will upload a few DNG's from a sequence and if you look at them in camera RAW you will se how the greens shift in color/exposure between the images. All shot in manual WB, Manual aperture, shutter & ISO.

https://we.tl/xt9lg0zoT4

Here is a link to 6 images where you can se the shift between image 000165 & 000166 up in the dark part of the trees on the top left side. Then there is a cameraRAW extreme graded video sequence in 6k RAW thats 4 sec long where everything gets enhanced. My concern is why does the X7 DNG's vary/shift in the low green tones? Dji please download and look at this data.

kind regards // Alex
2018-2-2
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Alex Dawson
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-2 05:02
https://we.tl/xt9lg0zoT4

Here is a link to 6 images where you can se the shift between image 000165 & 000166 up in the dark part of the trees on the top left side. Then there is a cameraRAW extreme graded video sequence in 6k RAW thats 4 sec long where everything gets enhanced. My concern is why does the X7 DNG's vary/shift in the low green tones? Dji please download and look at this data.

Someone with X7 that could try processing cinemaDNG files in after effects? Its shot in 30 fps I will check if this issue also occurs in 24 fps...?

// Alex
2018-2-3
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Flo the Pirate
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you could consider to use davince resolve (free version)  ... workflow is a little different than going through adobe ... but it´s way faster preview and rendering - I recommend it !
2018-2-3
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Flo the Pirate
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sorry didn´t read the whole post above ;) .... you already tried davinci ...
2018-2-3
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Skyclip
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-3 06:46
Someone with X7 that could try processing cinemaDNG files in after effects? Its shot in 30 fps I will check if this issue also occurs in 24 fps...?

// Alex

Sorry for getting back to you this late.
Hmm. In ACR i cant see any difference between frame 165 & 166.
On your .mov i see a small jump in the mid/depths on frame 28.
You mean that?
I had similar trouble with the old X5R, and found out that with a hint from here:
at 1:30
it was the ACR Contrast Slider that gave me some flickering into my footage.
Leave Contrast Slider alone in ACR and all was good.
2018-2-5
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Alex Dawson
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Skyclip Posted at 2018-2-5 06:40
Sorry for getting back to you this late.
Hmm. In ACR i cant see any difference between frame 165 & 166.
On your .mov i see a small jump in the mid/depths on frame 28.

Thank you for your reply! On my DNG's you can see that the contrast slider isn't touched. Im surprised that you don't se the blinking in the trees on my .mov file? Its like disco in the greens of the trees on my new macbook pro. I have not looked on any other computer yet though.

I will look at the video you posted and see if there is any advices for me.

Do you have X5s or X7 cinemaDNG forage that you would like to share with me? about 50-100 frames would be nice.

kind regards // Alex
2018-2-5
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Skyclip
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-5 06:50
Thank you for your reply! On my DNG's you can see that the contrast slider isn't touched. Im surprised that you don't se the blinking in the trees on my .mov file? Its like disco in the greens of the trees on my new macbook pro. I have not looked on any other computer yet though.

I will look at the video you posted and see if there is any advices for me.

Youre right. All in all i see 3 times the flickering on the .mov
This looks exactly like the Contrast Problem i mentioned.
Thats odd.
Just for peace of mind i would install davinci resolve and convert it there and
see if the flickering is gone. so you know if the problem is with ACR.
´ll upload you some frames of X5s footage and send you the link.
2018-2-5
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Alex Dawson
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Skyclip Posted at 2018-2-5 07:10
Youre right. All in all i see 3 times the flickering on the .mov
This looks exactly like the Contrast Problem i mentioned.
Thats odd.

Thanks a lot!

No the problem is not there in DR14 but I don't like the way danvinci deal with cinemaDNG footage. Its nowhere near ACR in my opinion...

kind regards  // Alex
2018-2-5
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Alex Dawson
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-5 07:16
Thanks a lot!

No the problem is not there in DR14 but I don't like the way danvinci deal with cinemaDNG footage. Its nowhere near ACR in my opinion...

Thank you Skyclip!
The good thing is that its not the settings i AE CC18 thats wrong because your clip looks amazing. So to the bad news... Its the DJI Zenmuse X7 that has exposure variation or the new DL lenses with leaf shutter? I will continue figuring out this issue.
I have a second X7 on its way to me so it will be easy to tell if its X7 in general or if my first one was faulty..?

Do you happen to have the X7 with cinemaDNG licence to and to share some more footage? Preferably low light footage.

kind regards // Alex
2018-2-5
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Skyclip
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-5 10:43
Thank you Skyclip!
The good thing is that its not the settings i AE CC18 thats wrong because your clip looks amazing. So to the bad news... Its the DJI Zenmuse X7 that has exposure variation or the new DL lenses with leaf shutter? I will continue figuring out this issue.
I have a second X7 on its way to me so it will be easy to tell if its X7 in general or if my first one was faulty..?

No, i dont own the X7.
Maybe someone here in the forum with an X7 can provide some cinedng´s for Alex?
Out of interest, could you send me all the dngs you used for the shoret clip with the flickering?
I would like to try something.
2018-2-6
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Alex Dawson
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Skyclip Posted at 2018-2-6 00:23
No, i dont own the X7.
Maybe someone here in the forum with an X7 can provide some cinedng´s for Alex?
Out of interest, could you send me all the dngs you used for the shoret clip with the flickering?

Yes, I will upload about 100 DNG's from the flickering clip so that anyone can download them.
I will remove the XMP file so that there are no presets.

kind regards // Alex
2018-2-6
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Alex Dawson
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Skyclip Posted at 2018-2-6 00:23
No, i dont own the X7.
Maybe someone here in the forum with an X7 can provide some cinedng´s for Alex?
Out of interest, could you send me all the dngs you used for the shoret clip with the flickering?

https://we.tl/E9AFuqXQpo here are 100 cineDNG files from the X7 in 6K. Its about 1,5GB in total.

The problem is up to the left in the dark parts of the trees when you process the files in AE CC18

kind regards // Alex
2018-2-6
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Skyclip
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-6 08:52
https://we.tl/E9AFuqXQpo here are 100 cineDNG files from the X7 in 6K. Its about 1,5GB in total.

The problem is up to the left in the dark parts of the trees when you process the files in AE CC18

Interesting.
Seems like a 2-step down in the depths.
I pulled depths in ACR +50 to make it more visible.
Frame 128,129,130.
Looks like it starts when the snow in the foreground is gone and the camera is correcting exposure somehow.


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2018-2-6
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Alex Dawson
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But why would the camera correct exposure when everything is in manual including ISO, shutter, aperture, WB and flat settings in Adobe camera RAW what else is the to alter an exposure with on a camera..?
2018-2-6
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Skyclip
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-6 23:15
But why would the camera correct exposure when everything is in manual including ISO, shutter, aperture, WB and flat settings in Adobe camera RAW what else is the to alter an exposure with on a camera..?

I think its some hardware stuff, how the DJI Cameras work.
Especially in high contrast scenes like yours, the Dynamic Range is "fully loaded" and the camera tries to compensate that.
This is an well known and old problem
https://forum.dji.com/thread-52536-1-1.html

To rescue the footage you could use a deflicker plug-in in AE.
It seems like with 24fps it gets more obvious, so maybe try next time 30fps.
Btw, how does the proxy footage from the SD Card look?


2018-2-7
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Alex Dawson
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Thank you! I Will look in to this! Thank you so much for all the advice. I will try 30 fps and the plug-in.

Mvh // Alex
2018-2-7
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Justy77
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-7 02:07
Thank you! I Will look in to this! Thank you so much for all the advice. I will try 30 fps and the plug-in.

Mvh // Alex

Following with keen interest.

Apologies if this has been covered above, but, have you tried running footage out without any grade? I'm running out RAW to 4444 in AE then grade the quicktime file. Been hampered a bit with the Scottish weather so not fully up to speed with my workflow yet.

Best
J
2018-2-8
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Alex Dawson
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Justy77 Posted at 2018-2-8 09:40
Following with keen interest.

Apologies if this has been covered above, but, have you tried running footage out without any grade? I'm running out RAW to 4444 in AE then grade the quicktime file. Been hampered a bit with the Scottish weather so not fully up to speed with my workflow yet.

Hi Justy77, yes I have. It makes no difference.
The problem occurs when there is high contrast in the image in the shadows, especially in the shadows of trees. Its obviously not just my camera since I get the problem on DJI footage to on the one named footage_02 on DJI's X7 site.

I will try a reset of the After effects setting now and see if that helps. I have an export on the case to so I hope he will find out why this happens?

I have also downloaded the trial version of the plug-in DE-flicker for AE and will try that after.

I'm surprised that not more people have this issue because it makes the video clips useless in RAW.
Unless I process the RAW in DR14 but I can't get the same punch out of the RAW there due to my lack of knowledge in grading and processing RAW in that program.

I will keep you posted // Alex
2018-2-8
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Justy77
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-8 09:53
Hi Justy77, yes I have. It makes no difference.
The problem occurs when there is high contrast in the image in the shadows, especially in the shadows of trees. Its obviously not just my camera since I get the problem on DJI footage to on the one named footage_02 on DJI's X7 site.

I've only shot high contrast trees with a high sun and haven't picked anything up yet. once i get conditions to fly again i'll see if i can replicate it.

I did have a thought that maybe it was some kind write issue, are the effected frames smaller size? what SSD size were you using?
2018-2-8
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-6 23:15
But why would the camera correct exposure when everything is in manual including ISO, shutter, aperture, WB and flat settings in Adobe camera RAW what else is the to alter an exposure with on a camera..?

Hi! I am having the same problems grading my X5R-footage with the ACR-AE-workflow, but I do not think it is a hardware problem. I get that "flickering" in high-contrast-scenes, when I increase the clarity and raise the shadows in ACR. ACR seems to set the level for the shadows not absolute, but relative in each frame. In your case it is the snow on the left side. I guess as soon as it is out of frame, the flickering is not visible any more?

I am quite sure that it is an ACR-problem, because if I look at the ungraded RAW footage in Premiere, there is no flickering, and it is the same with the proxy-footage on the SD card
2018-2-8
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Alex Dawson
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Hi Martin, I agree with you that it’s most likely ACR that creates the problem.
It’s a bit sad since my decision on getting the inspire 2 with the X7 and cineDNG license was based on being able to process RAW film with ARC!
I have not texted the DE-flicker plug-in yet and hope that could take care of the issue..?

Do you feel you can get equal to or better results processing your RAW data in other programs compared to ACR?

Kind regards // Alex
2018-2-9
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martinfueloep
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-9 00:11
Hi Martin, I agree with you that it’s most likely ACR that creates the problem.
It’s a bit sad since my decision on getting the inspire 2 with the X7 and cineDNG license was based on being able to process RAW film with ARC!
I have not texted the DE-flicker plug-in yet and hope that could take care of the issue..?

I have not found any software to get even close to the results I can get with ACR. My way to work around that problem is that I'm trying to cut the scenes, when a bright or dark object enteres/leaves the scene. But I'm really interested in the results of your de-flicker-test!
2018-2-9
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Alex Dawson
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That’s what I was afraid of hearing. I think that ACR is kick as good I quality and possibilities when it comes to cineDNG files as long as our issue doesn’t occur. I will let you know how my DE-flicker test goes.
2018-2-9
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-9 01:13
That’s what I was afraid of hearing. I think that ACR is kick as good I quality and possibilities when it comes to cineDNG files as long as our issue doesn’t occur. I will let you know how my DE-flicker test goes.

I would hold off on de-flicker and send to adobe to see if they can offer an app update.
2018-2-9
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Alex Dawson
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I wish they would care about an issue like this but cineDNG users are probably less than 0,001% of the total ACR users they have so chanses are minimal they would care. But I will try
2018-2-9
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-2-9 06:12
I wish they would care about an issue like this but cineDNG users are probably less than 0,001% of the total ACR users they have so chanses are minimal they would care. But I will try

Don't be so sure. Companies like Adobe rely on pro's backing it and using it, so hopefully they can have a look.

I've been looking at some 4k RAW i shot and can't see any problems in high contrasts.
2018-2-9
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Following and trying to learn workflow for DNG files.  I'm using FCPX 10.4 I know this doesn't relate to your issue but still interested.  Thanks everyone for sharing as I watch for the sidelines.
2018-2-10
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This is an ACR issue. ACR is designed to grade still images. There is an adaptive exposure that ACR applies to each DNG individually based on the brightest brights and the darkest darks. That's where your flicker comes from. Most people don't see it. I rendered out a ton of X5R footage before realizing it. Tell me how many shots you see flickering here:



I have since corrected a bunch of my footage and left some of it that was more subtle alone. I have not found a bulletproof way around the issue other than to limit the amount of grading I apply or use Resolve. Since ACR seems to be the ONLY tool that applies lens corrections properly and simply delivers far better results than Resolve, you would think DJI would work with Adobe to address this issue.



2018-2-22
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Alex Dawson
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Yes Thank you. That is my conclusion to. I did manage to reduce it with the a de flicker program though. I hope adobe and DJI can work something out together. I have addressed the issue with adobe. No answer yet.

@DJImindy or any DJI person please help address this issu with your X7 developers and adobe.

Kind regards // Alex
2018-2-23
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AndreaP
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Same problem with Inspire 2 and X5S. Cinema DNG converted with After Effects flickering in some point.  With DaVinci Resolve this doesn't appear, but I like ACR because is very easy and I can do better color grading with more quality.
Someone try this Cinelog? https://www.cinelogdcp.com/overview-acr/
2018-9-23
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Barry Goyette
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Hi Alex,

Sorry, jumping in on this kinda late. From experience, I can tell you that this is definitely an ACR issue, and that there are two approaches that may help. The problem is caused by adobe's adaptive adjustments that were added in the last two color engine updates. If you select the version 2 (2010) processing calibration, the flicker should go away. (this approach sucks, because you lose a tremendous amount of control over the image, but from experience, and research into the issue last year, it seems to fix the problem.)

The next option is the one that I use, but my workflow is different, so I'm not sure it's going to be of help. While Lightroom has the same color engine and adaptive adjustments, it doesn't seem to have a problem with the flickering. I output an image sequence from Lightroom (psd or jpg) and then finish in FCPX. I don't know exactly how the AE workflow works...is it using the raw files, or are you making an image sequence out of ACR? Anyway...lightroom has worked for me, and the tools should be familiar enough to you that it will give you a similar experience...if you can make it work with AE in the same way you are currently doing it.

2018-9-24
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Alex Dawson
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Thank you Berry, Will look into these options. Version 2010 might do it for me
2018-9-24
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Alex Dawson
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Barry Goyette Posted at 2018-9-24 06:57
Hi Alex,

Sorry, jumping in on this kinda late. From experience, I can tell you that this is definitely an ACR issue, and that there are two approaches that may help. The problem is caused by adobe's adaptive adjustments that were added in the last two color engine updates. If you select the version 2 (2010) processing calibration, the flicker should go away. (this approach sucks, because you lose a tremendous amount of control over the image, but from experience, and research into the issue last year, it seems to fix the problem.)

Hi Barry,
can I copy your text and send it Adobe? I would like to hear there a viewpoint on this? It's strange how Lightroom manages to process files without flicker and cameraRAW can't?

kind regards // Alex
2018-9-29
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Alex Dawson
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-9-24 07:05
Thank you Berry, Will look into these options. Version 2010 might do it for me

Version 2010 sucks in quality compared to 2012 & the latest one...
2018-9-29
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Barry Goyette
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-9-29 04:28
Version 2010 sucks in quality compared to 2012 & the latest one...

as I said. :-)

Seriously...try lightroom. I've not seen any flickering on the clips I've processed with it. It's easy to use, and frankly...all the time-lapse guys use it...they were the ones to identify the flickering problem before you could shoot raw on a drone. If you need to stick with ACR, then you need to avoid the tools that cause the flickering...(not that I can tell you the ones that do, but looking at the 2010 color engine should give you an idea)... essentially you'll need to use ACR to do a base grade that leaves some wiggle room.
2018-9-29
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Alex Dawson Posted at 2018-9-29 04:28
Hi Barry,
can I copy your text and send it Adobe? I would like to hear there a viewpoint on this? It's strange how Lightroom manages to process files without flicker and cameraRAW can't?

my guess is that lightroom is really built around handling batch processing (ACR clearly isn't). I know that a few years back, lightroom had the same problem, and I think because all the time lapse guys were using it to process their sequences, that adobe must have made some changes...why they don't work in ACR is a mystery.

It would be great if you could just turn "adaptive" processing off, so that whatever is triggering the flickering gets taken out of the equation...(perhaps that's what LR is doing...who knows).
2018-9-29
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