How To Remove Flashes From Video in Premiere Pro CC

When you’re filming an event or in a large crowd of people, flashes from professional photographers or the multitude of cell phones can really kill the mood of your perfect hero-shot. Those happy newlyweds, daring race car drivers, and dashes celebrities are what everyone is there to see and the white flashes from all the fans and family members are endless and unpredictable.

We’ve accepted this reality, and try our best to just look past all the glare. But now we can do something about it! Matt WhoisMatt Johnson has put together this quick tutorial highlighting his method of erasing those annoying flash frames right from existence. Have a look and check out his technique; it’s very innovative and works surprisingly well.

Matt’s method relies on the Optical Flow feature in Premiere Pro which can be found in the Time Interpolation dropdown menu when adjusting the clip speed. Optical Flow was Adobe’s answer to Twixtor Plug-In by RE:Vision Effects that was all the rage about a decade ago.

Like Twixtor, Optical Flow gives you the illusion of slow-motion footage by interpolating missing frames. It works best with footage shot at higher shutter speeds or footage that don’t contain a lot of motion blurring, and give some super weird results when you try to use it for shots of liquid.

In this example, Matt is very cleverly using it to fill in the missing gaps where he has cut out those flash frames. Quite simply, Matt is scanning through his footage, cutting and removing the flash frames then nesting the those clips so the effect can be applied across the edit.

Matt’s Method

  1. Scan through the footage to identify a flash frame
  2. Place at cut before, and after each flash frame
  3. Delete the flash frame
  4. Highlight the clips on the timeline, and close the gaps you created by deleting the flash frames
  5. Nest all of the clips
  6. Right-Click, Speed and Duration
  7. Time Interpolation set to Optical Flow

I love this method. It’s tedious but super clever. I should offer one minor adjustment in that rather than cutting, deleting, then closing the gaps, you could set an in point (I on the keyboard), an output (O on the keyboard), and then delete – all without taking your hands off the keyboard, saving yourself some time.

Alternatively, you could cut then use Q (Ripple Trim Playhead to Previous Edit) to save yourself an extra click. We covered this method of cutting down footage in a previous post, and it would work nicely here too.

Our hats are off to Matt for an innovative, and killer method of zapping those awful flash frames out of existence. I’ve been editing for over two decades, and I learn something new every day. Do you have any editing tips or tricks to share? We’d love to hear them.

[source: Matt WhoisMatt Johnson]

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