View Full Version : Removing smudge on lens thats shows up on video

05-12-2013, 02:41 PM
Hey guys,

I shot a wedding recently and when I checked back the footage I noticed that on some shots against a bright background like a blue sky there is a smudge on the lens that shows up on the video. It is distracting and ruins the shot and wanted to know what would be the best way to remove this I guess using Adobe Premiere CS6 or After Effects CS6. I attached some sample images as an example. The smudge is highlighted by the red circle. And the shot is a moving shot, not a static shot. Thanks.


05-12-2013, 03:37 PM
It depends on the specific shot characteristics

One method would be a shifted layer mask. e.g. duplicate & move the top layer , poke a hole with a mask to "cover" the defect

Another method would be a photoshop batch action (e.g. heal brush)

Of course to get it "perfect" you might have to do a bit of touch up work on a frame here and there

05-14-2013, 12:54 PM
Ok, here's one solution using After Effects.

If you' re editing in Premiere just right click the video in the timeline and use dynamic link to replace it with and an AE composition. Once you do that AE will open. Double click on the video layer and select the clone stamp tool. It's up there with the rest of the tools. Just hover your mouse over them to see the descriptions if you' re not sure which one it is. From there on you can change the brush size by pressing Command on a Mac/Control on a PC and drag your mouse up/down at the same time. Pick a small brush. You can also change the blending mode. Normal is ok, but you may want to use Lighten too, especially if it's not just the sky in the shot. Blending mode and other options appear in the properties panel located next to the timeline. Click Option key an a Mac, Alt key on a PC and click on a very close region next to the smudge. Now paint over the smudge. Play with the blending mode if you' re not satisfied.

Mind you that this is an effect, meaning it can also be keyframed in order to be visible or not. Hope t helps.

05-14-2013, 02:33 PM
I don't know if you would like to try and letter box the whole edit to a 2.35:1 aspect ratio by adding black bars to the top and bottom of your clips.

Would be quite easy to do and will give the whole edit better perceived production value and much more of a cinematic look. It looks like in the still grabs you have posted the smudge is quite high up in the frame. Letter boxing would crop that area out completely. Also after letter boxing you can move your clips up and down to get nice framing. I sometimes animate the clips position to simulate a camera move if the shot needs moving up and down over time to achieve the best framing.

Just a suggestion and may save a time over painting out frame by frame.


05-14-2013, 02:42 PM
Oh, I forgot to point out that you won't be painting that for every frame, just in the first one. :D

05-15-2013, 02:59 PM
Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies.


I tried your clone stamp tool technique and it worked reasonably well on the bride shot as it is just blue sky and nothing else (Also thanks for the detailed step by step instructions and assuming I didn't know my way around After Effects because I don't yet :D). But for the other shot with the black lamp posts by the time the spot moves from blue sky to the lamp posts the cloned blue spot appears over the black lamp post. I am not sure yet the technique of how to key frame around this yet.

Here is the clip with the smudge and black posts:


What is the technique to edit out the black spot with this.

05-15-2013, 03:32 PM
Well, for some reason I thought the paint effect could be keyframed but I was mistaken. However there are a number of ways you could fix that. Here's the simplest one I can think of. With the layer selected, go to the desired point in time, just before the smudge moves to the lamp posts, and press Command+Shift+D/Control+Shift+D on a PC. This will make another layer on top starting where you selected, much like an edit. Repeat that for when the spot leaves the lamp post and deactivate the paint effect for the layer in between. Alternatively you could just sample a region directly below the smudge so when it would come to the lamp posts it would copy the lamp posts themselves an would therefore be seamless. Anytime svem :)

06-26-2013, 09:44 PM
Using the clone stamp tool you could keyframe the clone source depending on what part you are trying to cover over.