Lens Correction for DSLR Video

The Lens Correction filter in Photoshop is an easy way to fix common flaws in an image (such as barrel distortion, lens vignettes, and chromatic aberration). Usually the filter is run on 8 or 16 bits per channel still images. However it can also be run on DSLR video clips.

The filter can also correct perspective problems caused by camera tilt. It also automatically looks up lens information from an online database.

  1. Open a video file using Photoshop Extended.
  2. Choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters to ensure flexibility in editing.
  3. Choose Filter > Lens Correction.
  4. A new window opens. Look in the bottom-left corner for information about the camera and lens used for the shot. (This comes with the metadata the camera wrote to the original file.) If you’re using a movie file, this info may be missing. It's a good idea to also shoot a still image on set to capture important metadata for your video clips.
  5. Click the Show Grid check box to make it easier to see perspective issues.
  6. Choose a manufacturer from the Camera Make menu.
  7. From the Camera Model menu, choose the correct camera model.
  8. From the Lens Model menu, choose the correct lens.
  9. From the Auto Correction tab, check the Geometric Distortion, Chromatic Aberration, Vignette, and Auto Scale Image check boxes.
  10. Switch to the Custom tab for advanced controls. Use the Vertical Perspective and the Horizontal Perspective to compensate for keystoning or angled shots. Adjust the Vignette Amount to further brighten or darken the edges.
  11. Click OK to apply the correction.

Because of the complexity of the effect, the video clip won’t play back smoothly. Choose File > Export > Render Video to process the file and create a new clip. Be sure to also save a PSD file for future changes. You can double-click the Lens Correction filter in the Layers panel to open the Smart Filter for future edits.

Be sure to check out my two Photoshop books – Photoshop for Video and Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5.