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Old March 12th, 2010, 02:30 PM   #1
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How do you get that soft look in Adobe CS4?

I have been learning how to shoot video for some time now. I'm used to doing straight interviews. I want to get creative but I have not used Premiere/After Effects CS4 for much creative work. What blur filter/effect can I use to give a soft "Wedding" look. I tried the Gaussian blur but it made it seem like it was out of focus too much. I would like the outsides of the frames to be softer than the inside. (Not a good description but I have see it before.) It may even be a combination of effects. Any help is great!
Art
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Old March 12th, 2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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Hi Art,

The way I would do this: in AE, create a new Adjustment Layer, apply a blur filter to the AL, hit button 'G' which switches to the Pen tool and use it to create a mask in a circle. Then 'feather' and 'expand' the mask. This isn't perfect for creating a perfect gradient of softness from the middle outwards but its the easiest and quickest for beginners.

FYI, Lynda.com is a great resource for learning Premiere and AE (its how I learned the basics).
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Old March 12th, 2010, 03:34 PM   #3
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The Adding a Filmic Glow for After Effects on Lynda.com is very cool.

The gist is you can duplicate a video source layer in the composition and apply subtle effects to them.
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Old March 12th, 2010, 03:36 PM   #4
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Hi Art,

the alternative way for not-a-friend-of-AE people (like myself)
is to use Magic Bullet Looks, and just start playing with it.

Best

Vasco
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Old March 12th, 2010, 05:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick reply. I don't have any Magic Bullet software but I did just recently sign up for the year subscription of Lynda.com. Good stuff. I'll play around with the filmic glow and also try that mask.

Thank you
Art
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Old March 16th, 2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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I'd also take a look at any of the Tiffen DFX plugins...they emulate on-camera filters, which is really the look you're probably seeking.

Something like a Black Pro Mist or Glimmer Glow would probably get you in the general area you're looking for...
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Old March 17th, 2010, 04:28 PM   #7
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Copy track 1 and paste it in track 2 (superimpose)
Add the Fast Blur Effect to track 2 and set it to about 30. Drop the opacity between 50 and 70. Done.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 02:24 AM   #8
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I put together in my blog to create this soft focus effect in Premiere. Take a look

Create Softening Effect In Premiere | L.A. Color Blog
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Old March 19th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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Nice! They all work well, and gives me more options.
Thank you
Art
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Old March 19th, 2010, 10:59 AM   #10
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The best way to achieve your soft effect is to actually shoot it that way. Do not be afraid to experiment with Tiffen filters. I use them on most of my interviews. They do wonders for skin blemishes on people of all ages and all skin variations. The soft filters and black mist filters are best for flesh tones.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #11
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No, no, no. Never ever degrade your image in the cam. Once you've removed detail you can never get it back.

This is a relic from the film days when there wasn't any other way. Really a bad idea today when everything can be done in post, better, faster, easier... and reversible.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 12:22 PM   #12
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Whether it is audio or video, you should ALWAYS get as close as possible what you want to achieve when shooting on location. Yes yes yes . . this is what I have heard from most professionals. There is not a post-production filter in existence that can duplicate the look of a carefully chosen Tiffen filter when shooting. I seldom shoot without them, especially with interior interviews. I could never duplicate in post what I achieve on location.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 01:33 AM   #13
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Brian - your thinking has merit but I wouldn't capture an 'effect' with filters these days...I would only use camera filters like ND's or poloraizers to work with exposure and detail.

For softening, glows and such....I'd go post with effect filters (magic bullet, boris fx, AE's built in effects, masking, duplicating, ect.) far more versatile and produce incredible results.
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