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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old February 25th, 2004, 09:10 AM   #16
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Glenn wrote:
>>>>However, I'm curious: When you do it optically, can you move the glass/vaseline such that out of focus areas get more softening than in focus areas?>>>>

Do you mean move the glass during shooting?

If you mean to adjust the glass itself, there is really no right or wrong way of doing this, but ideally, like an artist, you would keep only those areas that you want to remain in sharp focus free and clear on the glass, with a varying thickness of the petroleum jelly/Vaseline depending on the level of diffusion sought.

If the diffusion material is too thick, it may appear too obvious r too dark and ruin the effect, so the only way to get it exactly right is to experiment.

The great thing about doing this on video is that you can instantly see if your results are satisfactory, and when it render time!

Please post any results of this method, and if anyone comes up with any materials which improve on this technique.

FWIW, I believe that this technique originated in the early years of Hollywood.

Brian Mitchell Warshawsky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2004, 10:34 AM   #17
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Location: Cleveland, Ohio
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Hi Dwight,

I'm not sure an NLE like Premiere or Vegas is the appropriate tool for this type of work. You'll probably be better off with a compositing tool like After Effects or combustion, but you may be able to use an NLE program so long as it supports masking and applying filters to masked areas.

Essentially what I think you want to do is frame-by-frame mask out your foreground and apply a gaussian blur to the background. It won't be "true" depth of field, but it will offer some sense of verisimilitude, provided you're willing to expend the energy it takes to do frame-by-frame masking out of complex moving objects. (Try applying a bit of a gradient to the mask edge to soften the effect.)

You might be interested in the "Agus 35" thread in the film look forum here, which has spurred many users to build a simple custom camera add-on which can provide true 35 mm depth of field on a budget. It has quickly become the most popular thread on all of
All the best,
Robert K S

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Robert Knecht Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2004, 09:42 AM   #18
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Robert, I have looked at the agus 35 option, and I am in the process of getting the materials to make one myself. The thread did not give a lot of detailed instruction on how he did it so I will contact him directly. I'll let you know if it works.

Dwight Flynn is offline   Reply

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