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Old March 1st, 2012, 05:01 PM   #1
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Little help on color separation for timelapse

Hey gang,

So I was bored the other day and did some timelapse tests from my roof. Saw this cool building with roaming spotlights. The timelapse came out okay, besides a few kinks (that's what tests are for!) but i'm pretty new at color correction/grading. I really wanted to have these high beams flickering in and out everywhere for the timelapse, and while you can definitely see that, I was hoping I could separate them more from the background and have them stand out.
Part of the problem is the beams are relatively weak, and there's a very bright (for night) sky, so I can't really just crank the whites and limit the black/mids. Before I try randomly messing around with stuff, anyone have any ideas on what to do? Video below, excuse the link, I'm not sure how to embed.

timelapse test 6 - YouTube
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 11:48 AM   #2
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Re: Little help on color separation for timelapse

Looks like a tough one, yes.

First thing I'd do would be to draw a mask for the buildings, so they wouldn't get adjusted, or, you could adjust them independantly. Fairly straightforward, depending on your NLE. Worst case, if no NLE support, you make the mask in Photoshop. I think bringing down the buildings will give more pop to the sky...

On close review, the beams look just a little blue-er than the sky/cloud glow. The next step would be to use a secondary color corrector to see if you can isolate and adjust that color. If so, you've got lots of choices for hue, gamma, gain, saturation, etc.

Depending on the NLE's secondary color corrector, you may be able to isolate based on luminance as well as hue, which would be a second choice.

I am not a video graphics specialist, those are the only approaches I know about.
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Old March 8th, 2012, 09:27 PM   #3
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Re: Little help on color separation for timelapse

as it's a timelapse/still series you can accomplish all that Alex suggested much easier in Lightroom 4 with the local adjustments (masking, adding clarity, local WB adjustments, dropping the building values a bit etc)...then apply the adjustments (sync) to all with a push of a button...

30 day trial is free

HTH...Ric
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Old April 27th, 2012, 02:38 PM   #4
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Re: Little help on color separation for timelapse

Hey guys, I've got another one:

Any idea what's with the jitters in the first part of this timelapse test?


tlt202 2 YouTube sharing copy - YouTube

The bizarre part is they completely disappear in the second part of the video (once I've adjusted the aperture) so I can't figure out what caused it the first time around. I thought maybe me walking by the camera (I have it set in my apartment) could have been the culprit, but it's too consistent in the first part and completely gone in the second... also thought wind from the window could be a problem, or the traffic outside causing minor bumps, but that doesn't seem to be consistent with it disappearing later. Anyone have any thoughts?
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