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-   -   Matrix Look (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/techniques-independent-production/17640-matrix-look.html)

Arthur To November 26th, 2003 06:48 PM

Matrix Look
does anyone know ANYTHIGN about how they gave the matrix that neo dark look?

if possible, i kind of need help.

what filters?
what lens?
what camera?


does anyone know anything?


also what filters should i give my camera to get taht....... lots-of-detail-on-the-face, high color, look.

(just imagine morpheus' super telephoto shot)

obviously not a softner..



Adrian Douglas November 26th, 2003 11:53 PM

When it comes to cameras and lenses you can forget them as matrix was shot using 35mm Panavision cameras and lenses. As for the rest of it, carefull planning of your shot and attention to lighting will go along way.

If you want to simulate the look then get your hands on something like After Effects that allows you to really control and manipulate your footage. You could also use a NLE package, Vegas has quite good colour correction tools, as does FCP, but colour correction and image maipulation is where AE shines.

Matrix has a green cast to it when the characters are 'in the matrix' and normal colouring for 'the real world'. The green cast is produced in post by adjusting colour balance, hue and saturation. Obviously you're not going to get it exactly the same unless you have a cast of thousands and a budget to match but with a bit of colour correcion and some imagination you will be able to do wonders.

Arthur To November 27th, 2003 02:09 AM

wow, thx for the help

ill play with Ae


John Hudson November 27th, 2003 01:41 PM

Exactly. Also, study the MAtrix films in terms of lighting (not color) styles. Look at HOW shots were set up as far as where light splashes, hard, soft, backlit, etc.

Think like this, pay attention to the lighting style as if it was filmed in black and white.

If you can mimic the LIGHTING STYLE within your budget and capabilities, correcting in post for the GREEN MATRIX effect should be a breeze.

David Warrilow November 27th, 2003 07:16 PM


mainly from what I can determine, it is mostly green pushed into the shadow areas of the frame - because skin tones and highlights may be desaturated but they don't have a green color cast. Also as others have pointed out, there are two different lighting and art direction approaches in the movies - one for the matrix and the other for the real world, which enhance the 'matrix' effect.

'Magic Bullet' the deinterlacing and colour correction plugin for after effects has a preset called 'Neo' which mimics this matrix look with the touch of a button. It would be best to figure it out from a nuts and bolts colour correction standpoint - just because you'll learn to apply similar but different methodology to 'non-matrix' looks that you want to achieve - but quick and dirty; have a look at Magic bullet.



Arthur To November 27th, 2003 11:18 PM

wow now i like this program

where to buy? how much?


Graeme Nattress November 28th, 2003 05:30 AM

Also check out my Film Effects on my website for a more affordable alternative to Magic Bullet if you're using Final Cut Pro (I took a look at your web site but I couldn't see what software you're using) - even if you're not running FCP the technical articles on film looks are worth reading for background knowledge.


Arthur To November 28th, 2003 11:28 AM


i appreciate the help

btw, i use adobe premiere, but i can switch to final cut.

is magic bullet only for final cut? can it be independant or a plugin for another program?


Graeme Nattress November 28th, 2003 11:39 AM

Magic Bullet is only for After Effects (PC and MAC) and is the most hyped film look solution.

If you're on a mac, I strongly advise you to download the demos of all the solutions and compare both the solution, and the support from the developers - there's a world of difference, especially in price.

If you're using premiere on mac I strongly suggest you switch to FCP because Adobe has dumped Premiere on the mac. If you're on a PC, then there are many choices out there, but given the treatment us mac owners got from Adobe (crashy software, followed by paid upgrade to bad software) most of us jumped ship to FCP. If they've done it once they'll do it again....


Guest November 28th, 2003 12:17 PM


The actual effect your reffering to was completed inside after effects using
a plug in provided by digital fusion, that plugin is available
online...however, inside shake, the random letter node just needs some minor
tweaking; I am sure I have sucha plugin laying around here and would get it
to you..but the meat of it is that the random assignment is done outside of
shake and then the glow after effect is added using light and color
manipulation nodes

Here's the tweak that I did:

image RandomNumber(
int width,
int height,
int bytes,
const char * number,
int staticFrame,
float seed,
const char * font,
float xFontScale,
float yFontScale,
float xPos,
float yPos,
float red,
float green,
float blue,
float alpha
{curve string rdNumber = stringf("%c", '0'+(int)floor(rnd1d(seed,time)*10));
randnum = Text(
width, height, bytes, "{rdNumber}", font,
xFontScale, yFontScale, 1, xPos, yPos,
0, 2, 2, red, green, blue, alpha, 0, 0, 0, 45
fixednum = Text(
width, height, bytes, number, font,
xFontScale, yFontScale, 1, xPos, yPos,
0, 2, 2, red, green, blue, alpha, 0, 0, 0, 45
return Select(time<staticFrame?1:2,

David Warrilow November 28th, 2003 05:30 PM


Arthur, if it's the 'look' of the footage you're after then Graeme is a good person to be in contact with. He has written his own filters for FCP and obviously has a good understanding of achieving different looks. I don't personally use FCP - but if I did I'd be looking to buy graeme's filters as, compared to the other solutions out there, they are great value for money.

I don't recall if he has a NEO filter in his pack (Graeme?)but he can probably figure out a great way to do it and might include it in the next incarnation of his software.

Good luck in your quest.



Guest November 28th, 2003 05:38 PM


Graeme Nattress November 28th, 2003 07:36 PM

Thanks. I'm happy to help anyone acheive a film look without buying the special filters by using in-built tools. The reason I wrote the plugins was to put all the features I needed in one place, be able to make presets and to do a proper 24p look without spending $1000 on an over-hyped package....

I've done a "neo" look - it's one of the presets, but it's not on the website because I completed it after the plugins was launched.

The key to the matrix look is combination of bleach bypass ( blend a black and white version of the video with itself using multiply blending mode ) and a green tint biassed towards shadow regions.


Charles King November 28th, 2003 08:15 PM

It's a pity your plug-in only works with FCP. :(

Arthur To November 28th, 2003 11:58 PM

wow, its like subway, so many choices.
umm..... can anyone hook me up with any of this stuff right now?


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