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Old October 19th, 2004, 11:05 AM   #1
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"Sky Captain" bleach type process?

OK, I always loved that blown out look. Ever since the old Robert Palmer videos - yep, I'm an old bugger. I saw "Sky Captain" this weekend with my teenage daughter. We both thought it was well done. About 10 minutes into it I quit looking for flaws. There were plenty but the movie was so familiar to me - Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Spy Smasher, Superman...I got caught up in the action the way I always do the first few times I see a new movie.

Anyway, I set out to find an electronic process I could emulate on both Avid Xpress Pro and Premiere Pro that I could use to recreate this effect.

I tried the Avid approach but there is no built in gausian blur which I am thinking might be a key to the "glow" of the high key areas in the movie.

Premiere Pro is humming away on my tiny Sony Vaio PCG-SRX87 churning out some test footage.

I am thinking the right cobination of the following elements might cause this effect:

1). High Key footage. Brilliant highlights, etc.

2). Footage converted to B&W - kill the saturation or apply a B&W filter.

3). Add a tint - sepia, flesh tone, etc.

4). clip the whites somewhere below the normal 235 to flatten the highlights.

5). Add a touch of Gausian blur in both directions.

Shake lightly and render.
Anyone else come up with what they think would be a good formula for this sort of glowing washed out look?

Sean McHenry
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Old October 20th, 2004, 02:28 PM   #2
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Sean,

Your formula would probably look pretty good.

I have a small tutorial that shows how to get a similar look in AfterEffects. Maybe you can get some ideas from it. Here's the link:

http://planet3media.com/tutorials/sc_tutorial.htm


Good luck!

R
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Old October 20th, 2004, 07:48 PM   #3
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I found a great set of Avid and After Effects plugins that do this from the start. digitalfilmtools.com. Check out the 55mm plugin and try the AE version. It's a free watermarked demo. They have a bleach process and a diffusion as well as a few famous simulations like black mist etc.

I may just go with that.

I also found a few cool things you can do in both Avid and any other editor. Make a copy of your clip on the timeline. Take the lower track to B&W and do your blur, etc on it.

Adjust the transparancy of the upper track so you just get it about half way between the B&W and the color versions of the same clip. It has an interesting effect.

Also, Premiere has a great plugin called "Color Pass" that lets you choose skin tones (or any other color) and tell it how sensetive to be to that color only. It allows things like that red rose to show while the rest of the image is B&W, that sort of thing.

If you have hard tonal ranges between your people and anything else in the scene, you can make everything but the people go B&W. I suppose you could really get wild if you then did a color replacement...

I'll keep playing.

Sean
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