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Old January 22nd, 2005, 01:03 PM   #1
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Best/favorite film look pluggin?

Hello all!! I'm shooting an XL2 (24pa) and editing in FCPHD. I've recently been experimenting with color correction and "film looks". There are three packages I'm currently looking at: Magic Bullet for Editors, Digital Film Lab, and Nattress. I was wondering two things. First, is it better to do this work within FCP or would I be better off doing it in AfterEffects and two, which is the preferred package. I've read as much as I can about the three and the long rendering times of MB concerns me but I'm looking for the best quality and versatility that I can get. Digital Film Lab actually seems to be the best bet, but I'm concerned that there doesn't seem to be too many folks using it...

Thanks,

Matt
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 03:32 PM   #2
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I'm definitey not an expert like many on this forum, but have you tried Color Finesse by Synthetic Aperture (http://www.synthetic-ap.com/products/cf/)? It allows wonderful control of color correction and the abilty to apply film stock emulation (they don't have tons, but you can modify and save your own). It also works in both Adobe After Effects and Apple Final Cut Pro HD (as well as others). I have both Magic Bullet for Editors and Digital Film Lab. In my opinion, Magic Bullet for Editors just takes too long (maybe different on a Mac?). Color Finesse is very quick and a great tool, so I have been trying to copy the looks from MB and emulate them in Color Finesse and save them as presets. You might give their demo a try.

John
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 05:06 PM   #3
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Color Finesse by Synthetic Aperture looks impressive. Would this be a replacement for Digital Film Lab or something to get "in addition to"?
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Old January 22nd, 2005, 08:02 PM   #4
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I don't really know how to answer... I guess that really depends on your needs and (especially) your budget. I tend to get a lot of software (too much? --- I'm a software junkie) that often overlaps somewhat in functionality. The software from Digital Film Tools is great, and I have used both 55mm and Digital Film Lab. I haven't explored every function, because there is so much involved in these types of products and I only have so much time to devote to what for me is, at this time, a hobby. If I'm looking for a preset look, I might use one of the filters in Digital Film Tools (it is still faster than Magic Bullet) --- and if I want something like a diffusion filter or grain look, I can't get that with Color Finesse (or I don't know how). But, Color Finesse is definitely the best color correction tool I've found so far (that is available to normal people without a big studio budget --- though it still isn't cheap) and the "Finesse" part sums it up very well --- it is also nice to be able to do things from one consistent interface in either Premiere Pro or After Effects.

There is a slightly old review of an earlier version that might still interest you here: http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/review_color_finesse.html

... and some FCP stuff here might talk about color correction: http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/fcp_homepage_index.html

John
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Old January 24th, 2005, 11:56 AM   #5
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Most of the expensive effects can be created using the plugins native to your NLE, you just have to know what look you are after. Typically, Levels, Curves, Hue/Saturation, Tints, etc. The expensive plugins just make it a little easier and give you presets so you can choose the look you are after.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 03:24 PM   #6
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I use both Magic Bullet for Editor (FCPHD) and Nattress Film Look plug-ins. I use both, but Magic Bullet takes forever to render.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #7
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My Film Effects is not a colour correction package, but it does do some things that you would traditionally do with one.

I'd certainly use Film Effects, but depending on what you want to achieve, you might be better off using a dedicated CC program. However, for the 24p effect, if that's something that you need, I'd certainly use my Film Effects over all other 24p effects that I've used. Indeed, that's why I wrote it in the first place because I was not happy with what else was available.

Graeme
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Old January 27th, 2005, 06:56 PM   #8
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Graeme,

Could you please list some TV shows that use your Nattress Film Look plug-in. I'd really like to see what everyone's talking about.

Are there any plans for a Windows platform version? I hope so. I've tried everything I've heard of & can get my hands on & I still can't get a film look I'm satisfied with.
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Old January 27th, 2005, 07:16 PM   #9
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The new DVD of Mary Poppins uses Film Effects in the extras to match new footage with old.

The DVDs of Anthrax - Music of Mass destruction and Ween - Live in Chicago use Film Effects througout.

There's no windows version I'm afraid, as I like to offer excellent support with the plugins and I just couldn't do that for a platform I don't use.

Graeme
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Old January 30th, 2005, 02:53 AM   #10
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In Vegas, i have a chain set up

colour curves, glow, sepia then saturation adjustment in a chain.

Deep blacks, sharp contrasts, thick greens, pale skins, blown out whites and rich blues.. .

I hate oversaturated reds..
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Old February 1st, 2005, 09:50 AM   #11
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OK, I am getting Final Cut Express...does this mean that I will need to get some other software in order to manipulate the scenes I will be editing? I thought there would be stuff on FCE that can change picture apperance.

Any help on what I am getting would be appreciated. If I need some other software I would like to know. Other than FCE I will also be getting Adobe Photoshop for my G5.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 05:44 AM   #12
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I have magic bullet editors for Vegas and although they do take some rendering, they look awesome. I shot some recent footage in frame mode and applied green pearl and it certainly doesn't look like an amatuerish video look at all. I think the rendering time is worth it.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 07:24 AM   #13
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I don't think there's much in MB for E you can't do with some decent colour correction tools and a bit of time. The render times in it are horendous for what it's doing, especially as it doesn't de-interlace or do 24p, and these are usually the time consuming bits.

Film Effects www.nattress.com runs in FCE and works well. You should try it out with the free demo. Rendering times can be long for the 24p effect, but are still significantly shorter than MB for E, and the plugin is native to FCE / FCP so none of the mucking around you have to do with MB. Try their demo too and see.

Graeme
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