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Old February 24th, 2005, 06:06 PM   #1
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Soft look - filter or post?

I am shooting a script that includes characters watching an old 40s-50s style mellowdrama. I want to include that old black and white heavily filtered look in a closeup of a woman.

Bearing in mind that this video will never play directly, it will just be on a TV that they are watching, can I get away with simulating this look in post, or do I need a filter? And if I do need one, what should it be? One of the higher numbered pro-mists?

I am shooting on an XL1 and doing post in PPro or AE.

I have also heard that you can put a stocking between the cam and lens on some.... is that an option?

Thanks for the help in advance.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 07:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
I want to include that old black and white heavily filtered look in a closeup of a woman.
I would use a filter: Cokin's Sunsoft, B+W/Heliopan Zeiss Softar, Tiffen's Black Pro Mist, etc, or a nylon stocking.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 12:40 AM   #3
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Very similar thread at http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=40016

Quote:
You can achieve the same results in post production. Advantages would be:
-You can undo the filter
-Varying grades/strength
-When you do it in post, the softening/diffusion will smooth over video noise and other artifacts. This doesn't happen when you use a filter in front of the lens. If your subject is well lit, this usually isn't that much of an issue although you might see video noise in dark areas of an image.
-Free

Disadvantages:
-It takes rendering. If you're always doing the effect, it's worth it to get the filter just for the time savings.

To achieve the effect in post:
Duplicate the video onto itself.
Set the opacity of the top to around half.
Add a blur to the top. Gaussian blur will work well, but tends to render slow. Your program may have faster blurs.
Add unsharp mask to the bottom layer if you want to gain back perceived sharpness.
I'm not sure what the heavily filtered look you're talking about is though. I presume you mean the soft focus effect. If so, make sure to turn the sharpening down on your television as that counteracts the soft focus effect.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 10:54 AM   #4
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Frank - thanks, that's what I needed to hear, but they are out of stock around here... ick.

Glenn - thanks, that's a great idea. I did a little test with that and I am very convinced that it will come close enough to play fine on a TV set in my movie... here is my preliminary test:

www.integralarts.com/portfolio/filtertest.jpg

Let me know what you think...
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Old February 25th, 2005, 04:32 PM   #5
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That looks fine. I've never watched 40-50s mellowdrama so I'm not sure what look it is you're after. A huge part of the look you want to achieve might be lighting.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #6
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Yes... lighting is key. The shot I used here was something I shot for something else... I will light it differently for the effect I want.

Thanks for the help.
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Old February 25th, 2005, 07:56 PM   #7
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I just shot some material this weekend that needed to resemble 70's softcore (!) and I used a Promist 1, but ultimately ended up adding post diffusion as well. I used Too Much Too Soon plugins for FCP, which give you a bit more control than the blur/2 layer technique which Glenn described and I have also used in the past.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 01:16 PM   #8
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I believe the correct term is melodrama.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 04:38 PM   #9
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Charles,

Have you checked out the 55mm set of filter plugs by Digital Film Tools (I think we have a thread going on the). Quite simply amazing. With the exception of a polarizer or an ND, I can't imagine having to use a filter on camera again - very high quality. I do however, like to shoot candlelight with a black promist 1/2, there's just something about doing it native that I've been unable to capture in post.

Cheers,

Matt
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Old February 28th, 2005, 06:27 PM   #10
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Melodrama it is... thanks.
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