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Old November 15th, 2006, 05:20 AM   #1
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TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects

I'm sure this isn't news to many of you but I have only recently discovered how useful this plug-in is for simulating dramatic lighting effects. As it's not obvious from the name of the plug-in I thought it might be worth highlighting what it can do for any newcomers to the world of Vegas.

I used it widely on this work in progress music video: www.film-it.net/stuff/spaceship.wmv. I've also attached a couple of stills (from the video) that show some of the more dramatic uses.

Basically, it allows you (among other things) to simulate spotlights, omni and directional lights and while it isn't perfectly realistic in all situations, it can give some great results. So much so that I shot the 'as live' portions of this video with absolutely 'clean' lighting (ie I got the best picture I could) and then spent time in post tweaking and repositioning virtual lighting in Bump Map.

Bump Map allows you to focus the beam, adjust the amount of ambient 'spill', adjust the beam intensity and the source (in simulated 3d space) and focal point of the beam (depending on what type of light you are using). You'll need to reduce the Bump Height setting to zero, which (I think) negates the effect of the Bump Channel and White Is High settings.

Why is this so useful? Well, I only possess a very basic lighting kit (3 Ianiro non-focusing Lilliputs and a 750w (3 x 250W) halogen with softbox. It's my biggest area of weakness and I often struggle with getting decent atmospheric lighting. So, I thought I'd do it in post. I assumed I would have to use After Effects to achieve anything decent but I was delighted to see that I can stay right inside Vegas.

I have yet to experiment with adding 'virtual colour gels' - anyone got any idea how that might be achieved?

Hope that might be of use to someone out there. I have in the past been accused of over-using certain effects in videos, Glow being my favourite. I will continue to be accused of this as I can see I'll be using this technique a lot more!

BTW, I'd welcome any critique of the video itself. It is in it's final stages of being tidied and there is a ton of colour work and other tweaking still to do, but this is pretty much the final structure. I've posted it in the Show Your Work forum, here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=79659

Cheers!

Ian . . .
Attached Thumbnails
TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-image1.jpg   TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-image4.jpg  

TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-image3a.jpg   TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-image6a.jpg  

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Old November 15th, 2006, 08:13 AM   #2
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Well impressed! Good technique, never looked at that FX before. As for adding Gels, it doesn't output an alpha channel, (which would have been nice).

What I have done, fiddling around, is to creatre two tracks with the same source footage. On the 1st track, add a colour correctory 1st and adjust for the gel/colour that I want, then add the spotlight.

Next change the compositing mode to screen.

Now adjust the Level slider of the 2nd track to get the right mix.

Another Method is to put the source footage on one track, and a solid colour (generated media) the track underneath. The colour would be that of your gel. Make this a compositing child of track 1. On track1, change the compositing mode to Multiply (mask). Now add your spotlight to the solid colour.

If you want to overlay this over the original footage, change the parent compositing mode to screen add your next track and adjust levels.

Hope that makes sense
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Old November 15th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #3
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Hi Declan, yeah that all makes sense! Thanks for thinking that through on our behalf!

I gotta say I had written off the bump map filter as gimmicky until I discovered this use for it.

Cheers.

Ian . . .
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Old November 15th, 2006, 01:52 PM   #4
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Like the bump map, like the light rays too! Very moody look, good work.

**edit**
I take it back. I don't like it, I LOVE the ECU shot of the singer, the image on the top of your frame grabs.

Last edited by Seth Bloombaum; November 15th, 2006 at 03:44 PM.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 02:58 PM   #5
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Never thought of it that way, very nice work Ian. Thanks for sharing your ideas, I hope you won't mind if I give it a try on my own footage ;)

Ps. To go overboard and really impress us all post a before and after screenshot side by side :)
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Old November 15th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #6
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Thanks Phil. I'm touched that you would ask me if I mind you using the technique on your material! Knock yerself out!!

I'll dig up some before and after stills for you!

Cheers.

Ian . . .
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Old November 15th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #7
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No problem Ian,

I see in your signature that you use AE, I just started to use it and I love it but I am still pretty green. If you manage to get results concerning this type of effects in AE please post your process and/or progress.

Cheers

Phil
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Old November 15th, 2006, 04:06 PM   #8
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Phil, I do use AE - and it was my original intention to 'mock up' a look and feel for this video and then 'do it properly' in AE. However, as I progressed I realised there was very little required for this project that would need me to go outside of Vegas. I was quite happy with the results.

I'm not one of those people who believes that you can do everything in Vegas that you can do in AE. AE has MANY great advantages over Vegas - and many disadvantages as well, in my opinion. Right tool for the job.

When I have a chance I will try and recreate the same look and feel and lighting effects using just AE and see whether there are any perceptible differences.

I've attached a few before and after pictures here for you to see what a difference the bump map lighting makes! They're all very lo res and hastily put together.

Cheers!

Ian . . .
Attached Thumbnails
TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-wellab.jpg   TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-scarykidsab.jpg  

TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-jesskidsab.jpg   TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-abidanab.jpg  

TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-1967ab.jpg   TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-3840ab.jpg  

TIP: Using Bump Map filter to add dramatic lighting effects-386ab.jpg  
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Old November 15th, 2006, 04:56 PM   #9
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WOW !!!

The last screenshot is really impressive. I think you really mastered the effect. For sure I will give it a try.

By the look of it I see that your original lighting was pretty decent. One cannot hope to accomplish the same kind of results if it was shot in an ugly bar.

Thanks a million for the inspiration.

Cheers.
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Old November 15th, 2006, 05:08 PM   #10
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He he!

Keep in mind that I have also desaturated the colours using the Black & White filter as well as using a touch of the Glow filter to smooth things out. But it's the Bump Map lighting that shapes the image. That's my favourite before and after screenshot as well!

The venue we used was a drop-in day centre for the homeless of London! It was in pretty crummy condition I can tell you. But we did have the luxury of it being empty so we could shoot overnight. In most shots I set the lights to get as clean footage as possible. I'm working on the basis that it's easier to degrade, distress and deform great and clean footage than to try and change a 'seemed good at the time' lighting effect in post!

I'm flattered that you consider this to be an inspiration! Don't think I've inspired anything before!

Right, I'm off to bed now before my head gets too swollen!

Cheers.

Ian . . .
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Old November 17th, 2006, 09:01 AM   #11
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Ian,

Great stuff! I love what you have come up with. I played around with the Bump Map a little last night and love it. Thanks for sharing. Let us know if you come up with other stuff!

Have a great day.
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