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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:30 PM   #1
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Trying to get the "Top Gear" look in Vegas

Just as the name implies, Im trying to figure out how to get the look that the TV show Top Gear gets when they shoot video. There like a slight dark halo at the top of the screen that gives the footage a great artistic quality.

See sample:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3hcOVK8NDE


Also, on another point, to resize a video track within the workspace, I think someone mentioned to me at one time not to use the pan/crop, but to use some other method, so you can also put a border around the downsized video track window. Anyone know what this is?
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Old May 4th, 2007, 04:33 PM   #2
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There's different ways to create vignettes in Vegas.

One method is to:
a- Duplicate a clip onto itself.
b- Mask the top layer
c- apply corrections to the top layer... i.e. add the color corrector filter, move the two rightmost wheels around. Decrease gain and saturation equally.
d- Click the little triangle in the bottom left corner of the eventFX window if you are seeing halos. This changes the ordering of filter and masking... you almost always want filtering first.
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Old May 4th, 2007, 05:22 PM   #3
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They typically get this with wide-angle shots. You won't see the same vignetting with their telephoto work.

This is typically a circular fall-off. The most common reason that it wouldn't naturally be would be the use of an anamorphic lens. Either way, an elliptical gradient generator over the top that goes from transparent-black near the center to nearly-transparent-black at the edges works really well for this.

Play with an overlayed gradient and you'll get the look you want.



On your second question:
Track-Motion (on the track header, it looks like two completely odd rectangles with one stabbing the other) is what you're looking for. It can do shadows and glows.


Watching Top Gear always makes me want to go bang out some huge arrest-worthy drifts in the S2000.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 05:36 AM   #4
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Cookie Cutter Filter also does this.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 08:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Brown View Post
Cookie Cutter Filter also does this.
and is the most render friendly options..

as an aside, this guy is trully a master.. bloody funny stuff
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Old May 5th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #6
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Top Gear is where people get to play a bit. You can do these things in post, but with a matt box and some filters it's great fun. Tobacco, red and blue graduated filters are great, and you can also do some interesting things with acetate printed on your ink jet. You can do an oval that only has a top half, to darken top left and right corners, leaving the bottom alone. You can do most of these effects as simulations in the editor, but visually shooting like this is even better - BUT you really need a decent monitor out in the field, as it's very easy to shoot thinking it will work, and then back at base it looks wrong. I use the 4" size filters, but the smaller ones work quite well too.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 10:25 AM   #7
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Paul, what a brilliant idea - I had never thought of playing with acetate sheets in the inkjet. Does the ink stay where it should or do you use fixative after printing? Got any examples of effects you've achieved with this? And what do you do, cut them to 4 x 4 then use them in the matte box?

Really neat idea, cheers!

Ian . . .
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Old May 5th, 2007, 12:25 PM   #8
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Just don't get the printing wet and you'll be fine. You can use an art fixative (glossy) spray to get it to hold. You can also do this with a color laser.


Keep in mind that a really big part of the Top Gear look has nothing to do with effects, either in the field or otherwise. The corner fall-off comes from wide-angle lenses, which means that the sense of speed, distance, and perspective does as well. It means that, for those glory shots that they fade up and down for, looking closely at details of cars, they get that perspective distortion that makes surface details on cars really pop. It also means that they really can't get narrow depth of field for those shots.

They also shoot moving shots from the back of a station-wagon. If you're careful, you can do this with a tripod and a sedan. I did this for this throw-together ( http://matthew.chaboud.com/junkdump/acura.wmv ) one morning as a test-edit for our first consumer sku of Vegas. The dash-shots are horrid, but I only spent two 30-minute sessions with a friend of mine shooting. I've since built a license-frame camera mount, but I don't have any of that footage online. Nothing nicer than an HC3 will get hung off of what I built, anyway.

If you're doing car stuff, stay low to the ground to get that sense of speed. Stay wide for drive-at or blow-by shots. Telephoto shots hide all of the distance you are covering.

If you're going to re-shoot, you really have a number of options.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 01:05 AM   #9
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Thanks for the cookie cutter suggestion. Wasnt too difficult to play around with and see the results in the previewer in real time to get the cutout I wanted.

A neat tool. After tooling around with it a bit you can pull off some pretty impressive effects. I threw in a TV bad synch FX and film grain and created a fairly realistic passing film reel.
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