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Old September 14th, 2005, 07:59 PM   #1
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Some visual vibe & idea photos

*EDIT* Maybe this should be moved to the Totem/Off Topic forum, on second thought...

I went downtown today and took some photos, some in areas I might consider for my future film short. I found some nice locations and buildings for it actually. Once I got home, I loaded up the photos and edited them in Photoshop to experiment with mood and vibe. So they are just that, experiments. I'd like to hear what you think. I've included comments with each photo.
1. This is our performing arts center. I am considering using shots of the outside for a particular location of my idea. Except 'Fox Cities Performing Arts Center' would be removed and the relevant name put in. I like the contrast in this shot except for the sky. Seems the sky is too bright for the building, and a more ominous sky would be better. Although that's not how I would like to present this particular building in the movie.
2. Another shot of the front name area. I like the desaturated look here, it's something I might carry out through most of the movie - although that could get monotonous (if you've seen Mel Gibson in Payback, it had this blue tinge to it... neat, but kinda boring).
3. Looking upward between 2 buildings at the vibrant blue sky. I like the contrast here. I have found by putting a seperate layer atop this one, of I believe yellow... or it may have been a duplicate layer, I don't recall -- by setting it to a dodge blend mode, and dragging the fill slider up and down - you get this effect of a mass of light pouring in from the sky and blanketing the entire shot. It would look neat in a movie if it had a purpose.
4. A similar shot, blue is a little more richer here. I like the clouds.
5. It's me. I like the subtle grunge on the wall with the yellow all around. The light is too vibrant, it obscures the fixture. But I dig the contrast in this shot.
6. This would be a hallway of the laboratory in the movie. It's actually the city hall downtown. I played around with layers and gave it a desaturated-blueish look to it. A green-yellow might look nice as well.
7. Not sure what I intended here, thought I might find something neat once I edited it. To me this looks like it was straight from a (real) film scene. Maybe it just reminds me of something I've seen, or the color depth. I added a bit of yellow to this shot.
8. This is a poor edit actually. I had 2 other narrow and tall shots of this area. It's a different thing actually being in the building, I said 'wow' outloud. It is a brown marble hallway, with all those lights... it just looks really nice. But I messed it up in this shot -- too dark and bit too contrasted.
9. Me in another part of the building above. You can see the marble walls. I put some yellow in here I think it went nicely with the brown walls, evokes a nice mood here. Probably bit too dark though.
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Old September 14th, 2005, 10:47 PM   #2
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1- I haven't played around with this, but if you have a polarizer filter it can darken the sky (and make it more saturated).

In post, you can add a digital equivalent of a graduated filter. In photoshop, you'd create an adjustment layer and for the mask use some sort of diagonal gradient. Then you can do things like lower brightness and saturation to the top left part of the image.

I like this shot. One thing that didn't mesh well with me was that the right side looks kinda impressionistic (like there was diffusion or something) while the left side is sharp and looks like video.

2- Try adding curves as an adjustment layer, and make the curve concave up to darken everything up.

It'd be nice if you could get some detail in the sky... like using a polarizing filter.

6- I like that shot.

The rest:
I'm not really sure what direction you were going in with some of the shots. Like in #9, it looks dingy/nasty but at the same time the colors are really vibrant and saturated. If you're trying to create something dark, play around with the curves and make them s-shaped. You can also experiment with changing the color mode into LAB and applying curves to the L luminance channel. RGB typically looks a little better though IMO.

You can obviously drop saturation and control for saturation between LAB and RGB curves.

*Many programs don't have LAB operations.

If you want to push saturation around more while keeping the flesh tones neutral:
You can isolate flesh tones based on their hue, saturation and color via secondary color correction. I don't think Photoshop is too good with that, or maybe I haven't figured it out. Some video programs have good secondary color correction... FCP, Vegas, AE (the hue/saturation filter is ok).
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Old September 14th, 2005, 11:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for your advice. I am not familiar with LAB curves but I'll look into it. I've been using PS for over 4 years but some things I just never touched upon. Just when I get comfortable theres always more to learn. :)

I was thinking... imagine this shot is stock-video (of course it'd be much sharper and better, but still lets pretend a minute ;) )

Now imagine this shot is post-production work:

That's another thing I look forward to.

By the way here is a hall I didn't put up, original pic:

Edited pic:
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Last edited by Justin Kohli; September 15th, 2005 at 01:26 AM.
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