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Thread: "Polishing" Video

  1. #1
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    Default "Polishing" Video

    One thing I don't understand how to do and cant seem to find information on is how to "polish" footage? For example, watching the special features of some movies shows the "unpolished" footage which is kind of washed out. The footage that comes out of my camera doesn't look like this but it certainly doesn't look like "polished" and "clean" footage either. Is it just the camera that is shooting the footage or is there some post-production process that can add this polish. I hope my meaning is clear. Basically, I'm talking about the look between this

    YouTube - Star Wars Fan Film - Essence of the Force
    (Ignoring the CGI first half)

    YouTube - The Jedi Defector
    (I made this a year or so ago, not extremely proud of it (missing stuff, sound effects for example) but don't hate it either but as you can see it lacks a "polished" look.)

    For me this polished vs. unpolished is kind of like being able to forget you are watching a movie to being constantly reminded that this is a movie respectively. Maybe it's just me.
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  2. #2
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    Default

    The stage which you refer to is done in post-production on a feature film. I think the guy who sorts the colour and washed out rushes is whats known as a colour timer.

    I don't understand the topic are you asking how to 'polish' your own personal footage or are you making a general point?
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  3. #3
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    Default

    I'm asking how to polish my own footage and give it the more professional look as opposed to the amateur, kinda right out of camera look. Sorry about that, I should have ended with my question, not started with it.
    System Specifications:
    Intel Core 2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40 GHz
    2 GB RAM
    Nvidia GeForce 7600 GS

  4. #4
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    Default

    This subject is truly an artform and will take a long time to master.

    there are a bundle of tools available to help with this process. Magic Bullet coems to mind which I think works in Premiere. You'll do much better in After effects though as you have more control.

    What it really boils down to is first, getting a colour balance between shots. You can look at the 'levels', brightness and contrast controls as a start to this job. With just these controls you should be able to get a pair of clips looking like they were shot in the same light conditions.

    once your clips all look simlar then you can consider how you wish to 'treat' your movie. We're all familiar with the green Matrix effect and the classic bleech bypass looks. Hard to do by hand so best to get a tool like Magic Bullet to apply these effect.

    However, the very first thing to do to get a good polished and clean look (as you put it) is to film your movie with the effect in mind. Watch any major movie and take a snapshot at just about any time. you will find that each shot has a dedicated pallette associated with it. i.e. anything the wrong colour for the look intended is removed so as not to distract the viewer. (Classic case breaking this rule for me is the Sixth Sense where the use of red in a scene has a supernatural meaning i.e, somethign spooky will happen.) very hard to do this properly for 'home' productions because it costs money. i.e. I often shoot my movies at people's homes, using them as sets, and cannot (or don't want to) afford to redress a front room with all the normal thing that should be there but in different colours. but this is what happens on movie sets. I;ve listened to a number of commentaries whereit's stated that they used a realo house which look ed just right but had to move out big lumps of furniture and replace them and then have to change the wallpaper etc etc. just not feasible for mosty of us eh?

    A great book is Stu Maschwitz's "The DV Rebel's Guide" which has a whoel chapter on this. I'm sure there are better volumes on the subject but I don't have any as I've not the time to really get into the subtetlies of it just yet.,

    For the record, this is the book that is on my list to buy when I get around to it. No idea if it's good or bad but it's the one that's caught my eye so far. Amazon.co.uk: Color Correction for Digital Video: Using Desktop Tools to Perfect Your Image (DV Expert Series): Books: Steve Hullfish
    Last edited by Alan Mills; 10-16-2007 at 10:46 PM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Mills View Post

    A great book is Stu Maschwitz's "The DV Rebel's Guide" which has a whoel chapter on this. I'm sure there are better volumes on the subject but I don't have any as I've not the time to really get into the subtetlies of it just yet.,

    For the record, this is the book that is on my list to buy when I get around to it. No idea if it's good or bad but it's the one that's caught my eye so far. Amazon.co.uk: Color Correction for Digital Video: Using Desktop Tools to Perfect Your Image (DV Expert Series): Books: Steve Hullfish
    wow a book, i dont know about u but that seems way too extreme lol i havnt been to the site in ages but toolfarm has a collection of the beset fx editors and puts there tuts on the site, so u may come across the right one coz they all specilize in different areas.

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