Thursday, March 6, 2008

3D made easy #3: Super Slick compositing effects

Getting that slick professional sheen to your production is easier than you think (in fact only involves 2 steps, as i shall demonstrate. Think of this as the video equivalent of printing on expensive glossy shiny paper instead of that el cheapo stack of recycled photocopier paper that you stole from work.

Consider the following example:

This is not a 3D image, sorry if half of you have crossed eyes right now.
You'll have to click on the image to see it in it's full lossless .png glory

The panel on the left has no post processing
The panel on the right has my top secret method.

The difference is subtle, but you might agree with me that the right panel has just that exact indescribable quality that melds the whole image together.

let's zoom in a bit:

Again, you'll have to click on the image to get the full .png version, as blogger seems to reduce image quality for the main blog article pages.

This is how you get this look:
  1. Take your frame and gaussian blur it by 3 or 4 pixels.
  2. Apply a minimax filter set to the same pixel radius
  3. Mix this layer on top of the original frame at 20% to 30% transparency
  4. Mix animated noise or grain at 2% transparency over your entire frame
Of course, play around with the settings until you get a look that you like

And avoid step 5:
  1. Figure this out 2/3 into your film and now you have to go back and add this effect to 20 minutes worth of shots :(

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