Not all Photoshop filters are “Smart”

There are some awesome Photoshop filters out there. Some of them give almost instantly gratifying effect to photos that would take hours to tweak using Photoshop’s built-in functions. I thought it would be relatively easy applying some cool filters to video using a Smartfilter option. Wrong! Somehow the best of them get grayed out when trying to batch apply them to the whole movie. It drove me up the walls, trying to find an automatic batch methods. After 1/2 day of trying, I gave up, so I had no choice but to apply them frame-by-frame, the old fashion way.
Well here is the altered footage. It looks pretty cool. The process is really tedious though.
I would never be a good frame-by-frame cell animator because I have no patience!

“Satisfy” music video

I asked a songwriter/skydiving friend to bring his guitar to the dropzone, to see if we can put something together without much planning.
We found a space between the hangers, where the acoustics was good and did one take using Canon T2i and Rode microphone, which didn’t sound bad other than the guitar being slightly out of tune.
After a couple of skydives and a little “will play for skydive” gag footage, here’s what we came up with. FCP Smoothcam was used for ground footage because I was too lazy to set up a tripod.

Applying filters to video in Photoshop CS5

Photoshop CS5 can now import and export movies! There are many wonderful filters only available for Photoshop and not for non-linear editing programs. Best of all, desirable filters can be applied to the whole movie automatically by using the smartfilter mode! No more applying effects frame-by-frame the old fashion pain-in-the-butt way. This opens the door wide open for creativity. Here’s a short sample. The results are promising.

Pseudo HDR video processing

HDR photo is the latest and greatest for STILL pictures. Very few people have done it for moving images though. There are quite a few time lapse versions of it, which is technically not that difficult, bracketing shots every so-many seconds. Real time video HDR processing, however, is much harder due to lack of automated software. Well.. here’s my first trial version. It has that painted surreal look to it. I am please with the result, especially for the first test.

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HDR photography

HDR photography has been around awhile, and there are some awesome examples on the web. I just got my feed wet last few days, to find out how it works. I am ultimately interested in applying it to video. HDR works well under the sunlight, bringing out the details from the shadows, which is the exact area I’ve having trouble with. Here are some experiments. Please click on the picture to see more samples.

“Beauty in Everything” very short film

I always wanted to express that everything and everybody is beautiful. Words can only do so much, and what better way than to show off the capability of Canon T2i than taking a bunch of beautiful close-ups of ordinary objects? Sigma 28-135mm used for the short, opening up the lens all the way with appropriate ISO, around 800.

Green color grading and Smoothcam

People from Magic Bullet image processing software company say that every footage needs color correction/grading one way or another, and they are right. Just like every digital image can be improved with Photoshop, all video clip can be enhanced and or improved. I am getting much more comfortable it after a few month’s of practice. This video shows green tint enhancement so common in today’s movies. Sharpness control, which I recently discovered in FCP, is godsend for mushy images I’ve been suffering with, especially for outdoor shots. I like softer images for indoors, so I leave it alone for close up interviews and general soft lighting shots.
At this stage, I finally feel that I am ‘decent’ with shooting footage, as far as desired exposure and color are concerned, therefore I will be concentrating more on learning After Effects and Maya 3D.

High contrast, over saturated colors, super sharp render

I’ve been trying for months to get over saturated super contrast/sharp look on outdoor video without losing too much detail in shadows. I was not very successful until yesterday.
I overexposed the footage by 1 stop, so the shadows have some range. The setting I used are,
High tone priority
sharpness:4, contrast: 0, Saturation: 1, Color tone, middle.
In FCP, I cranked up contrast, saturation and sharpness as needed. The result is hyper look, but that’s what I was going for. It ALMOST looks like film. Red One is my ultimate toy, but I have to tell myself that it’s ‘good enough’ at certain point. The look I am getting from T2i, after color grading, is quite good enough for my intended purpose of emulating film and for use of graphics compositing.