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DJTV: Blending Modes

October 8, 2007

DJTV came out with a very basic lesson on Blending Modes, that simply demystifies a few of the main blending modes and offers a clear, useful tip on color-correcting footage if you’ve got a little bit of time to fiddle around with settings and get a more stylized look for your project.  Essentially it’s three layers of footage, one that’s just got a boosted contrast ratio and saturation, the second is darkened enough to isolate the darks and set to “Multiply” and the third is also darkened but this time to isolate the whites enough to set it to “Screen” and offer some final-touch pop to the image.  It’s a useful technique and though won’t work in all occasions, I used it as a test on some footage I had from a past project and it looked quite nice, it actually gave the scene I was working on a sepia-toned aged film look, totally by accident.  Add a nice black vignette and some shaky frames and you’re set.  Of course, though, this wouldn’t happen for all scenes or all films.  But the technique is a nice way of selectively color-correcting your footage, similar to the way Andrew Kramer demonstrates in his selective color correction tutorial on VideoCopilot.  The shot they used in the tutorial had drastically different results than the shot I used for my test, probably because they’d used controlled lighting and slowed down the motion of the shot, whereas I was using natural lighting, regular motion, very amateur film stock from a short I did two years ago.  However, it’s a useful tip and as always, there’s some very technical and possibly interesting – to the right sort of mind – information in this episode about what the pixels are actually doing when you set a layer to have a blending mode.  One last note: no fear, you people without Final Cut, I used After Effects to do my test replacing the Color-Corrector 3-Way from FCP with some Curves and Levels adjustments as well as some Hue/Saturation tweaks to get the most similar settings to the tutorial.  Of course you could come up with your own methods or use the free color correcting preset available here (which is awesomely powerful and simple to use, by the way, and I’m sure the book will be too once it comes in the mail).  Enjoy the video and the resources, and sorry for not posting more regularly.  I’m hoping to put some short films on the blog once I get them compressed and make the page for my films to make them available for download, once that’s up, I’ll try to work on some promotion around the net, get more visitors, etc.  Enjoy and best of luck in your filmmaking ventures.

Link: http://www.digitaljuice.com/djtv/segment_detail…

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