Creative COW SIGN IN :: SPONSORS :: ADVERTISING :: ABOUT US :: CONTACT US :: FAQ
Creative COW's LinkedIn GroupCreative COW's Facebook PageCreative COW on TwitterCreative COW's Google+ PageCreative COW on YouTube
MOTION GRAPHICS:Motion Graphics ForumMotion Graphics TutorialsAfter EffectsApple MotionBoris FXProfessionals

Emulating an EMI 2001 camera

COW Forums : Adobe After Effects Techniques

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Share on Facebook
Colin RobertsonEmulating an EMI 2001 camera
by on Jul 2, 2011 at 5:42:25 am

Hello,

I don't know if this is the right forum, so apologies in advance.

I want to make films that look like 1970s BBC studio drama. Specifically, this means achieving the look of the EMI 2001 camera. This was a rare four-tube studio camera "released" in 1967.

Using the genuine camera is out of the question, so... the goal is to give modern digital footage the look of the EMI 2001. I'm not looking to fool a technical expert, just the casual viewer.

I'm familiar with After Effects and I can program. (There is already an AFX tutorial for emulating the tube look, but sadly it's not terribly good, at least not with the clips I tried it on. And the EMI 2001 was not a typical tube camera.)

It seems to me that the best way would be to emulate what actually happened inside the camera. Four pickup tubes (red, green, blue and luminance) were blended together. The luminance was more detailed than the other three. Essentially, a sharp black-and-white image was laid over a soft colour composite.

The first problem is getting separate colour "plates" from the footage. Does anyone know how to do that?

Then, these plates would be shrunk by the same amount that the camera's colour tubes were smaller than its luminance tube, then stretched to full size again. This would (I think) be more realistic than just blurring them.

Then the second problem... How to blend the R,G,B,Lum plates? Perhaps this can be done just by using AFX's blend modes. (I'm unable to experiment with this until I have the separate colour plates.) I also wondered about doing it programmatically, and looked around for an algorithm that would emulate how the EMI 2001 blended its colour signals, but to no avail. My suspicion is that doing it this way would be more convincing than the AFX route. Each camera model had its own way of handling and augmenting colour signals; it's obviously an important part of the process so I don't want to mess it up.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
the EMI 2001 took the output of the green tube as a starting point for the picture, added the colour from the red and blue tubes and then added the output from the luminance tube... The luminance tube wasn't used for taking white light, but for the sharpness and fine picture detail. This image was electronically added on top after the output from the red and blue tubes was electronically added to the green one.
That's a bit ambiguous. Does anyone else thinks it means that the image was layered like this: green (bottom layer), blue, red, luminance (top layer) ? Or is this a method of combining colour that just can't be emulated with AFX's layers?

If anyone is interested, more information can be found in this BBC PDF.

The third problem is certain tube artifacts that could be included, though I'm prepared to ignore this until problems 1 and 2 are solved. The main artifact of interest is comet tailing. AFX's Echo effect would seem the way to go, but it doesn't create a "trail" so much as a line of dots (separate echoes). No idea how to solve that.

Anyway, however it's achieved, I want the footage to look like it was shot in a British TV studio in the 70s. That's the important thing. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading,
Colin.


Return to posts index
Reply   Like  

Colin RobertsonRe: Emulating an EMI 2001 camera
by on Jul 2, 2011 at 8:23:05 pm

I swear I did a search of the forum and it didn't work. But after posting this I did it again and got quite a few results!

Problem1 is solved using AFX's ShiftChannels effect.

Problem3 can be solved (apparently) using Trapcode Particular. I'll look into that.

This leaves me with Problem2 still unresolved. Today I've used ShiftChannels and tried layering the "plates" together - green at the bottom, luminance at the top. It's a good start but there's a lot more to be done.

Again, any advice would be greatly appreciated. The artefacts are fine, the colour splitting is fine, it's achieving the look and texture of EMI 2001 footage that's the problem.


Return to posts index
Reply   Like  

Michael SzalapskiRe: Emulating an EMI 2001 camera
by on Jul 5, 2011 at 8:18:05 pm

If you get your red, green, and blue channels all seperated (and then tinted) you can use the add blending mode to blend them together. But it won't be much different from the original footage. You'll have to tool around with varying opacitys and certain effects on each layer (such as blurs) to try to get it to match your reference footage. I think you should also make the most detailed, black and white image you can from the original footage and use that over top of the whole thing with a luminance blending mode (or something else). Then you'd need to apply some overall color grading.

As for the trails, you need more echoes, more closely spaced together in time.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


Return to posts index
Reply   Like  


Colin RobertsonRe: Emulating an EMI 2001 camera
by on Jul 20, 2011 at 8:24:44 pm

Hello Michael,

>If you get your red, green, and blue channels all seperated (and then tinted)

What kind of tinting are you talking about?


Return to posts index
Reply   Like  

Michael SzalapskiRe: Emulating an EMI 2001 camera
by on Jul 21, 2011 at 1:35:52 pm

I meant tint them their color. If you get a layer that is a black and white version of the blue channel and then tint it so that pure white is blue, and pure black is black and do the same for the red and green channels (with their colors as red and green respectively), then you can blend them together and you'll have the same image you started with but as three seperate layers. That way you can control how the channels bleed into each other and or are emphasized by adding effects to different layers.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


Return to posts index
Reply   Like  

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Share on Facebook


FORUMSTUTORIALSFEATURESVIDEOSPODCASTSEVENTSSERVICESNEWSLETTERNEWSBLOGS

Creative COW LinkedIn Group Creative COW Facebook Page Creative COW on Twitter
© 2014 CreativeCOW.net All rights are reserved. - Privacy Policy

[Top]