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In over my head complicated tilt shift workflow

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Sadie Granberg
In over my head complicated tilt shift workflow
on Sep 24, 2014 at 3:51:44 pm

So I am working for a client that specifically wanted to shoot some exterior video using a tilt-shift lens. We booked and rented the lens and went out to shoot before the deadline, but on the days we shot, the weather was absolutely terrible and our footage equally miserable.

Then (after extensive research) and having seen many successfully faked tilt shift videos I decided to go out and shoot the video again (this time without the lens) on several different days to finally get some better quality video and a timelapse in for the client, with the idea to fake it in post.

This is where the problems started obviously. First I was using FCP X to edit the whole deal, using magic bullet looks tilt shift effect to add on the effect. However I found I couldn't modify the effect enough and the area of focus was too narrow.

Then I switched to using photoshop's built in tilt shift filter which is much more customisable and does a much better job at simulating a real tilt shift lens.

However using photoshop to create the effect in a video just doesn't feel right and Ive had some problems with the video. First for any additional editing or layering or colour grading I was using FCP X since I'm not even sure what photoshop can do with video and don't have the time either to learn what the limitations are. So i was rendering from one application then further editing in another application.

Then I had one timelapse video so I put it together first in after effects, then added the tilt shift in photoshop, but the resulting video has some serious banding issues so I'm worried this is due to my workflow and in particular taking the video through photoshop.


The additional problem is that each video is between 4-8 mins long and on my current system especially with photoshop it takes a nightmarishly long time to render so I don't have the luxury to do lots of tests to see where Im going wrong.

Long story short I'm wondering if anyone has any input or suggestions for a better workflow or recommendation for which software to use to create the tilt-shift effect and how to avoid banding and noise that I get in my final video.

The problem with many tutorials or tilt shift effects is they are all trying to achieve the same thing - which is the miniaturisation effect but that's not what my client is looking for, just the out of focus part narrowing the depth of field in a different plane.


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Mark Suszko
Re: In over my head complicated tilt shift workflow
on Sep 25, 2014 at 2:25:27 pm

Then try doing this effect in Apple Motion, which has specific depth of field controls for the virtual camera built-in.


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Sadie Granberg
Re: In over my head complicated tilt shift workflow
on Oct 3, 2014 at 5:26:22 am

Thanks Mark, I didn't know about that, and that sounds like a perfect place to start! Thanks for making my life easier!


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grinner hester
Re: In over my head complicated tilt shift workflow
on Sep 30, 2014 at 12:43:18 am

aint gonna lie. Couldnt read all of your post. Lotsa words man.
Just remember, life aint tough man. If you stand against a morning with this is what I do... freakin A. If you dont... man go get a job cuz this aint for you



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Mike Cohen
Re: In over my head complicated tilt shift workflow
on Oct 10, 2014 at 9:17:06 pm

You may have solved already, but you could keep it in Premiere, assuming your shots are locked off, and make a few layers of the same video, blur fore, middle and background to your liking, and use track mattes to combine it all. Come to think of it I am going to try this myself.

Let us know how you solved this.

Mike Cohen


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