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How to get this soft look?

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Marco Falcone
How to get this soft look?
on Aug 3, 2012 at 2:49:43 pm

Hey guys, I was just wondering how I could achieve this kind of look,

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/screenshot.php?movieid=37971&position=9

It a very subtle, soft kind of look where the highlights are hazy.

Thanks!


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Steve Crow
Re: How to get this soft look?
on Aug 3, 2012 at 3:46:04 pm

Could have added a soft look filter to the lens or they may be adding a tiny bit of blur during editing or it might be due to the special fog they often pump onto sets (cracked oil I believe it is) to achieve a softer look and to highlight light shafts. Also they have have shallow depth of field due to an open aperture on the camera lens - probably several things going on.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Peter Burger
Re: How to get this soft look?
on Aug 3, 2012 at 9:34:06 pm

Red Giant "Looks" is a plugin that helps to get results like that in post. It has an mighty arsenal of diffusing filters.

Or you could try to emulate that look in After Effects by softening the highlights and/or shadows via a luma-matte. One very easy way: Duplicate the footage, tint the duplicate b/w (maybe soften it a bit) and use that duplicate als a luma matte for an adjustment layer with a softening filter of choice.

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"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

Me on Twitter (english/german)
http://twitter.com/FastFoodVideo


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Steve Crow
Re: How to get this soft look?
on Aug 3, 2012 at 10:32:00 pm

Yeah, I think Peter just gave an excellent answer...I remember Philip Bloom talking in one of his videos or interviews about the use of Tiffen filters (they come in both real, physical filters that screw onto the lens or as a digital plugin for your editing program) to help in creating a softer, more filmic look. It's always surprising to me how many questions we get on this forum about making video SHARPER, which sort of baffles me since to my eye anyway the "film look" is a much softer/diffused look than a still photograph or say DV Video.

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Peter Burger
Re: How to get this soft look?
on Aug 3, 2012 at 11:31:24 pm

[Steve Crow] " It's always surprising to me how many questions we get on this forum about making video SHARPER, which sort of baffles me since to my eye anyway the "film look" is a much softer/diffused look than a still photograph or say DV Video."

My thoughts exactly, Steve! When I was in film-school one of my teachers told a story about using old nylon stockings in front of the lens of his Betacam to get rid of that harsh video-look. Tried that one day myself but with no luck... maybe I had the wrong stockings ;)

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

Me on Twitter (english/german)
http://twitter.com/FastFoodVideo


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Ken Jones
Re: How to get this soft look?
on Aug 4, 2012 at 6:41:19 pm

That's because you are not supposed to put the stocking on the front of the lens. You are supposed to remove the lens, put the small piece of stocking on the back of the lens, and then re-attach the lens.


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Peter Burger
Re: How to get this soft look?
on Aug 4, 2012 at 9:40:35 pm

Thanks, Ken! Well this also explains the weird looks of the people passing by...

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

Me on Twitter (english/german)
http://twitter.com/FastFoodVideo


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Mark Simmons
Re: How to get this soft look?
on Aug 5, 2012 at 5:26:13 pm

Call me a Luddite, but I think you can achieve that look with depth of field, super diffused & bounced light, and a high quality lens.

There are separate instruments for our hero's hair light and key light. You can see the source in the upper left hand frame. The hair light is a narrower beam- notice that it does not touch the actors in the background- and it is harder focus than the key light.

The key light is super bright, but also super diffused, probably bounced. I would guess this is a single large Fresnel unit, illuminating both the fore and background, but there could be a separate unit at the same angle for the background.

My guess is an ND filter will be just as important as a soft focus filter. The exposure is precisely perfect.

Also, my T3i has a soft filter setting in menu options, I bet your camera does too.


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