Adobe After Effects Forum
80's Retro - Film Light Exposure *Bleed* Effect?
80's Retro - Film Light Exposure *Bleed* Effect?
by Royce Jennings on Aug 5, 2019 at 3:07:08 pm

Hey guys,

So if you lust over sweet retro 80's style stuff like I do, you're in for a treat if you haven't seen the following music video! There's a million great moments in it, but right off the top at 2 seconds in there's an effect I'd like to emulate that is like an over-exposure of film/light (pictures below). Using the exposure effect in AE seems to simply brighten the colors, but I want this bleeding effect where there's an expansion of everything. I've tried stacking Glow, CC Radial Fast Blur, and Exposure after one another, even a with a Curves effect with the Alpha cranked up, but I can't seem to pull off this effect.

Any ideas? (or suggestions surrounding cool 80's retro effects like in this video?)

Re: 80's Retro - Film Light Exposure *Bleed* Effect?
by Walter Soyka on Aug 5, 2019 at 5:24:09 pm

Here are a few light tips:

I generally work in 32bpc mode for big fat lighting effects. This setting is fundamentally different than 8bpc/16bpc in how extreme lighting values are processed. Instead of clipping at white (or black), you push well beyond maximum brightness and later recover that detail with additional effects. Once you do this, you can split a lot of light generation across multiple layers, combine them with Add blend modes, and then pull them back down with shadows or Exposure effects on top. See here for more:

Trapcode Shine is perfect for those cast light rays:

You can get a lot of mileage out of a lens flare plugin (like Video Copilot's Optical Flares) for generating light sources. For the style you're showing here, I'd recommend turning off a lot of the lens elements.

Lastly, consider third-party replacements for Ae's default Glow effect (which I personally find difficult to use with good results):

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

Re: 80's Retro - Film Light Exposure *Bleed* Effect?
by Royce Jennings on Aug 6, 2019 at 1:26:20 pm

Wow thank you Walter for the very thorough response! Excellent resources and info here, I know what I'll be doing the rest of the day... I highly appreciate you putting this together, cheers! :D