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How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?

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guy smithHow to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 28, 2012 at 4:59:10 am



So you can bring detail back to your footage by using the levels 'white point' or whatever it's called.

This works fine, but the whole image is dulled and darkened a little.

Is there a way to just darken the lighter bits without broadly affecting the rest of the image? perhaps a good plugin exists for this?

I know this is an easy fix with a mask, to cut out the clouds and darken only them, but surely there's an easier way?

Thanks!



Here's some free lake footage for your troubles:







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Todd KoprivaRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 28, 2012 at 7:15:40 am

Check out the Curves effect.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Vishesh AroraRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 28, 2012 at 8:28:36 am

guy

You are changing the Output White Value which is affecting the whole image.


Try tweaking the Input White and Input Black values.



Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 28, 2012 at 12:53:47 pm

I'm with Todd on this - Curves is a good choice for selectively lightening/darkening an image. A Curves setting similar to the image below should do the trick.

FWIW, Exposure is also a viable alternative.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Vishesh AroraRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 28, 2012 at 2:41:37 pm

Roland

I agree with both of you to use Curves effect. But I gave the Levels settings just in case if guy want to stick with it.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

Demo Reel(3D):







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Chris WrightRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 1:51:32 am

i think the shadow/highlight effect is way easier to use.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:29:15 am

Shadow/Highlight is not supported by the Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing feature. The following, in italics, is taken from here - http://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/memory-storage.html.

If a composition uses any of the following effects, the composition will not be rendered with the Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing feature:

Auto Color
Auto Contrast
Auto Levels
Cartoon
Lens Blur
Particle Playground
Shadow/Highlight

Note:
Some third-party effects—such as CC Time Blend and RE:Vision Effects Video Gogh—are also incompatible with the Render Multiple Frames Simultaneously multiprocessing feature


HTH
RoRK

Intensive mocha & AE Training in Singapore and Other Dangerous Locations

Imagineer Systems (mocha) Certified Instructor
& Adobe After Effects ACE/ACI (version 7)


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Darby EdelenRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:48:46 am

You can achieve similar results to the Shadows/Highlights effect by duplicating your footage, then on the duplicate:

1) Invert the footage.

2) Set the layer to Soft Light.

3) Apply an optional Blur (this behaves like the radius in Shadow/Highlight).

4) Apply Levels and tweak to taste.

The big difference here is that the nature of the Soft Light blend mode does not allow this technique to change the white/black levels of the image but instead reduces contrast in the midtones (like an inverted S-Curve).

Other similar methods can be used to only reduce highlights, such as Inverting the footage, setting the layer to Multiply, adjusting Levels and reducing the opacity (this will change the white level).

Darby Edelen


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Kevin CaminRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 7:03:05 am

@Roland-

I don't think your curve is a good idea. It lowers the white point for the entire image there by reducing it's contrast. It is the same as what the OP was doing with levels' outputs.

I would keep the curve ends at the corners and go in and then create a shape like you are suggesting.

If this is a serious issue with a big client where everything has to be perfect, you might have to create a matte for just the blown out sky, and then work on it separately. You have a nice shot and you want to keep the specular highlights looking very bright on the metal binocular gadget.

If this is a still image for your AE project. Just fix it in PS and just mask the sky. PS is an infinitely easier program to work on stills.

Best regards,

Kevin Camin


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Chris WrightRe: How to darken highlights (bring back detail) without darkening the whole image - levels? plugin?
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 7:45:59 am

a long time ago i made a blow out template with sliders for ae cs3.
it's vivid blends with alpha mattes. you can change the precomp to soft light for a different look. it should work with multiple frames and is 32bpc too.

ae cs3 aep
http://www.mediafire.com/?5vkfg7ash7tgvj7


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