Archive for September 16th, 2007

Emulating the “Matrix” film look

You can emulate the “Matrix” look using Vegas built-in color plugins in a way that resembles almost exactly ‘Magic Bullet for Editor’s 2.0’ third party plugin. Here’s how it looks (higher quality version here, 5 MB):

And here’s how I did it (keep plugins in that order):
Brightness & Contrast plugin: Contrast at 0.15 (or 0.20 if you shot in Canon’s “Cinemode”)
Color Corrector plugin:
Low: Angle: 225.0 Magnitude: 0.263
Mid: Angle: 174.6 Magnitude: 0.327
High: Angle: 229.8.0 Magnitude: 0.264
Saturation: 0.500
Color Balance plugin: Green on 0.0250 and the “Highlights” radio button checked.

Greek PM claims election victory

The governing conservative party of PM Costas Karamanlis has claimed victory in Greece’s general election, with opposition socialists conceding defeat”, writes BBC, which later adds “…the Papandreou [socialist] and Karamanlis [conservative] families have dominated the Greek political scene for most of the past 50 years.

This second sentence shows exactly what’s wrong with Greece (and yes, my family traditionally votes for one of these two too, not the Communist party).

The trick for smooth pans

I tried the trick for smooth panning today. It works as advertised! It’s amazing how a $0.05 item can add so much value and quality to your work! Explanation of the trick here and here. Right click to “save link as” this 2 MB .mp4 video where it shows how a panning looks like when using your hand to move the tripod fluid head’s handle, and how it looks when using the rubber band.

Conclusion: if you are shooting video and you do pans regularly, make sure you bought a tripod with a fluid head and you use that rubber band trick!

More on the CSI:Miami look

There has been a discussion on the Vegas forum that the built-in color tools are “enough” to do just about anything regarding the film looks you are after. I beg to differ. When the third party plugin Magic Bullet for Editors 2.0 charges $400 for the job, it does so because it can get away with it. It indeed does things that are not possible with Vegas’ own plugins or even plugins like the freeware Aav6cc. It is able to apply coloring on specific “similar colors” only and leave the rest unmodified. When I try to do the same with the built-in/freeware tools everything turns orange, including the greens. Here’s a video (.mp4 version here, 5 MBs) with the original footage, my attempt to emulate the CSI:Miami look using the free tools, and how Magic Bullet does it:

In other words: if you need a specific job to be done right, shell the cash. Everything has a price, especially for something that works well and can’t be done otherwise.

UPDATE: Check the eugenia.png image here, it shows how close you can get to the Magic Bullet version. Plugin settings are included (requires Vegas Pro, not doable with Movie Studio because VMS does not come with the CCSecondary plugin).