Achieving the “300” look

Pheww… that was NOT easy! Achieving the “300” look is a major pain in the bum, but I think I can manage it “ok”. To be able to try and color grade that way (bleach into bronze color the whole scene except the reds), I needed a clear “as shot” picture during their movie shooting, but I couldn’t find any that had a good resolution. So I found this one instead, and I played with it. Here’s what I came up with:

Here’s the actual grading that took place. It required 3 “Magic Bullet Suite” plugins one after the other (modified versions of the “Bleach bypass”, “Bronze” and “Coolish” templates were used), the “NewBlue Colorize MSP” (it comes with the retail version of Vegas Movie Studio, check your Vegas box), the freeware “Aav6cc” and the “Color Corrector”. The plugins must be used in the order I showcase above. However, each scene is different, because of different composition and lighting, so on every scene the values of the suggested plugins must be changed accordingly, otherwise you will end up with ugly results. There might be an easier way to do this, but I haven’t found any.

Update 1: Here’s a much easier to follow guide, using only Vegas’ own tools and the freeware Aav6cc plugin. While easier and cheaper, the result is not as good, but it might be the only way for some video enthusiasts.

Update 2: Another, easier, grading version using the free color tools, this time by using Curves. It’s better-looking than the above one, but still not as good as the first one.

Update 3: A last one, I promise. This one is the easiest to follow, but with Magic Bullet’s “Tropico Wash” template in use. Most of the job is done by Aav6cc. Guide here, resulted image here.


Ivan wrote on November 18th, 2007 at 10:57 AM PST:

This guy needs some work on the abs also, but I know from personal experience that Vegas won’t do that job for him! Oh boy, I’m so glad I’m not an actor.

JrezIN wrote on November 20th, 2007 at 4:23 PM PST:

you really should try Autodesk(former discreet) Combustion.
Don’t expect anything realtime, but will do professional quality work (really!) for colour correction, masks and stuff… and it’s really educational for professional tools.

This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on November 20th, 2007 at 4:29 PM PST:

Combustion is $1000, and it does not embed in Vegas. With Magic Bullet I have a near-real time preview on my Vegas window while I edit, and it’s $400 (besides, it used to come for free with older Vegas Pro versions).

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