The need for a 3D lighting plugin

On my color grading adventures on Sony Vegas I often felt limited by the lack of a re-lighting plugin. Of course, the rule of thumb is that we should always have near-perfect lighting while we’re shooting, but in real life this is almost not possible, especially for most of us DIY enthusiasts who have no major clue about lighting, or we’re using cheap $100 equipment.

I would love to have a plugin that let’s you add virtual lights on your scene, in the 3D space (like Vegas’ 3D track support). We should be able to adjust the number of lights, their strength, the focus, the distance, and with the help of masking, even adding lights behind a subject. Similarly to lights, we should be able to add shadows, to darken parts of the screen.

Of course I don’t expect this to be as good as real lighting, but I’m willing to use it if needed. Right now I’m Vegas’ “soft spotlight” method via the Bump Map plugin, which is not ideal, but some of my footage required it.

Now that the rumor has it that Red Giant Software won’t be supporting Magic Bullet for Vegas anymore, another plugin I’d like to see in Vegas is a AAV ColorLab clone. Unfortunately this freeware plugin is too buggy and not developed anymore, so in order to easier emulate lots of movie looks, Sony themselves must recreate it. That plugin allows you to change saturation, hue and lightness on specific colors only (without the pain in the ass UI that’s called “Secondary Color Corrector”). One added feature I’d like to see in it is the shrinking of the range of these colors. For example, anything that’s around the blue/cyan values should be able to crash towards the ultimate blue (kind of like removing the number of blueish colors and replacing them with the same true blue). This can help to easily recreate old cameras. It’s a stylistic thing, as color grading really is.


Glenn wrote on June 7th, 2011 at 6:56 PM PST:

Do you mean stereoscopic 3D, or XYZ workspace 3D?

AAV still works fine. I just used it on the last video I’ll be posting later today. I use the 64 bit version though.

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Eugenia wrote on June 7th, 2011 at 7:04 PM PST:

I mean XYZ workspace 3D of course.

>AAV still works fine.

No, it doesn’t. I have three major bugs here that I can reproduce and the developer hasn’t fixed for 2 years after submitting them to him. One is that AAV can crash easily on footage sizes that don’t divide with 8, another bug is that if you’re not admin when using Vegas it has trouble (asks for re-installation if you try to load an already installed copy that was installed as admin), and on occasion, if you close the plugin window with AAV as the currently selected plugin in the chain, it stalls the Vegas window for about 10 seconds. These are bugs reproducible on XP, Vista and Windows 7 (on all my Windows machines that is). If you haven’t seen them, I guess you got lucky.

Glenn wrote on June 7th, 2011 at 7:30 PM PST:

But lighting in 3D like that would only really work for composited scenes with multiple layers, yeah? I bought Red 5 for any compositing I need to do so I can keep my edit in Vegas on one track. It’s a great work flow, especially when compositing whole clips using media fx, and I’m quite certain Red lets you create lights. I just haven’t tried it yet.

Yeah, never had a problem with AAV. The only problem I sometimes have with Vegas is right clicking on the track area next to the mute button etc. That will cause it to crash. So I just need to be careful not to do that. I was surprisd to find it was still in 10d.

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Eugenia wrote on June 7th, 2011 at 7:38 PM PST:

>lighting in 3D like that would only really work for composited scenes with multiple layers, yeah?

No, it doesn’t need to be that complex. You just lit the 2D scene by placing virtual lights in the XYZ 3D space. The Z can be used with masking, and only optionally. The XY can easily be emulated, as I said the Bump Map plugin can already do some of it.

Jim wrote on June 11th, 2011 at 8:53 PM PST:

I talked with Red Giant recently and they are not currently updating Mbl for Vegas, but they said they have been talking about it renewing the product

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