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Adding "Grindhouse-like" Aging Effects

Kolpitz

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To all the much more experienced / talented faneditors out there, I need your help. I'm cooking up an idea for (maybe) my first major fanedit and I need a key piece of software. All of the editing software out there (well, most of it anyway) has the basic option to add an "old film" filter to your edit. However, let's face it, it sucks. It looks cheap and, if you're editing in 2.35:1 widescreen, it adds the aging effects to the black bars (which wouldn't be the case if it were just a bad transfer). I know Robert Rodriguez used a computer to add the aging effects to Planet Terror and his Machete trailer. Is there an affordable (affordable being the key word) program that can beat up an edit and make it look like a 70's exploitation film that's been through the ringer? I want scratches, dirt, hair, audio pops, bad splices, the works. But, it needs to be believable and it would be nice if it didn't effect the widescreen bars. Thanks in advance for your help.
 

boon23

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anything will affect the widescreen bars, but that's seriously not an issue at all. The black bars should just be replaced by new ones for the final encode.
 

ThrowgnCpr

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This can all be done in Vegas. It has some OK filters built in that look quite nice, but you can also get some pay plugins. I've heard that the effects used for Grindhouse were actually done with a Vegas plugin. I cant recall the name though. And boon is correct, black bars are no issue. If the movie is 16:9 you just edit in widescreen mode. If you have a different aspect ratio, like 2.35:1, you just add another layer with black bars to cover up the affected black bars.
 

Kolpitz

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Will the cheap version of Vegas work? Or do I need the more expensive Pro version?
 

ThrowgnCpr

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Kolpitz said:
Will the cheap version of Vegas work? Or do I need the more expensive Pro version?

That, I am not sure. I'm not sure exactly what plugins and effects come with the cheaper model. You'll have to do some research or contact Sony about it.
 

Kolpitz

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I'll look into it and see what I can find out. This idea is going on the backburner for now, as it's kind of massive anyway. Thanks, guys.
 

TM2YC

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Can anybody point me in the direction of a Vegas plugin that they use to add this level of natural looking film damage? (Even a bit beyond?):

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The basic filter in Vegas is far to weak and not especially natural looking. It's not too bad on the minor scratches but it has nothing like the huge splotches of black dirt or tears and breaks.
 

Rogue-theX

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You should try using real film elements as overlays instead of a filter, filters are handy now and then for this but the real thing is always better.
 

TM2YC

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Rogue-theX said:
You should try using real film elements as overlays instead of a filter, filters are handy now and then for this but the real thing is always better.

Next question... Where do I get these 'real film elements' from? and how do I use them if I had them? Drop it in the track above above and chroma key out the blank parts or something?
 

Rogue-theX

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Archive.org is where I scrounge for these old film elements, often they can be found at the start and end of old movies, look for Why We Fight mpeg2 (lots of good junk in those, there are usually a few reels each and for each reel change is lots of nice looking film damage), 35mm Stock Footage, old war docs, newsreels stuff like that, there's some useable stuff on cutestockfootage too and maybe vfxfootageforfree (or whatever its called) on vimeo too.

You'll have to ask someone else about how to add this stuff to your video in vegas, I just use avisynth blending scripts to put it ontop of the footage. Keep in mind you can invert, colorize, flip, reverse and manipulate the old film junk to get more mileage out of it.
 

TM2YC

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Rogue-theX said:
Archive.org is where I scrounge for these old film elements, often they can be found at the start and end of old movies, look for Why We Fight mpeg2 (lots of good junk in those, there are usually a few reels each and for each reel change is lots of nice looking film damage), 35mm Stock Footage, old war docs, newsreels stuff like that, there's some useable stuff on cutestockfootage too and maybe vfxfootageforfree (or whatever its called) on vimeo too.

You'll have to ask someone else about how to add this stuff to your video in vegas, I just use avisynth blending scripts to put it ontop of the footage. Keep in mind you can invert, colorize, flip, reverse and manipulate the old film junk to get more mileage out of it.

Great, I'll look into all of those. I want to do it within Vegas, so I've got the ability to adjust the effects as I'm editing.
 

Rogue-theX

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Another thing to think about is gateweave. And little shifts of the image when a real nasty film junk comes on the screen, like the first image you posted there of Luke with the black horizontal line, if you had something that noticeable and you make the image move up and down for a couple frames before and after that really damaged spot it can look more authentic. Also worth thinking about is how sharp the footage of Luke is vs how sharp the old film overlay is, if something is pretty dull looking and you put really sharp film junk ontop it can seem a bit fake, but if you add some blur to the film junk it may seem more natural. And you can try slowing down or speeding up the old film junk to make it less or more frequent ect.
 

Rogue-theX

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I just discovered this by accident, creates some useful streaking, scratches and light leaks:
Code:
avisource("whatever.avi"). crop(0, 0, 0, 10). lanczosresize(720, 480)
The more you crop it, the weirder it gets. If you try it, be sure to mind the blocking this sometimes creates.

I'm not sure how to give a proper demo though, everything I send through this script give a different result.
 

TM2YC

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Rogue-theX said:
I just discovered this by accident, creates some useful streaking, scratches and light leaks:
Code:
avisource("whatever.avi"). crop(0, 0, 0, 10). lanczosresize(720, 480)
The more you crop it, the weirder it gets. If you try it, be sure to mind the blocking this sometimes creates.

I'm not sure how to give a proper demo though, everything I send through this script give a different result.

I couldn't get that to work ^.

But I did make some progress with your suggestion about using the real grain from old film clips. I used a bit of the grain from the actual deleted Star Wars clip I posted screen caps of above, to add grain to some fooatge from the actual film. Here is my first attempt:


(password: fanedit.org)

Obviously it's probably waaay too much and a bit distracting, but for a first attempt I'm quite pleased.

I added the grain in a video track above the main file and set it to 'overlay' and 50% transparency. I also used Vegas' native 'film effect' filters amongst other things. Good for a few seconds but I'm gonna have to find more plain black/white HD material with the same 'character' of grain. I reckon if I can cut together about 5-10 minutes of material I look that to infinity over the rest of the 2.5hrs film without the repetition becoming at all noticeable.

Now where to find some more HD material?. That site you suggested looks like a goldmine but it's hard to find decent length useable clip that are in a high enough resolution. The excellent 'British Pathe' YouTube channel has lots of scratched up old films in HD. I'll maybe have a trawel through those too.

This is one of the channel's funniest clips ;-). Soooo outdated, it's like another world...


It would still be nice to find out what plugin Rodriguez used for Planet Terror though.
 

TV's Frink

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TM2YC said:
It would still be nice to find out what plugin Rodriguez used for Planet Terror though.

What plugin? It was a documentary shot on the cheap.
 

Ken Poirier

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Giving this a bump since grind-housing has been coming up a bunch in the forums I'm looking at anyway.

My first "grindhouse" I did was Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind for consecution 9. I can't show samples because it hasn't been released yet. I used much of the same technique with a few differences.

I used Adobe instead of Vegas for mostly economical reasons, but also cause I'm old and just have always used premiere. Adobe is pretty much giving away there CS6/CC suite for free if you are enrolled in school, even if only a single class (you need an .edu email).

I don't use an opacity shift on the film grain overlay, instead I bring it into after effects and use blend mode which is the same as in Photoshop. Usually use a multiply blend which makes the white in the overlay become transparent and only the black scratches show up. But if you want white scratches, then you need to invert the color on the overlay and use a divided blend.

If I don't want to bring it into After effects, you can achieve a similar effect using and Alpha Key or Color Key (aka chroma-key). The problem with opacity shifts is it whites out the image and fades your scratches (making it look like an overlay). You can off set this a bit by darkening your original image, but you just end up using more processor power for a lower quality effect.

Added:

The other thing I did was make a double up the master into two tracks. The bottom track I put on a variable Gaussian blur and boosted the saturation. On the top track I desaturated the image and gave it a 80% opacity. This was to simulate a GATE ERROR. A Gate error was when they would be shooting on film and the film would go through the gate incorrectly (usually do to a lack of slack in the film) and the notches on the film would not be grabbed right by the threader. The would make the film not pass though the gate correctly which how you get that shaky distorted look.

That's all I've figured out so far, so if anyone else has things they'd like to add, please don't keep it a trade secret!
 

TMBTM

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Nice, but the problem with taking overlay videos like that on youtube is that you'll maybe end up with some of the average compression above your (normaly) perfectly clean video.
The goal is to make things look old. And adding a compressed video look is the opposite of it.
 

TV's Frink

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The entire video is one short loop.

Olieandanakin.JPG
 
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