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  • The Graphic Novel Look

    The Graphic Novel Look

    July 12, 2010, 7:45 am
    This week I was asked how to create a "graphic novel" look, such as was done in Scanner Darkly. Now I know there are many plugins for this look. I.e. Rotoshop for vector keyframe. However, for the production on a limited budget working with Photoshop provides similar results.

    Once your footage is ready to be posterized, you can export it to Photoshop. From FCP export out to a QuickTime movie (not QuickTime Conversion), and make sure you only export out video, as audio is not necessary. Then open the file with QuickTime and re-export it back out with the setting "Movie to Image Sequence". Don’t forget to change the format to TIFF so PS (Photoshop) can see them. QuickTime has broken down your footage into individual frames that now can be manipulated by PS.
    The Graphic Novel Look
    Once you have imported your file into PS with the correct aspect ratio you are ready to begin. Apply the filter "Shading" and choose the "Artistic Cutout" to change the values to suit your needs. I like to work with: Edge = 8, Simplicity = 4, and Edge Fidelity = 2. Now with the shading still selected choose image adjust, and increase your brightness and contrast to acceptable levels. Now here comes the fun part, go to Filter => Stylize => Glowing edges
    Play with the values until you are happy with what you have. Keep in mind everyone’s footage is different, so this may take some time, and there are no set values. Now your image looks like a Negative, and all you have to do is select Image adjustments and "Invert". Finally just change your composite from Normal to Darken, and you should have the desired effect.
    Great, now I know what you are thinking. "We have to do this to every frame..." The answer is no! This can all be automated. Close your image without saving, and open a new one. The history window has a tab called "Actions" select it. At the bottom you will see a series of icons. The second one from the right lets you create a new one. Click it and name your action. Then once you have clicked record, every step you take in PS will be recorded for you to use them again later. Now repeat all of you previous steps to create the image again, but make your last step to be "Flatten" image. Now stop recording.
    After you close this image without saving, go to File => Automate => Batch
    Photoshop will now recreate all of your steps applying them to each frame. Depending on how much footage you have this could take awhile, so you may as well go and take a nap.
    Once you are ready to bring your footage back into FCP, just simply import the folder that contains your posterized images. Then with the timeline open to your sequence, just drag and drop the folder over the timeline to replace. Now depending on your Mac’s configuration you may or may not get a proper playback. It may be easier to simply re-export, and import the sequence back in.
    This is a great workflow for low cost productions, and provides you with the look you are looking for. This may seem lengthy, however even with the latest gear, plugins and automation tools. It still took a grueling 500 hours to complete 1 minute of Scanner Darkly.

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  • Other Postings By Member
    • UltraStudio 3D Review
      EDITING

      UltraStudio 3D Review

      December 5, 2011, 11:22 am
      BlackMagic design showcased the UltraStudio 3D back at NAB this year. I have been excited to get my hands on of these for some time. I waited patiently and finally, I got one and I have been testing the BlackMagic Design’s UltraStudio 3D over the past few weeks.

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    • ioSafe Drive Destruction
      EDITING

      ioSafe Drive Destruction

      November 15, 2011, 10:47 am
      This week I test out the durability of the ioSafe hard drive. It's fire proof and water proof. I wanted to find out how water proof it is, so I flooded the drive. Check out the video below to see if it still works after the flooding.

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    • Avid Media Composer 6.0
      EDITING

      Avid Media Composer 6.0

      November 3, 2011, 12:17 pm
      Today Avid Avid announced Media Composer version 6, Symphony version 6 and NewsCutter version 10 . Avid matins they acer deeply committed to professionals, and are pleased to announce that all of these new applications are 64 bit native.

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    • Fast Forward Video sideKick HD
      EDITING

      Fast Forward Video sideKick HD

      October 17, 2011, 10:54 am
      Over the past few weeks the folks over at Fast Forward Video have given me the opportunity to test out their sideKick HD. The sideKick HD allows you to capture the highest quality video, with a straight to edit workflow. The sideKick HD is capable of recording directly from the camera up to 10 bit precision, 220Mbit/s , 4:2:2 sampling using Apple ProRes 422 HQ.

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    • Tiffen DFXv3
      EDITING

      Tiffen DFXv3

      October 10, 2011, 9:43 am
      Over the past couple of weeks I have been working with the latest release Tiffen Dfx Version 3. Tiffen has been a leading manufacturer and supplier of photographic filters and lens accessories for the consumer/professional imaging and the motion picture and broadcast television industries for over 70 years.

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    • Caldigit VR 6TB Review
      EDITING

      Caldigit VR 6TB Review

      September 18, 2011, 9:45 am
      Recently I had a great discussion with the Twitter community about picking up a new raid for myself as my older ones were now aging, and I was running out of space. Many people suggested a Thunderbolt drive. However Macbook Pro is only a year old and does not support Thunderbolt, and Apple has yet to release a new MacPro Tower. Thus I really did not see the need for a Thunderbolt drive yet. Enter The CalDigit VR.

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    • Avid Announces New Ongoing Crossgrade
      EDITING

      Avid Announces New Ongoing Crossgrade

      September 12, 2011, 2:43 pm
      In a tremendous move, due to the response from the professional editing community for its current Final Cut Pro Crossgrade promotion, Avid announced today that beginning October 1, 2011, it will offer a Final Cut Pro crossgrade price for qualified customers on an ongoing basis. The new crossgrade will allow Final Cut Pro users to purchase the Avid Media Composer®, for $1499 USD. Avid’s current limited-time crossgrade promotion, at $995 USD, ends September 30, 2011.

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    • Blackmagic Design Announces a New Range of Super H
      EDITING

      Blackmagic Design Announces a New Range of Super H

      September 9, 2011, 10:43 pm
      lackmagic Design today announced a new family of super heavy duty Mini Converters that feature a unique design that’s machined from a solid block of aluminum for amazing strength, as well as for protecting connectors. Heavy duty mini converters also include innovative features and technologies such as 3 Gb/s SDI. There are 4 models in the Mini Converter Heavy Duty product range which are all priced at only $295 US.

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    • Avid Significantly Enhances Leading Solutions for
      EDITING

      Avid Significantly Enhances Leading Solutions for

      September 9, 2011, 9:41 pm
      Today Avid annoucned new versions of Avid NewsVison and Avid ISIS 7000 at IBC.

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    • BlackMagic UltraStudio 3D
      EDITING

      BlackMagic UltraStudio 3D

      August 29, 2011, 11:44 am
      BlackMagic Design just announced UltraStudio 3D the world’s first video product with Thunderbolt technology is now shipping. Initially debuting at NAB this past year we have all been eagerly awaiting it’s arrival.

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