You are viewing an archive of the old fxhome.com forums. The community has since moved to hitfilm.com.

Day to Night questions

Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 2:54pm

Post 1 of 30

mojaba

Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Nov 2005 | Posts: 46

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

Looking for different ideas to convert day to night scenes. I have worked on several different programs and methods. Just wondering what everyone thinks works the best. Also tips and tricks to enhance the shot would be great. What I'm trying to do is shoot a night scene during the day and they change it to night. It's a car chase scene. Problems with headlights looking like real lights with the night filters and also closeups of actors also being very dark. Ideas and help appreciated!!!
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 3:01pm

Post 2 of 30

Redhawksrymmer

Force: 18442 | Joined: 19th Aug 2002 | Posts: 2620

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 3 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

If you want to do it digitally in say, EffectsLab Pro then you could use this preset:

http://fxhome.com/presets/info_cache/preset58.html

(A great day for night filter is included in VisionLab too)
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 3:09pm

Post 3 of 30

mojaba

Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Nov 2005 | Posts: 46

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

Yes... I've used this preset and worked with it a little. What about the lights question and also better closeup of actors?
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 3:10pm

Post 4 of 30

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

Red's got the main day-for-night covered right there. For the headlamps etc, you could roto some optic effects onto the lights in EffectsLab. It'd possibly be a bit time consuming (depending on how many headlights there are, and what they're doing), but if you designed your optic carefully I expect it'd look great.

You could go out and shoot some test footage of actual cars at night, to see how real headlights interact with your camera, then set up an optic accordingly.

As for some shots being too dark, I imagine it's just a simple matter of adjusting the filters as required. No filter will work on every single shot 100% of the time, you're usually going to have to tweak it to get the best results.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 3:37pm

Post 5 of 30

Frank Grimes

Force: 1255 | Joined: 15th May 2005 | Posts: 80

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User FXpreset Maker Windows User

Gold Member

this might sound dumb but, why not shoot the scene at night?

Besides real night looks way better than composited day for night filters, with the exception of castaway, that was pretty well done.

I'm not dissing the day for night filters here of course. biggrin
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 3:42pm

Post 6 of 30

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

Main problem with shooting at night is that it is very difficult to light, especially if you're doing an extended car sequence. If you're working on a zero budget, it can be pretty much impossible.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 3:44pm

Post 7 of 30

mojaba

Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Nov 2005 | Posts: 46

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

I have a middle of the road digital camcorder. Night is a little grainy. The shoot is in the country at night. Maybe some of you have tips about shooting this scene at night! Thanx in advance.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 4:08pm

Post 8 of 30

shadu

Force: 90 | Joined: 25th Apr 2003 | Posts: 345

Member

Shot durng the days with no highlight in the shot. The light must go egal everywhere with no spot of bright light. Is you are capableshoot at the end of the days but this don'tgive you much time. Or during avery cloudy day.

Then in a software like AE or combustion (you can use fxhome product but dn't know how), put a solid layer on top of your shot (dark blue or black) and set the blending mode to multiply and play with the opacity. Then color correct your shot to erase almost any color except blue and raise your contrast.

I made it in our last movie and it worked very well... The only think we didn't made was shooting in a days without sun... ggrrrr.. The highlight in the tree was horrible to fix!

Shadu
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 5:01pm

Post 9 of 30

outsiderlookingin

Force: 60 | Joined: 10th Nov 2005 | Posts: 138

Member

Using a solid in After Effects in a very good way to pull off that effect. I suggested it in a similar thread, but some said it was a "stupid" technique...hmmm

when using the solid, punch up the yellows just a little...this will help sell the shot.

there is another technique in After Effects using a free plug-in called eLin, but that is a bit more difficult because you're getting into the realm of f-stops and float color space. very effective and ver natural though.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 6:41pm

Post 10 of 30

Arktic

Force: 9977 | Joined: 10th Nov 2003 | Posts: 2785

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

VLab and CLab's day for night filters and other grading tools are simpler than AE, and far surpass the effect you get from the 'solid' technique, imho.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 7:32pm

Post 11 of 30

outsiderlookingin

Force: 60 | Joined: 10th Nov 2005 | Posts: 138

Member

Rating: -1

This what I don't understand about some of the people in this forum. Why is it that everytime you post a technique that isn't an "instant on" effect like the pre-canned stuff that effects lab offers, does everyone come out of the woodwork to say it doesn't work or it suck or it's stupid?

Now, I understand the majority of people here are younger people, and you guys primarily use Effects Lab software for nice and easy fx, but why wouldn't you be open to hearing about more pro techniques versus using something that is practically pregenerated for you? When I was younger I would try to learn all that I could find out, whether it be pro or amatuer, but at least I would always be open to new ideas.

Here's the reality of the situation...most of you want to make films or be involved in the film world. First off, very few of you will make it, sorry, that's the facts. Second, having a closed mind toward others and their ideas will get you a wonderful job as the boy fetching the coffee and donuts for the crew. See where I am going with this?

Arktic, I understand you may not know what float color space is, or understand how a solid simulates real in-camera techniques used by filmmakers for almost a century, but what gives you the right ot criticize my and shadu's suggestion? I know you didn't call it "stupid" like another on this forum, but why did you have to add the "far surpass the effect you get from the 'solid' technique, imho."? Don't you think that is a little immature?

For all of those who are open, good for you! This is not an attack on anybody, but I'm used to forums that are professional and people don't call out others and their techniques. If you think your idea is better, tell me why with intelligence, or just keep it to yourself.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 8:50pm

Post 12 of 30

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Wtf was that all about outsiderlookingin?

Let's have a look at what Arktic wrote

VLab and CLab's day for night filters and other grading tools are simpler than AE, and far surpass the effect you get from the 'solid' technique, imho.
First thing to notice is the added "imho", wich stands for "in my humble opinion", in case you don't know. So he only states his opinion and even makes that clear.

VLab and CLab's day for night filters and other grading tools are simpler than AE
Aha, his opinion is, their simpler. I'd agree with that one. In my opinion, of course.

and far surpass the effect you get from the 'solid' technique
Aha, his opinion is, the effect looks better. Isn't that his simple right to have that opinion? Even if your opinion differns?
(personally I don't know whether I agree with him or not, since I've never tried what you suggested, so I can't compare. But The VisionLab day for night looks pretty good imho)


Sorry, I see no critic in what he wrote, except maybe for the " around the word "solid". But that's A understandable considering his opinion and B hardly an "attack".



Sorry to say that, but most of your post was uncalled for. Besides, even if Arktic disagreed with what you wrote, that is no reason to go generalize and have a go at everyone with that "Most of you all will never make it, sorry".

I respect your opinion from various posts you made in the past. But I'm really puzzled at what this was just about.

Last edited Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:00pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 8:55pm

Post 13 of 30

Hybrid-Halo

Force: 9315 | Joined: 7th Feb 2003 | Posts: 3367

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 3 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Outsiderlookingin - you're making a bit of a fool out of yourself with that post. I'd suggest re-reading what Arktic said.

It also happens that Arktic's one of the more seasoned users at FXhome, his knowledge of the products here at FXhome as well as other parties products such as After-Effects is well above the average user.

I suggest trying out his advice before you claim your opinon or methods to be superior because I'm certain he's experienced using solid colour composites. Oh, and to also calm down a little - we'll forgive you in time.

-Hybrid

Last edited Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:16pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:13pm

Post 14 of 30

Arktic

Force: 9977 | Joined: 10th Nov 2003 | Posts: 2785

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Rating: +1

This what I don't understand about some of the people in this forum. Why is it that everytime you post a technique that isn't an "instant on" effect like the pre-canned stuff that effects lab offers, does everyone come out of the woodwork to say it doesn't work or it suck or it's stupid?
I didn't say any of those things.

why wouldn't you be open to hearing about more pro techniques versus using something that is practically pregenerated for you? When I was younger I would try to learn all that I could find out, whether it be pro or amatuer, but at least I would always be open to new ideas.
I've used both AE and Vlab extensively - I just offered my humble opinion on which I thought was better for ease of use and the overall effect given.

Arktic, I understand you may not know what float color space is, or understand how a solid simulates real in-camera techniques used by filmmakers for almost a century, but what gives you the right ot criticize my and shadu's suggestion?
Firstly, I didn't criticise your suggestion, I just offered my opinion on a different technique. That's how fora (whether online or offline) work - people discuss things. I didn't insult you, or the technique, I just said what I thought was better.

Now, as for "If you think your idea is better, tell me why with intelligence, or just keep it to yourself".

For the majority of users here, float colour space is never an issue, as they are primarily dealing with pretty heavily compressed images and colour data in the first place (when compared to film or even HD) - so a plug in which utilises unclipped colour information in float space is pretty pointless for people who aren't going to broadcast or print to film, iirc. I've not come across the specific plug in you speak of, however, so you'll notice I didn't criticise it.

I did however mention that I preferred using Vlab to using AE with a blue/black solid to achieve Day For Night effects. Why are Vlab/Clab's grading tools, in my opinion, better?

They offer exactly the same type of effect, and to the same kind of quality, and yet they don't take a long time to learn. Not only are VisionLab/CompositeLab the simpler software, but they are also the cheaper software, so they are probably more within the reach of the amateur filmmaking community. The grading tools they utilise are also infinitely alterable, and so as such are not in any way restricted to pre-set variables - so it is not, as you erroneously suggest, "pre-canned".

Having used and compared both techniques, I achieved a better result with VLab - and this is why I offered my opinion.

Cheers,
Arktic.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:21pm

Post 15 of 30

outsiderlookingin

Force: 60 | Joined: 10th Nov 2005 | Posts: 138

Member

Maybe it was uncalled for, but it wasn't really directed at him, just that one part. I took his comment as a little bit of looking down on my comment, and for that I might be mistaken. It's more of a general feeling I get from SOME of the people on this board, not all. I'm not out to get anyone, I just want to share knowledge, and not be attacked for it. Now, I'm saying that he attacked me, but I had a go with someone else in the past about this same topic, and I overreacted a bit on this one. Arktic, and the rest, I apologize.

I embrace all digital technology, but I'm a bit of a pursit in my methods. I try to recreate what can be done in the real world, using similar digital "equivalents" of those traditional techniques. I'm just trying to bring that point of view here. I don't think the younger generation needs to focus solely only on what their comp can do. If we all do that then we are dooming the future of cinema.

In reponse to my "most of you won't make it" comment. That was not meant to be offensive. The facts are that only a small percentage make it in this business, at least to the "big time". That's all I was stating, the truth. Me personally, I'm not trying to be a director or anything special liek that...I'm just doing my thing and getting by on it.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:22pm

Post 16 of 30

outsiderlookingin

Force: 60 | Joined: 10th Nov 2005 | Posts: 138

Member

my apologies...
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:32pm

Post 17 of 30

Alex Reeve

Force: 470 | Joined: 3rd Oct 2005 | Posts: 364

MacOS User

Member

To get this back on topic, a question for cappybandman:

Is it absolutely vital to the story to set the chase at night? Would it not be easier to just have the chase take place during the day? My apologies if the script revolves around Vampires or sufferers of Porphyria.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:33pm

Post 18 of 30

Sollthar

Force: 13360 | Joined: 30th Oct 2001 | Posts: 6094

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 2 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

*sollthar hugs outsiderlookingin* smile

It's the internet. There's loads of odd people in the internet, so don't take anyone too serious. Would be a shame if you didn't feel comfortable on fxhome because of the occasional little monkey.


A good tip though (one I had to learn too and in fact, still couldn't fully grasp apparently)
Sometimes you might be stating a fact, the truth... That doesn't automatically people couldn't take offense on it.




Back to the original topic though:

If you have a spare 50£, I recommend buying a very basic light setup and shoot the scene actually at night. No filter will ever look as nighty as the night.
And you could use that same 50£ light equipment on many many other scenes to get a much better result on your footage anyways.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:39pm

Post 19 of 30

mojaba

Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Nov 2005 | Posts: 46

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

We sort of got off topic here a little. Can anyone post some tips for filming at night? (lighting, exposures etc.) Maybe some links to sites or forums with this info. Just looking for help since filming at night is definitely not my expertise.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 9:47pm

Post 20 of 30

mojaba

Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Nov 2005 | Posts: 46

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

Several replies and questions came in as I was writing my last reply. The scene could probably be shot during the day (it is my backup plan). The film is not a vampire movie or anything like that. It's a James Bond adventure. The teaser was scripted as various night scenes. 1) Bond makes his way thru dense wooded area and takes out an arms dealer with rifle and scope 2) Bond is confronted by a baddie and fight ensues 3) car chase by more baddies ends up with exploding car. If anyone can give me some lighting ideas for these various scenes, I would appreciate it.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 10:06pm

Post 21 of 30

outsiderlookingin

Force: 60 | Joined: 10th Nov 2005 | Posts: 138

Member

Filming at night tips.

Lots of light
Long shutter speed (w/ a sturdy tripod)
Turn up the gain, but not too much to avoid excessive grain
Lots of Light...lots.
Posted: Wed, 11th Jan 2006, 10:11pm

Post 22 of 30

Alex Reeve

Force: 470 | Joined: 3rd Oct 2005 | Posts: 364

MacOS User

Member

It doesn't sound like you'll have access to electricity without a generator? This will inflate your budget whether you hire or buy one.

Personally, I'd switch the scene to daytime.
Posted: Thu, 12th Jan 2006, 12:27am

Post 23 of 30

Frank Grimes

Force: 1255 | Joined: 15th May 2005 | Posts: 80

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User FXpreset Maker Windows User

Gold Member

Yup, thats the solution i'd go for. if you can't afford all the light equipment then just switch...

EXT - COUNTRY ROAD - NIGHT

...to...

EXT - COUNTRY ROAD - DAY

Makes life a lot easier.
Posted: Thu, 12th Jan 2006, 10:44am

Post 24 of 30

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

Rating: +4

Most of this has already been dealt with, and I see outsiderlookingin has already apologised, but there were a few comments I felt I had to reply to as there seemed to be a couple of misconceptions.

outsiderlookingin wrote:

This what I don't understand about some of the people in this forum. Why is it that everytime you post a technique that isn't an "instant on" effect like the pre-canned stuff that effects lab offers, does everyone come out of the woodwork to say it doesn't work or it suck or it's stupid?
I've never noticed that here, myself. Although I have noticed the opposite on other forums - where doing things a simple way seems to be somehow 'wrong'.

When it comes to filmmaking, the techniques used aren't terribly important - what matters are the end results.

If a complex method and a simple method yield exactly the same results, then you go for the simple method, surely? The argument that "it's only worth doing if it's difficult" perplexes me. Aside from anything else, the easier the technical aspects are, the more time it leaves you for the creative side of things.

Now, I understand the majority of people here are younger people, and you guys primarily use Effects Lab software for nice and easy fx, but why wouldn't you be open to hearing about more pro techniques versus using something that is practically pregenerated for you?
Pre-generated? What are you referring to here? That was true for AlamDV, which hasn't been used or available for ages. EffectsLab is entirely different - have you actually used it? As there is nothing pre-generated about it.

Our new programs use effects 'engines' and grading 'engines', meaning you can create thousands of different effects. If that rings a bell, it's because it's the same exact approach that After Effects uses. smile The pre-generated days of AlamDV are long gone, and dismissing our products for being 'pre-generated' is no longer really valid.

You can use 'presets', which automatically set up the particle system/optics/grading filters. Even then you still have full control over every attribute. All it does is save some time - say you want a sandy dust storm wafting across the bottom of the screen, rather than setting it up by hand every single time, you create it once, then save it as a preset - which you can then share with other users via our preset library. Maybe you confused them with the old AlamDV plugins?

When I was younger I would try to learn all that I could find out, whether it be pro or amatuer, but at least I would always be open to new ideas.
Absolutely. I agree completely, as would most people around here.

However, it seems that you haven't taken a good look at EffectsLab to see how it actually works. Going by your own advice, you shouldn't criticise something before you know how it works. smile

For all of those who are open, good for you! This is not an attack on anybody, but I'm used to forums that are professional and people don't call out others and their techniques. If you think your idea is better, tell me why with intelligence, or just keep it to yourself.
Again, you're rather contradicting yourself there. People here are always open to new techniques, they practically lap them up in my experience. The only person that isn't open to new/easier techniques would seem to be you, in this case! razz

There's an odd elitism that often seems to surround After Effects. Sure, it's a great program, and it has its place, but that doesn't negate other products or techniques. This thread has illustrated that perfectly - FXhome products can do good day-for-night techniques as described already, yet you seemed almost offended by the concept of using an FXhome product, seemingly because (in this case at least) it's simpler, cheaper and faster to use.

Doesn't seem very logical to me. smile


Going back to the original topic, lighting a road scene at night will be very difficult. Lighting a stationary set/location is difficult enough, without having to factor in moving cars etc. Good luck though, be sure to let us know how it goes!
Posted: Thu, 12th Jan 2006, 5:29pm

Post 25 of 30

CurtinParloe

Force: 841 | Joined: 16th Oct 2001 | Posts: 916

EffectsLab Lite User Windows User MacOS User

Gold Member

Sollthar wrote:

No filter will ever look as nighty as the night.
Best Quote Ever biggrin

And he's right, of course. If at all possible, shoot it at night, or change the setting to day. A spy would be better if he could take someone out in daytime anyway...

Shooting at night, you need plenty of light. You have some from the car headlights already. Watch some movies with cars at night to see how they're lit.
From memory, they're probably not lit much, unless they're in a built up area. Possibly a light a long way back bouncing off the road, to make it moody, possibly one near the camera so you can make out a few chrome reflections when it gets close, or see what colour it is when it passes.

It's whatever looks good, so you'll have to experiment. You should also make sure everyone knows exactly what they're doing, so practice in the daytime. A shot of the car ploughing into the camera would look really cool, but you'd probably only get one take. And be dead. eek

Incidentally, if you have a nice camera with an aperture control, open that right up, and you'll get a nice short DoF too, you'll just have to hang on to the focus ring if you do that...
Posted: Thu, 12th Jan 2006, 5:47pm

Post 26 of 30

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

Another tip I just remembered is to shoot on a wet road. If you don't have masses of water at your disposal, try to shoot when it's wet weather or just afterwards - a wet road reflects light more than a dry road, so you get more overall light than you would otherwise.

That's why roads so often look shiny and wet in movies. smile
Posted: Fri, 13th Jan 2006, 2:09pm

Post 27 of 30

ashman

Force: 4913 | Joined: 10th Sep 2005 | Posts: 904

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 3 Pro User FXhome Movie Maker Windows User MacOS User

SuperUser

Yep he's right, and i found this out by accident, but i did get some nice results while filming. check out my thread and theres a link to eviscer8 (a movie i didn't finish), just right click and save it, look for the shot where the car comes towards the cam, see how the road lights up, i found it a nightmare to shoot at night, but the results do look better, here's a link.

http://fxhome.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20527&start=30

I ended up buying two portable, power of a million candles lights, i use one to light the area, and the other to bounce of a reflector and onto the actors, it was really difficult, these shots looked better than the ones in the movie, but experiment and see what works best for you, don't dismiss both methods, try day for night too.
Posted: Fri, 13th Jan 2006, 5:54pm

Post 28 of 30

mojaba

Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Nov 2005 | Posts: 46

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

As I have been reading you responses, and I got another idea. What about shooting the various backgrounds and then the actors in front of a greenscreen? I could composite the backgrounds in. The actors could be fully lighted! Tell me what you think?
Posted: Fri, 13th Jan 2006, 6:29pm

Post 29 of 30

Alex Reeve

Force: 470 | Joined: 3rd Oct 2005 | Posts: 364

MacOS User

Member

The problem is, you would still need to light the backgrounds, and if you are going to do that, you may as well light the actors on location. It will also probably result in the fakest looking footage out of all the suggestions.

Do you have any lighting rental places near you, where you could rent a generator & some HMI's?
Posted: Mon, 16th Jan 2006, 2:28pm

Post 30 of 30

mojaba

Force: 800 | Joined: 27th Nov 2005 | Posts: 46

CompositeLab Pro User EffectsLab Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

Thanx for the help!