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Vegas needs a shadow/highlight filter

ninjamix's picture
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/03/2012 - 2:46am

first of all, pls excuse typos, no caps, and 'chat style' b/c im typing one hand since i broke my hand 8 days ago mtn biking. advice: dont attempt to impress ur son on skinnies if you're a beginner.
http://youtu.be/UF0vpCSF_2Q?<wbr>hd=1</wbr>

anyway, i volunteered to fix a badly backlit clip, which i knew i could w/Premire's shadow/highlight. it works like a charm, although the tradeoff is graininess. better grainy than not being able to see the subjects. Here is what it looks like....you only need to watch the first 5 seconds to see the problem. http://youtu.be/Nov-z25SreU

for years i have been using PPcs2.0 on win XP. I recently got a powerful laptop, and decided to buy vegas movie studio pltinum 11 to save money. it's like learning to edit all over again...ugh.

my source file is a 200mb .mts. i loaded that into vegas, and spent a good hour searching google how to brighten subjects in a badly backlit vid, but no luck. So finally i said screw it, ill just bring it into premiere and use the trusty rusty shadow/highlight, but of course my ancient cs2 laughed at me upon trying to import. so i got the cineform trial, so convert to avi. whoa, 200mb is now a 1.3 gig avi. so i bring that in premiere, apply my filter, (looks great in timeline), render and export, and yea i have audio only, black video that is 25 gig!! i give up, and here i am. please tell me i can do this in vegas. ok that took about 35 min to type...


vid-e-o-man's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:20am
Plus Member

Rob, I hope that I can point you in the right direction with Vegas movie studio 11. I am just working on a wedding video that has similar, but not as bad, backlight problems. Navigate to the far left screen that has the project media, trimmer, video fx, etc tabs. Click on the video fx and click brightness and contrast, drag one of the preset boxes to your video clip on your timeline. A window will pop up showing three bars- brightness, contrast and contrast center, you can adjust them to get the desired effect. Another way to get to the same spot is to right click the video clip on your time line and click on video event fx, this willshow you all the plug-ins (chose bright/contrast and adjust). You might start with the brightness set to 15 and the contrast set to 20. You can play around with these numbers to get the desired result Hope that this helps.


ninjamix's picture
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/03/2012 - 2:46am

thanks for your reply vid-e-o-man. i'll give that a shot and post back the results.


Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 9 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

Even though the people look black I suspect there's a surprising amount of information in this clip.

You're at a disadvantage trying to fix this problem using Movie Studio because unlike Vegas Pro, Studio doesn't have monitoring. Still, you might try this: create an FX chain, starting with Levels and then Brightness and Contrast.

Adjust levels, both the input levels and output levels and the gain to get the best balance you can. Be careful not to crush the blacks -- i.e., lose detail in the black areas and introduce graininess.

Then, if you absolutely must, play around with the brightness and contrast FX. The reason to do this last is that unlike adjusting levels, brightness and contrast affect the entire image, not just the highs and lows.

If you were using Vegas Pro you could use the waveform monitor to make sure your whites stayed below 100 and your blacks stayed above 7 but you can get a pretty decent picture just eye-balling it.

You may already know this but in a situation such as you've taped, the camera exposure should be for the people in the foreground. Let the background blow out completely if necessary. It won't be pretty but it will give you good video of the people who are, after all, the most important element in the picture.

The most awful looking video I ever shot was back in the day when we did wedding videos. The bride insisted that she stand facing a huge west window overlooking Puget Sound; the minister had his back to the window.

It was a 4:00 p.m. wedding in early September; the setting sun shown directly into the camera lens.
Couldn't budge the bride an inch: she wanted Puget Sound in the background and refused to let us use lights on her to offset the back light from the window.

Some times you gotta be creative. We went to Home Depot and bought several screw-in fixtures that hold light bulbs and have a swivel on them. We got to the venue early and inserted these extenders into six of the down lights that illuminated the area around the alter. The extenders dropped the down lights out of their cans and below the ceiling by several inches. We focused all of these on the alter area.

Brides concentrate on getting married on their wedding day, not on how low the ceiling lights are! Our bride never knew; we had 600 watts of light focused on the alter and bride in her white dress. We were able to iris down enough to kill some, if not most, of the back light on Puget Sound and still get decent video of the bride.

The bride's parting comment to us after she saw her wedding video was "See, I knew you could do it without lights! It's lovely."

Jack


ninjamix's picture
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/03/2012 - 2:46am

Jack, thanks so much for taking the time to give such detailed instructions and insight.

Here is the result: http://youtu.be/HCpxL9vZND8

I think it's quite an improvement.

In layman's terms, can you explain 'iris down'? (re: Puget Sound)


birdcat's picture
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 10/21/2005 - 10:09am
Plus Member Moderator

@Rob - The iris is the part of the lens that controls the amount of light passing through it, onto your imager(s). By setting it's value (aperture or f stop) lower you are in fact increasing the amount of light coming through - so f2.0 is twice the amount of light of f4.0 which is twice the amount of light of f8.0.

Bruce Paul 7Squared Productions http://www.7squared.com


vid-e-o-man's picture
Last seen: 7 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:20am
Plus Member

Rob, lots of improvement! I'm glad that Jack shared his knowledge, that's why I love this site! Everyone is willing to share and I always learn something whenever I visit. Thank youJack for the imformation, I'll be trying it on my present project!


ninjamix's picture
Last seen: 8 months 1 week ago
Joined: 07/03/2012 - 2:46am

thanks Bruce. I definitely need to read my nikon D90 manual so that I can make that adjustment next time in low light. I'm not quitting my day job!