Monday, 7 May 2012

The seamless art

In our last blog we mentioned we were experimenting with creating a photographic style that is more painterly, well the reason is that we’re striving to implement a very different visual style for our feature project All That Remains. 

One thing we’re keen to do with the film is to be able to blend the live action drama sequences with archive footage and CGI shots as seamlessly as possible. Our solution is to give all the drama sequences a pseudo painterly look. But to be able to better blend the various elements together, it needs to be much more like a real painting or graphic illustration than the photography we’ve experimented with.

The film stills below were graded in Adobe After Effects 5.5 using a combination of the native “Cartoon” filter and various native smoothing and blurring filters, along with colour manipulation filters such as After Effect’s Colour Balance, and Colorista from Red Giant, to create the look.

Below are a few stills from scenes we've been working on...

When using the blurring and softening filters, we’ve been careful to keep the detail such as the eyes, hair etc, as sharp as possible. After Effects does have “smart blur” filters, which are OK, but we also had to employ careful masking in some cases (by applying the filters on individual layers). We got some good results in the end that we’re finally happy with, but it’s been a case of experiment, render and experiment some more….

Lighting effects will also play a big part in creating the look.

Check out the movie’s official blog here...