I spent a weekend in upstate New York last fall, shooting almost exclusively time lapses.
Upon editing the footage, I found myself struggling with contrast corrections. Many of the shots had to have shadows brightened, which blew out the sky. I could have shot HDR, but that opens a whole new realm of workflow problems, not to mention triples my images.
As usual, After Effects provides the solution.
I precomposed the layer, then duplicated the precomp. Each precomp got its own individual color grading, one focusing on shadows, the other on highlights. Then, in the main composition, I simply masked out the appropriate places, such as the sky. The result is a fairly convincing portrayal of HDR in an easy to digest workflow.
While this process isn’t a replacement for true HDR, it is a useful workaround for those times when you can’t handle the image load or the workflow. It’s fast, easy, and work great.
Due to the recent backlash against FCP, I cut this entire video on Premiere. We’re still not best friends, Premiere and I, but we are slowly gaining each other’s trust. I’m curious to see what CS5.5 brings into the mix, and if there are substantial speed increases.
My biggest complaint about Premiere is that it’s just a little too slow. Final Cut and I move (to use a cliche) “at the speed of my thoughts”. Premiere and I move “at the speed of my thoughts, plus one second of processing time”. It gets irritating.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/26910100 w=480&h=270]