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When you're compositing, there's an order to the post effects and color correction. What I've done here is to merge all the nodes together and color correct them before I'm putting on any blur or other optical effects, that effect either where objects are or their luminance. Once that's all set, when we've got the image looking like we want, as if we had taken that picture, then we can put on things that are value dependent such as glow. I've put on my ZD focus and I'll select it, right click, and choose filter and glow to put a little bit of a glow on.
Initially everything glows as if somebody had put a little gasoline on the camera lens. And it's a little too much. Glow then is dependent on a tolerance or threshold in value. I'll pull this timeline down Click on the View and Press H to see it as big as possible. And then bring up the tolerance in that glow. Glow is both a brightness and a blur. And so first we'll work on where does that glow sit. And then how bright it is and how much blur we're getting. I'll pull up this tolerance towards .5, and this way all the hot parts in the image get a little bit of glow to them.
We can see the hot sun on the stairs, the white wall in the background, and just above the bridge all have a bit of a glow. But things like the darker tiraso and wood on the benches is not glowing. Now with that tolerance up dictating the point at which my glow starts, I can back off the size. I'll pull that size down to maybe six or five somewhere in there, and that reduces the amount of blur. Finally, I'll back off the mix and that glow. With the mix down to zero it's a nice soft image.
With the mix up just a little bit, maybe around point one one five or so, we get a little bit of glow in the hottest areas. We can even mask this glow by one of our object IDs, masking out for example. Just the glow to sit on the white wall, or just apply the glow to the concrete stair treads. Because I'm working on the whole image, and it's applying an even glow to it, I'm going to leave it unmasked and simply use the mix and the size to pull that around where I need. I got a little bit of glow, it just shows that it's a nice bright hot sun coming in, and it's just kissing those hot white areas a little bit.
There's a little bit of a soft glow and even a little bit warm red in there. You can pull back the saturation if you like and this may help depending on the colors you have going on. For example, pulling back the saturation on the glow, leaves the glow on but doesn't get that red fringing. With saturation all the way up and a higher mix, we really start to see some extra color in there some yellows and reds in our stairs. Pulling our saturation back then, lets them glow without being oddly colored. I'll make sure my mix is scaled way back and I'll even pull down the brightness just a bit.
As with most of our effects we have to remember to keep it subtle. It's really easy to say yes put a glow on everything, and it looks a little bit cheesy, so there's the just tiniest bit of glow on the really hot places. Remember, also that professional photographers strive to minimize this, and so we don't want to put on glow, and make a photographic fumble. In putting on an effect that most folks try to minimize. A little bit goes a long way, so remember to use your mix, your brightness and your tolerance, to really dictate specifically where that little bit of glow goes.
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