Join Mark Christiansen for an in-depth discussion in this video Making use of updated color effects and blending modes, part of After Effects CS5 New Features.
This version of After Effects adds three new color correction effects and a couple of blending modes that were also added to Photoshop CS5. Here this image of some olives already looks fairly colorful and saturated, which is why it's amazing that I can apply the new Color Correction > Vibrance effect and boost the vibrance of the image and actually get quite a bit more color out of it, without making it look as bad as if I reset that and instead boosted Saturation.
Vibrance is a lot like Saturation, but it's more sensitive to natural tones and how they can clip when they get close to their maximum values. Therefore you can push harder on Vibrance without breaking it. It's an effect that you may have first seen in Lightroom and is now available both in Photoshop and After Effects. Next, the Black & White effect. If you needed to make a black & white image in After Effects in the past, there are a couple of methods you might have used. You might have chosen under Color Correction either Hue/Saturation and taken the Master Saturation down to zero. Or deleting that, you might have chosen the Tint effect.
Those two have slightly different looks. But for a dramatically different look, over which you have a lot more control, you can now use Black & White. Initially, Black & White isn't going to look that much different. But supposing that I wanted those olives that were dark magenta to still look like the darkest thing in the frame, I could adjust the magentas, bring their levels down until they darken, and to introduce more contrast between them and the background scene, I could actually brighten up the greens.
And perhaps get some more contrast in those leaves by darkening the yellows. Now, if I compare the before and after, it's pretty profound. But if I go back to that Tint effect and compare that. There is Tint. There is Black & White. I can even take a snapshot of Black & White and use this button here, Show Snapshot, to show the dramatic difference that I can choose to make with the Black & White effect.
But I will first boost my project to 32-bits per channel here in the Project window by just Option+ Clicking on that number right there. We are now in full HDR. Next, duplicate the layer. And this one will be the Subtract layer. And for the Subtract layer, I'm going to actually apply HDR Highlight Compression under Effect > Utility. What that's going to do, you may have noticed the sun got a little bit more dim. It's essentially cutting off the image right when the values get up to full white and leaving out what we call the over-brights, the sun pixels that are going over your monitor's whitest value.
So now, if I subtract that, what I'm left with is just the highlight values. So that by itself is pretty useful if you're working in HDR. To enhance this, I am going to incorporate the Divide mode. And to do that, I will add just a new solid layer. Layer > New > Solid. It doesn't really matter about the color. I will call this one Divide. Now with Divide mode, it's helpful to choose a darker tone, but this is a little trick I am about to do.
I am going to add a Ramp effect. So Effect > Generate > Ramp. And you see it's getting really blown out up at the top, which ironically is the darkest portion. I am going to make this a Radial Ramp. So to show you what the ramp looks like by itself, that's the ramp. What I can do is move the center of the radius over to the sun and I am getting a really hot area there. Now, I am going to soften that a little bit by bringing this just slightly up from zero, maybe up to just 1% or 2% brightness. 3%. That's fine.
Then the other end of the ramp I am going to move maybe way over to add a little more decay. With this one, I am going to bring it down from white. And watch, you can see interactively the effect this is going to have on the image. I'm getting a lot of highlights now with kind of a nice decay from using this Divide effect with these really low values. The one thing I haven't mentioned in this movie that's new from Photoshop is a third effect. It's the new Selective Color effect. Now, I'm not even going to go into this one because it's really a plug-in that's designed for print.
You can use it in After Effects if you need it, because it came over with a Photoshop file. But for the most part it's considered something that's not designed for After Effects. On the whole however, it's not always the case that color effects are as effective with moving images in After Effects as they are with Photoshop stills, but this time around most of these new additions are pretty useful.
- Comparing After Effects CS4 and CS5
- Working in the CS5 Timeline
- Importing RED footage
- Selecting with the Roto Brush tool
- Optimizing performance and memory usage in a 64-bit application
- 3D image warping with Freeform AE
- Optimizing selections with the Refine Matte effect
- Changing color with Color Finesse and updated blending modes