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how to simulate the original "shake" of the old movies shot on film?


Dan Wake
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does exist a plug in for premiere that allow easy to simulate the original "shake" of old movies shot on film? there was a very minimal shake also in stil shots on a tripod and on the title screen/end credits.

I like that very much. I wish something "scientifically accurate" about the movement simulation if possible please.

 

thx!

 

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Sounds like you are describing 'Gate Weave'.

That is when a film frame passes through a projector, sprockets outside the image area control the vertical motion of the frames through the projector. Over time, a film can become warped or the sprockets can wear, causing the frame to appear to move side to side. It can also be caused by a worn mechanical movement in the camera not keeping perfect registration with the sprockets on the negative or by the film itself being warped by heat.

A good plugin for exactly this (and other old film effects) for Premiere/AE is Red Giant's Misfire:

http://www.redgiant.com/user-guide/universe/misfire/

or you could try and see if you can customise the parameters in this free camera shake plugin:

http://premierepro.net/editing/deadpool-handheld-camera-presets/

 

Gate Weave is primarily a horizontal motion (like a soft sway left and right) that can have different speeds. You could possibly keyframe your clips to have this motion with a Bézier curve to mimic the effect with the inbuilt motion control tab within Premiere. 

The most 'scientifically accurate' way to achieve the effect would be to shoot on film with a worn movement in a camera that does not have double-claw pull down...or you could purposely introduce movement during the telecine scan.

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Hans Punk, have you ever been a projectionist? You sound like one. Only you and me and maybe a handful of freaks will notice a difference between a 'scientifically accurate' simulation and a cheap retro effect. This is true for a lot of film effects (light leaks transitions, grain overlays, filmstock simulating LUTs). Anything goes. In the end, no matter how 'realistic' it is, it's still a travesty. It's like the spice smoke burger restaurants spray on their meat, triggering a vague association of something that was char-grilled. No chief would fall for that. 

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17 hours ago, Hans Punk said:

Sounds like you are describing 'Gate Weave'.

That is when a film frame passes through a projector, sprockets outside the image area control the vertical motion of the frames through the projector. Over time, a film can become warped or the sprockets can wear, causing the frame to appear to move side to side. It can also be caused by a worn mechanical movement in the camera not keeping perfect registration with the sprockets on the negative or by the film itself being warped by heat.

A good plugin for exactly this (and other old film effects) for Premiere/AE is Red Giant's Misfire:

http://www.redgiant.com/user-guide/universe/misfire/

or you could try and see if you can customise the parameters in this free camera shake plugin:

http://premierepro.net/editing/deadpool-handheld-camera-presets/

 

Gate Weave is primarily a horizontal motion (like a soft sway left and right) that can have different speeds. You could possibly keyframe your clips to have this motion with a Bézier curve to mimic the effect with the inbuilt motion control tab within Premiere. 

The most 'scientifically accurate' way to achieve the effect would be to shoot on film with a worn movement in a camera that does not have double-claw pull down...or you could purposely introduce movement during the telecine scan.

Thanks for your help, but I tryed both of them today and I dislike them for my specific purpose (Mis fire seems I'm on a boat). If there is not another plug in I guess I should learn hot to make it by myself but I'm a donkey with after effects unfortunately.

 

Edit.

 

Today I'm also watching a movie called "The Trouble with Harry" (A.Hitchcock) at 1080p, that effect is magnificent. :)

 

Edit. I'm trying to make a custom edit to the parameter of misfire and it's a little bit better, but I'm far far away from what I wish actually. The original look is maybe somehow umpredictable (the accelleration of the movement is not always at the same speed), and maybe it's not only horizontal sometimes! :P What do you think? :)

 

In my opinion someone should try some kind of scan of a original movie (not super old, for example "The Trouble with Harry" could be something cool), or even younger (I will try to see if recent movies that use film instead of digital have the Gate Weave effect, maybe something from Tarantino last movies?

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dan Wake said:

In my opinion someone should try some kind of scan of a original movie (not super old, for example "The Trouble with Harry" could be something cool), or even younger (I will try to see if recent movies that use film instead of digital have the Gate Weave effect, maybe something from Tarantino last movies?

It's funny you mention that. Turn on the english translation in this video (timed to the Tarantino part, poor auto-translation, but you'll get the picture):

They talk about 4k, HFR, 3D (they contributed to Billy Lynn). Then it's about H8ful 8. 70 mm. The title wobbles? Nostalgic, pathetic. I agree. And you know what: if there is but one person on this planet who really loves mechanical film, it's me. I hated Hobbit, and I always wanted to make a mockumentary on analog cinema based on Theodore Roszaks great novel Flicker. Film has had it's time. Audiovisual storytelling is here to stay, but we have to move on. Continuing to mimic film failures is equal to designing furniture and paint them all with patina. Cheap and not inventive. The holy fathers of cinema would turn in their graves. They used state-of-the-art techniques in their days!

 

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1 hour ago, Dan Wake said:

Thanks for your help, but I tryed both of them today and I dislike them for my specific purpose (Mis fire seems I'm on a boat). If there is not another plug in I guess I should learn hot to make it by myself but I'm a donkey with after effects unfortunately.

 

Edit.

 

Today I'm also watching a movie called "The Trouble with Harry" (A.Hitchcock) at 1080p, that effect is magnificent. :)

 

Edit. I'm trying to make a custom edit to the parameter of misfire and it's a little bit better, but I'm far far away from what I wish actually. The original look is maybe somehow umpredictable (the accelleration of the movement is not always at the same speed), and maybe it's not only horizontal sometimes! :P What do you think? :)

 

In my opinion someone should try some kind of scan of a original movie (not super old, for example "The Trouble with Harry" could be something cool), or even younger (I will try to see if recent movies that use film instead of digital have the Gate Weave effect, maybe something from Tarantino last movies?

 

 

Yes, many presets default to settings that may not be ideal (often too strong). The trick is to play around with the settings to tune it to taste. Sometimes you can apply an effect onto an adjustment layer, then dial the opacity of that effect layer down and also apply multiple copies of the effect to more adjustment layers in an offset fashion so as to build up an influence that is subtle and not 'intellectually' created by the computer. Same goes with grain/dirt/scratches...subtlety is often key. As mentioned earlier by someone else, After effects has a very simple expression called 'wiggle', there are many good tutorials online to explain how to apply this effect.

Also as mentioned here before, motion tracking real footage is an idea worth trying, but is not nessesarily more of a realistic method, unless you find a perfect range of motion that you can track and loop without noticing the repetition of movement. Two adjustment layers with a small wiggle expression applied will often give a nice random and subtle move that with nicely achieve the gate weave effect, or simply add a bit of life to locked off shots.

2 hours ago, Axel said:

Hans Punk, have you ever been a projectionist? You sound like one. Only you and me and maybe a handful of freaks will notice a difference between a 'scientifically accurate' simulation and a cheap retro effect. This is true for a lot of film effects (light leaks transitions, grain overlays, filmstock simulating LUTs). Anything goes. In the end, no matter how 'realistic' it is, it's still a travesty. It's like the spice smoke burger restaurants spray on their meat, triggering a vague association of something that was char-grilled. No chief would fall for that. 

I used to work at a large Kodak facility, batch processing photographic film back in the day. When taking digital stills was a novelty back then, yet we had digital to film scanners to give customers physical prints from their images. It was that strange period in time when Kodak could not understand (or want to believe) where the market was going. Within two years of me being there, the plant closed and everything went digital. I then had a short stint at a cine lab, processing and scanning film rushes for features and commercials...the process and machines were very similar. Then I bought myself my first proper camera, a Arri 2c 35mm. Using connections I'd made at work to get stock, I could actually shoot 35mm film for short projects and get it telecined to tape for about the same cost as it was to hire a HD camera back then. Now I've transitioned to post production work (visual effects) and often try to incorporate the analogue methodology whenever I can. Most of what people think they love about the 'film look' is often too nostalgic in my opinion..the artefacts of bad handling/transfer/age of print etc. The real power of Film is it's latitude and colour rendition when selecting negative and print stocks. Thankfully digital has come to a very respectable stage, where good lens choice and a talented colourist can keep most film traditionalists happy. Besides, if you shoot film these days 99.9% of the time your film is projected digitally. Film projection and its degradation through many cycles of showings in theatres is what made a huge influence of the viewers of the 'film' effect.

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I dislike a lot when I see "it's fake" and I believe at a certain level also who is not a technician can spot the fake in something, but for everything else that is not identifiable by everyone I try to introduce also concepts like part of old film emulation charateristics. maybe with a very light 'Gate Weave' effect on the picture people would forget about it during the vision, they will notice it more subliminally. I like the 'Gate Weave' bacause it helps me to get in the picture. Everyting seems more alive to me, maybe it is because the brain watch the subjects in movement with more attention than the motionless ones. What do you think about it? If used carefully (very moderate) could it be reintroduced in modern digital movies? Do you have the feeling I have that this effect help to get inside the picture because it may campture the attention more that a montionless frame or is just to me that happen?

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The dirty little secret is that everything about film is fake.

Film projection is in itself a magic trick...tricking the brain into thinking that a rapid succession of still images is a continuity of motion. It is only the brain that interprets this into an experience of motion within 'motion pictures'. I totally see some merits in introducing old analogue artifacts from the film days - into digital cinema but I think the key is to be subtle about it if applying at the post stage. I think that a current feeling to some is that a 'connection' to an immersive viewing experience is having a reminder that what is being viewed has gone through a 'process'. What were once unwanted visual artifacts are now welcome visual cues of the 'good old days of film'. A comparison could be the trend of anamorphic flares being provoked so heavily in films these days. When these lenses were first being used in cinema, any flare was considered way too distracting and an obvious technical error to be either cut out or suppressed as much as possible. It is only in hindsight after a technical 'advancement' that many analog artifacts start to have positive or nostalgic memories to people.

I have some old Hi8 and mini DV footage from years ago, it is now the new super8 in terms of provoking nostalgia. It looks quite awesome now because it is so detached from the look of modern digital video quality....but the real reason I think I like it now is because it is associated to memories of being a teenager I have. That is the power of the moving image, regardless of format.

A Grindhouse grungy film effect is easy to achieve in post, but quickly gets boring unless integral to the intended look. Unfortunatly most film look presets default to a similar heavy handed setting that when left as is - giving a very 'fake' feel to things. Subtle layering of grain, weave, fading can give nice results that do not stand out as being ugly, but help make the image more akin to the 'warm' feel of older film. I often use real film scans of grain to overlay digital footage, nothing wrong with that...it is dialed down very low, and often layered and offset 2-3 times to give the image a near invisible  bit of dancing texture that helps take the clinical feel from digital and also helps give an added sense of sharpness to shots where focus was not tack sharp. Adding post effects such as weave/grain/speckle/dust is totally fine in my book if it compliments the visuals and does not distract from the subject.

I'd say at least 70 percent of the 'film look' in digital cinema these days is dictated by camera lens choice and the remaining 30 percent is down to the grade and finishing. Modern multi-coated lenses tend to bake-in a contrast and colour that is very hard to convincingly adjust afterwards, even when dealing with footage from high dynamic range cameras. This is why so many vintage cine primes are still being used on features - giving a more 'organic' feel to the image at the source of the image capture process. I think too many people assume that they can take digital footage shot with kit lenses and post-process the footage to accurately emulate film with one or two simple clicks with a LUT. The truth is that you need to consider lens choice, exposure and have enough latitude in your camera 'negative' to first colour correct and THEN start to grade and finish the image.

The irony is the just before film started to die as a primary cinema acquisition and projection method, it was hitting the pinnacle of impeccably clean, sharp and pristine stocks that could deliver amazing results when combined with the flexibility of a modern DI. Motion picture cameras themselves have hardly changed in 100 years of design. 

Film was never a format that wanted any analog artifacts that many seem to now miss, it was always striving to be as clean and perfect as possible. Makers of Vinyl records never wanted crackles and pops to be heard on a first play - it is only from passage of time and advancement of technology that these audible artifacts become nostalgic and add a layer of pleasant experience to the listener. When CD was introduced, the horrible compression of audio dynamic range made the same songs sound sterile and without life when compared to a vinyl (a technical inferiority)...but many gravitated to the more identifiable 'crackle and pop' as an identifiable 'warm feel' artifact that they missed from the previous technology. I feel a similar thing may have happened with film.

Film can technically outperform digital to this day, especially when considering overall latitude and handling of highlight roll-off and especially when talking about large format...but the Alexa and Alexa 65 is pretty much there in terms as to what traditionalist film people consider a 'filmic' image. 

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8 minutes ago, Hans Punk said:

Makers of Vinyl records never wanted crackles and pops to be heard on a first play - it is only from passage of time and advancement of technology that these audible artifacts become nostalgic and add a layer of pleasant experience to the listener. When CD was introduced, the horrible compression of audio dynamic range made the same songs sound sterile and without life when compared to a vinyl (a technical inferiority)...but many gravitated to the more identifiable 'crackle and pop' as an identifiable 'warm feel' artifact that they missed from the previous technology. I feel a similar thing may have happened with film.

Film can technically outperform digital to this day, especially when considering overall latitude and handling of highlight roll-off and especially when talking about large format...but the Alexa and Alexa 65 is pretty much there in terms as to what traditionalist film people consider a 'filmic' image. 

There was some interesting research done about 20 years ago regarding CDs that suggested that we possess far more accurate timing circuits - for want of a better expression - when it comes to audio than was ever considered and that we are actually able to perceive the sliced element of digital audio and so our brains then de-prioritise it and let it tick along in the background as a reduced 'threat' that needs less immediate monitoring. Which translates if not to outright boredom then certainly in being less engaged in it than we are with a subtly changing analogue source.

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34 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

There was some interesting research done about 20 years ago regarding CDs that suggested that we possess far more accurate timing circuits - for want of a better expression - when it comes to audio than was ever considered and that we are actually able to perceive the sliced element of digital audio and so our brains then de-prioritise it and let it tick along in the background as a reduced 'threat' that needs less immediate monitoring. Which translates if not to outright boredom then certainly in being less engaged in it than we are with a subtly changing analogue source.

Totally agree.

The human brain has become so attune to audio and visual input that lots of research is still to be done. The physiological effects of higher frame rates done by Doug Trumbell many years ago is particularly interesting - as it concludes that very high frame rate (way higher than the disastrous 48fps hobbit) has a truly immersive effect to the viewer when projected at the correct brightness. I suspect the growing generation of gamer kids may be more accommodating to the notion of mass adoption of high fps movies in the future. With the correct implementation, this could well be the future of film making and presentation. Then the future kids will probably want to apply motion blur to footage to give it a nostalgic filmic feel.

That is maybe a thing worth remembering, modern film is still clinging (rightly or wrongly) to established rules of frame rate and presentation methods. Silent 16fps black and white film used to be the cutting edge back in the day...so it is probably just a matter of time until we go through another 'advancement' of similar impact.

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58 minutes ago, Hans Punk said:

Totally agree.

The human brain has become so attune to audio and visual input that lots of research is still to be done. The physiological effects of higher frame rates done by Doug Trumbell many years ago is particularly interesting - as it concludes that very high frame rate (way higher than the disastrous 48fps hobbit) has a truly immersive effect to the viewer when projected at the correct brightness. I suspect the growing generation of gamer kids may be more accommodating to the notion of mass adoption of high fps movies in the future. With the correct implementation, this could well be the future of film making and presentation. Then the future kids will probably want to apply motion blur to footage to give it a nostalgic filmic feel.

That is maybe a thing worth remembering, modern film is still clinging (rightly or wrongly) to established rules of frame rate and presentation methods. Silent 16fps black and white film used to be the cutting edge back in the day...so it is probably just a matter of time until we go through another 'advancement' of similar impact.

We're thinking about a lot of the same things! Fwiw I tried the plug ins you mentioned before and found neither worked well, which is why I didn't comment on them before. Imo the Red Giant one really misses the mark, even though they have a lot of other good stuff. But the After Effects wiggle expression and tracking tricks work okay for me. I also do a lot of per-channel regraining (separating channels, overlaying grain on each, recombining them) to get color grain and make sure the blue/yellow noise is more prominent, but it still doesn't quite have the integrated look that film has. Curious what your best results are from for "film look." I also like the vibrance plug in.

I agree about miniDV. 

My friend has the new 120fps iPad and says it makes a huge difference with scrolling. Likewise VR is 90-120fps. I think we're gonna see that being the standard pretty soon, but in VR not in film, or at least mostly in VR.

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49 minutes ago, HockeyFan12 said:

We're thinking about a lot of the same things! Fwiw I tried the plug ins you mentioned before and found neither worked well, which is why I didn't comment on them before. Imo the Red Giant one really misses the mark, even though they have a lot of other good stuff. But the After Effects wiggle expression and tracking tricks work okay for me. I also do a lot of per-channel regraining (separating channels, overlaying grain on each, recombining them) to get color grain and make sure the blue/yellow noise is more prominent, but it still doesn't quite have the integrated look that film has. Curious what your best results are from for "film look." I also like the vibrance plug in.

I agree about miniDV. 

My friend has the new 120fps iPad and says it makes a huge difference with scrolling. Likewise VR is 90-120fps. I think we're gonna see that being the standard pretty soon, but in VR not in film, or at least mostly in VR.

Yes, Red Giant has strength and weaknesses in it's collection. I must admit I mostly use a wiggle expression for light post handheld moves (often 2 instances offset with manual keyframes added to parent null) or shoot my own handheld move with tacking markers on a wall, then track and apply that to footage.. Misfire has a couple of good settings when dialed down and layered at low opacity look very good...but again it is all about subtlety and layering multiple elements.

Yes, separating channels for grain is the way to go...analyzing real grain in it's separate channels is the best way to mimic it digitally, or set correct intensity if using overlay grain footage. 

HFR is inevitable I think and I'm slowly warming to the idea as soon as it gets used correctly on an immersive film project. Lets see if Avatar 2-100 has it - to force theaters to upgrade to HFR 3D projection systems, hopefully without a 'half-lamp' option for brightness.

HDR is what concerns me at the moment...it seems to be more of a required delivery format for the next gen HDR capable streams from people like Netflix. It looks like it may be the new 'motion smoothing' curse that people hate...but worse. Looks like many dynamically lit scenes in films will have forced highlight recovery turned up to 11, causing muddy and crap results.

Example of actual muddy HDR stream vs what Deakins shot and Mitch Paulson graded.

Frightening.

C94ChT-UwAAfyog.thumb.jpg.ca21f7638671cdbdd3b2b2af6b76571a.jpg

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I look forward to seeing Avatar 2 in HFR but I am generally not bullish on that technology for cinema. It looks foreign to cinema and uncanny, as do CGI and weightless CGI camera moves. But "motion smoothing" might be acclimating younger audiences to that look, just as video games are acclimating audiences to bad CGI physics. The thing about film is that it's physical and the combination of its flaws offer an experience that feels like a record of reality, not a simulation of it. The more CGI you add and the closer you get to grainless HFR, the less physical digital cinema looks and the less it looks like film... Neither is inherently better. You can guess which I prefer, though. (By far...)

I really liked Avatar but it's very much (like Edge of Tomorrow, another good movie imo) inspired by video games. The rules of the story and the style. Stylistically, so are many many films today inspired by video games but I thought those two took a great approach that's not too on-the-nose. Avatar's story is basically about a VR or a Second Life type experience and the 3D and motion capture work and digital cinematography do a great job of complementing that story and that feeling. For dramas, I don't see the appeal of this style. I do see cinema adopting it for some films, but I see it as more appropriate for video games and VR, which is probably where it will trickled own from, and down to super hero movies, which look increasingly like really beautiful video games anyway. :) So I'm into it. For the right projects, of course. It took B&W decades to really be phased out. 24fps will be around, even if it's not all that's around, for quite a long while, and I prefer how it looks by far for most of the stories I prefer to watch. I'm still dying to see Avatar 2, though, even those that kind of look is not my preference generally.

I very strongly disagree about HDR, however. Well, I sort of do. I saw a tech demo of Dolby's very top of the line prototype tech (which I think draws more power than power companies distribute to an entire house for just a small screen). It's breathtaking. It really is like looking out a window. It seems sharper than 4k, even though it's HD. The contrast and acutance and detail are like reality but not in a bad "simulated way" more in a looking at slide film through a lightbox way. Its contrast ratio matches the eye's dynamic range and the tonality is flawless.

It's insane. It's so beautiful, regardless of what format the original content was shot on.

Of course, even at perfect efficiency (which is not possible to achieve so far as I know, and it was already LED based), that tv would be too energy inefficient for consumer use and so it is many orders of magnitude (I think) brighter than today's tvs. So while the HDR tech can be mind-blowing, truly incredible, I think its implementation might be garbage for home use right now. Still, you're comparing those images on an SDR screen. Of course the HDR one looks flat. On even the lowest end HDR screen, the one on the left should have brighter looking whites than the one on the right has on even a very good SDR screen. 

If not... uh oh lol. Deakins also has a tv background and likes to blow out windows and use them as light sources. HDR does better with more naturalistic lighting where nothing is blown out or loses detail. But it looks good with everything imo. But if those screen grabs are real, even just looking at the histogram, it seems that the colorist isn't taking advantage of HDR at all. The SDR content should look better on any screen in that case. :( I think this will get better over time.

 

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