Achieve a Film Look in Video with Boris Continuum Complete FxPlug Filters
Watch the video version of this tutorial
Step 1: Select BCC DeinterlaceGo to the Effects Tab and twirl down the Video Filters group. Twirl down the BCC 5 Effects group. Drag the BCC Deinterlace filter from this list directly onto the imported video clip in the FCP timeline.
Step 2: Set Up FCP SourceDouble click the clip in the timeline to move it into the FCP Source Window. Click on the Filters tab in the Source Window; the BCC Deinterlace filter should be present. Select Only Deinterlace from the Operation pop-up. Set the Input Field Order to Lower Field First.
Step 3 Emulate 3:2 pulldownThe clip will now behave as 30p instead of 30i, displaying a full progressive image for every frame. This will not emulate a real-world scenario though, as every frame should not be clean if the clip was originally shot on film and passed through the telecine process. We need to have both full and interlaced frames to emulate 3:2 pulldown. To achieve this result, do the following: Go back to the BCC Deinterlace filter, then select Simulate Pulldown from the Operations pop-up. The Pulldown pop-up selector can be left at its default setting of WWSSW, which translates into Whole frame, Whole frame, Single field, Single field, Whole frame, and refers to the information contained in each frame. This sequence of WWSSW is NTSC standard.
Step 4: Clear Up Artifacts
Most of the time, you will only need to adjust one parameter in the BCC Deinterlace filter. The algorithms in this filter are so powerful that for most cases you simply apply it to the clip that you want to affect and then set the field and/or pulldown order. If, after applying the filter at its default setting, you are still seeing motion artifacts (video combing) in the image, try moving the Motion Sensitivity parameter closer to 100, which should clear up any remaining motion artifacts in the clip. When making adjustments to this parameter it is often helpful to set the filter Operation pop-up selector to View Motion Mask so that you can see how much information from the clip you are feeding into the filter for processing. In this mode, white pixels are subject to alteration by the filter while black pixels are ignored.
Ensure that the Operation pop-up has been set to Simulate Pulldown. Twirl up the filter parameter listing by clicking on the disclosure arrow beside the filter name.
Step 5 Apply BCC match GrainGo to the Effects Tab and twirl down the Video Filters group. Twirl down the BCC 5 Effects group. Drag the BCC Match Grain filter from this list directly onto the imported video clip in the FCP timeline. Double click the clip in the timeline to move it into the FCP Source Window. Click on the Filters tab in the Source Window; the BCC Match Grain filter should be below the BCC Deinterlace filter. Switch the View pop-up from Final Output to Generated Grain.
Step 6 Adjust match grain colorsThe filter now displays a preview of the generated grain in the record monitor. This is a live view and will update as you tweak any grain related parameters. Switch the Grain pop-up from Monochrome to RGB.
Step 7 Load signature grain fileNotice that the grain is now colored, as opposed to the monochrome black and white look of the default setting. Let's load in a signature grain file into the filter via the Load and Save mechanism built into the filter UI. Click on the L button next to the Grain Presets text in the filter UI. Select the first item in the list, which is labeled 5245 (the number refers to a Kodak grain signature standard).
Observe how different the grain structure is from the previously loaded signature sample. Even though we have loaded a sample match, we can tweak the look of this grain structure using the Grain Size and Grain Filter controls. The Grain Size control alters the physical size of the grain, while the Grain Filter intelligently blends this with the original image based on color and luma values inherent in the original clip. The Grain Contrast will be matched to the clip automatically, or this option can be disabled and the grain contrast can then be customized by the user via the Grain Contrast parameter, which only becomes available when the Match Contrast feature is unchecked.
Step 8 Tweak grain structure
To match the grain from an existing clip, proceed to the Sample Controls group.
Uncheck the Lock Sample checkbox. Twirl down the Sample Controls group. Select a clip in the project bin from which you want to pull the grain and drag it into the sample layer image well in the filter UI. Change the View pop-up to Sample Layer.
Step 9 Apply Film Process filterYou should now see the sample layer in the FCP Record Monitor. Click on the Sample Center target in the filter UI and position the center of the area that you wish to sample for grain in the Record Monitor window. You can adjust the sample size if you need to but in most cases the default setting should be fine. Set the Frame Number in the filter UI from which you would like to pull the grain sample. Change the View pop-up to Generated Grain to see the grain that is being synthesized by the filter. Adjust the Grain Size and the Grain Filter parameters in the filter UI to complete the Match Grain process.
Step 10 Use kodak signature grain fileFor the clip that you are working on, we're going to use a Kodak signature grain file.
Click on the Lock Sample checkbox to re-enable it (the box should be checked). Click the L button in the Grain Presets loader and select the file labeled 5246. Change the value in the parameter labeled Grain Size from 100 to 50. Change the value in the parameter labeled Grain Filter from 10 to 15. Change the View pop-up from Generated Grain to Final Output. This will generate a tight smooth grain, which is more apparent in the quarter-tone through shadow regions and not so visible in the extreme highlights. Twirl up the filter parameter listing by clicking on the disclosure arrow beside the filter name.
Go to the Effects Tab and twirl down the Video Filters group. Twirl down the BCC 5 Effects group. Drag the BCC Film Process filter from this list directly onto the imported video clip in the FCP timeline. Double click the clip in the timeline to move it into the FCP Source Window. Click on the Filters tab in the Source Window-the BCC Film Process filter should be below the BCC Match Grain filter.
Step 11 Apply Film Process filter
When you first apply this filter to any clip, the image result is unaffected by the filter as the filter is awaiting instruction on what film process you would like it to emulate. We'll start by using one of the preset looks that are included with the filter. Click on the L button in the filter, which is located beneath the Help button at the top of the filter UI. Select the preset labeled BleachBypass.
The clip will now appear as though it was shot on film and that the film was processed using the Bleach Bypass method. Notice the increase in contrast and saturation and the slight silver tint. Now let's look at a couple of the other presets that are included with this filter.
Step 12 Explore other presets
Click again on the preset Load button. Select the preset labeled HighlightBlooming.
Notice now that the clip appears much softer and that the highlights have a bloom or glow. This particular setting is very useful for wedding shots or sports shots. Let's load another preset. Click again on the preset Load button. Select the preset labeled OldFilm.
Step 13 Adjust castNotice that the clip has taken on a yellow cast, that the colors are muted slightly and that the contrast has been decreased. This is what happens when film has been archived in sub-optimal conditions. Click again on the preset Load button. Select the preset labeled WarmCool.
Step 14 Adjust the Post-process groupThe clip should now have a strong cool blue color cast. This cast is controlled by the parameters in the Post-Process group. Twirl down the Post-Process group. Change the value in the Warm/Cool Balance parameter from 20 to 5. Change the value in the Warm/Cool Hue parameter from 5 to 25. Change the value in the Post Brightness parameter from 5 to 0. Change the value in the Post Contrast parameter from 0 to 5. Twirl down the Film Tinting parameter group. Change the value in the Overall Tint parameter from 12 to 2.
Step 15 Add Lens misting to softenNotice that the clip has now taken on more of a "film look" blue and slightly more contrasty appearance. We'll soften the overall look by adding a little Lens Misting to make the highlights glow.
Twirl up the Post-Process and Film Tinting groups. Twirl down the Lens Misting group. Change the value in the Shadow Mist parameter from 16.11 to 3. Change the value in the Highlight Mist parameter from 10 to 15. Change the value in the Highlight Spread parameter from 3 to 5. Twirl up the Lens Misting group.
Step 16 save current parameterNow we have the soft glowing and subtle blue look that we were looking for. Let's save the current parameter setting as a custom look so that we can use this on other clips either in this sequence or other sequences at a later date. Click on the S button in the filter banner below the Help button. Give the setting a name and press the save button.
Twirl up the filter parameter listing by clicking on the disclosure arrow beside the filter name.
Senior Product Manager
Peter McAuley has been involved in the development of state-of-the-art graphics technology for print, video and film since the mid-1990s. Since 1999, he's been a part of the Boris FX team, managing Boris Continuum Complete and other Boris FX product lines.