Eight & Eye Post Processing for Emotion



In a conversation with schwarmerei1 over here, we got to discussing post-processing on eyes and I had this realization about some effects work and wanted to post more photos to demonstrate.  Also, to commemorate viewing 8.  Obsessed?  naaah.

Here is my comment on the other thread [just for clarity, I’m blathering for anyone listening in & interested – clearly schwarmerei1 needs not my lecture!rant :D]:

I just got back from viewing 8, during which (while luxuriating in this dear-friend-of-a-film) I was watching for some specific treatments – eyes and color timing specifically.  (just to eliminate the confusion of my in-camera/in-post mixing-and-matching of terminology, for ‘filter’ I definitely meant the color timing done in post rather than practical filters in-camera :).  The cool thing is, you can mostly use just one filter and get that ochre+teal combo out of earth and sky, plus the creamy skin tones of the actors.  

So with your previous comment about eyes, I tracked effects usage there and went…oh. my GOD!  Miller had Whipp do in post, exactly what I do in post processing photographs.  I’m practically obsessed with a trans-illuminated eye look, with heightened contrast, and filtering to pop color (bet you I can take a still of Charlize’s eyes and bring out exactly those colors :D), and unsharp mask to pop eye-lights/highlight. I’d spent the previous SEVEN VIEWINGS going, maaaan the eyes are amazing – were they using lighting magic or some damn thing??  Nope, they did exactly what I do to my professional shoots.  I had to stifle my shriek of realization in the theater.

And why do I do it?  Because you can read so much emotion in the eyes, but camera exposure has to choose balance based on the brightness of pale skin on pale skinned folk and reflecting highlights on dark skinned folk…meaning the eyes, forever in the shadow of the brow, are always under-exposed.  You can take a perfect photo that looks like… a perfect photo, do this specific subtle treatment on the eyes and suddenly the photo looks extraordinary – because it no longer looks like a photo, it looks the way our eye sees a human face/eye expression combination – because our eyes have so much better dynamic range than any sensor yet does.

My lid – it flipped.  And without your comment about his use of post effects, I would never have figured that one out, because I still consider cinematic post to be some mystical process, rather than remembering I’m pretty damn post-processing literate my own self :)  So thank you!  I loved having that realization – because their eyes are intrinsic to the subtlety of body language both Hardy and Theron brought to their acting and I knew I loved it, but didn’t know why it was so apparent.

(on the flip side, now that I knew what to look for I realized I was cranky about the over-smoothed skin textures on the wives in the first half of the film.  too plastic!  but, you know, different tastes.  The contrast to the lined, textured, gritty look of Furiosa and Max (and the clay textures & scarring on Nux as well) contrasted sharply with the overly smoothed textures on the women, and I’m sure that’s why the treatment on the skin was done.  I’d just…make it more natural.  Because I’m a picky bastard :P) (now I gotta go listen to that podcast – because, fun! thanks for the link!)

Now some photos!


Mostly Lighting:  In this first gif, the lighting is only slightly center off his face, to give us the best natural view of all this emotion.  We need his eyes!  And he is lit for it, for sure; great lighting here, but even so, the contrast on the eyes is boosted a bit I’m betting.  His eye color is really evident and the whites are really bright (sclera & highlights).  If it’s there it’s very subtle, but brings out his crucial emotion in this scene even more.


Help From Post: This one though – look at how shadowed his eyes should be – under the brow, with the light coming almost directly from his left.  I don’t think even lighting under him/a bounce board could have brought out the whites of his eye, and definitely not the eye lights.


Totally Post:  This one – Furiosa’s face goes entirely into shadow, and her eyes especially her off eye stays completely lit?  Without her face being illuminated? Where is this magic light source exactly?  And if her eyes weren’t brought out in post, her fear here would be almost lost.  Max’s visible eye is brought out too – I mean, he’s lit from behind. Very nice.


Post for Heartbreaker Connection:  In this shot his eyes should be almost obscured – he’s a mile away from the camera, no lighting at all!  And yet we can see the whites & highlights of his eyes clearly.


Sharpening or Unsharp Mask, too: And in the companion photo, look how much sharper her eye is than the rest of her face – so not only higher contrast, sharpened as well.  It really stands out.


For Sure No Post:  For contrast – here’s interview-decent lighting. Do either of her eyes pop the same way? Especially the eye in shadow? Can we see her eye color much? or whites?  No, nowhere near.

Going back through my tumblr to find these pics, I noticed that most of the Furiosa art totally over lights the eyes – capturing the visual style of the movie. 

Such cool stuff to realize and enjoy!  Movie magic makes me happy.

Reposted from http://ift.tt/1NnUaQn.

Tags: fury road, bts, eyes.

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