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Forums VEGAS Pro Any tricks or tips for correcting a strong backlighting situation in VP9?

  • Any tricks or tips for correcting a strong backlighting situation in VP9?

     Bob Peterson updated 12 years, 7 months ago 3 Members · 7 Posts
  • Nigel O’Neill

    October 6, 2009 at 3:43 am

    Hi

    One of my camera operators shot some footage for me for a mid-day Christening. Due to factors beyond his control, he was forced to shoot part of the service against a strong natural backlight (they were standing in a door way leading to the outside). As a result, the footage is quite dark. I can still make out some detail, but obviously much is in darkness.

    I have used some other editing packages where it was possible to adjust foreground and background lighting, as well as gain and brightness. This was under a backlight compensation effect. Are there equivalent ‘backlight compensation’ effects or tricks in Vegas I can apply to salvage the footage?

    Thanks in advance.

    System: Intel i920, 12GB RAM, ASUS P6T, Vegas Pro 9 (X64), Vista x64 Ultimate, Vegas Production Assistant 1.0, VASST Ultimate S 4.1

  • Theo van Laar

    October 6, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I would start with the sony curves plugin, which allows you to treat light and dark parts independently.

    Theo

  • Nigel O’Neill

    October 6, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Thanks Theo

    I have now played around with the curves, but it appears to be a bit of a hit and miss affair. I had used curves in the past, but for extreme colour effects. Never thought I could use it for this purpose!

    Intel i920, 12GB RAM, ASUS P6T, Vegas Pro 9 (X64), Vista x64 Ultimate, Vegas Production Assistant 1.0, VASST Ultimate S 4.1

  • Theo van Laar

    October 6, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Just create some extra points on the curve (right-click on the curve). This will allow you to treat the dark part of the video (the lower part of the curve) independent of the midtones and the highlights. It is certainly not only trial and error.

    If you don’t manage to improve to video significantly, maybe you can upload a jpg from an untreated part of a scene to let us see how it looks.

    Theo

  • Bob Peterson

    October 6, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Curves, as noted, are one tool. You may want to add the Brightness/Contrast adjustment to the mix. Increasing brightness provides a uniform increase across all color tones. It will further blow out your background, but that’s probably largely gone anyway.

    When I use the brightness control, I also adjust contrast for the best image.

  • Theo van Laar

    October 6, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    In contrast to CURVES, Brightness and Contrast are always applied to the whole frame, with very little possibilities to adjust where the effect is the strongest. For that reason I always use LEVELS and CURVES but never BRIGHTNESS/CONTRAST

    Theo

  • Bob Peterson

    October 6, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Curves also applies to the whole frame unless you mask it. The difference is that brightness/contrast is linear as opposed to variable by tone within the shadow-highlight spectrum. I thought I acknowledged that in my response.

    The problem with curves is that a reverse contrast curve (reduce highlights while brightening shadows starts introducing gray into the image rather than the original colors (i.e. more and more tones become gray as contrast as reduced by the curve). A little of that can go a long way. That is why a linear adjustment across all tones can do the heavy lifting a bit better. Yes, the highlights are blown by that, but the remaining tones in the image are retained. Adding a curve to the result allows the fine tuning of specific tones such as the highlights. At the very least, the blown highlights can be pulled down to gray.

    It’s not an either-or. The tools can be used together. That’s why I added the brightness/contrast adjustment to the discussion. The OP did, of course, ask about brightness and gain. That presumably means a linear control.

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