Category Archives: Uncategorised

New Release – Light Kit 2.0 for Final Cut Pro, Motion After Effects and Premiere Pro

Building on the success of Luca Visual Fx’s Light Kit 1.0; a versatile range of light and image enhancement tools enjoyed by thousands of users all over the world, comes Light Kit 2.0 with an additional 7 new effects to make this a truly indispensable plugin. 

Designed for Final Cut Pro X, Apple Motion 5, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere Pro on Mac, Light Kit 2.0 comes with twice the number of effects, the new ones are Blinks, Color Bands, Color Booster, Night-Time, Retro Color Shader, Stylized Luma, and Temperature elevating the number of plugins within the kit to 14 effects and 2 transitions.

Final Cut Pro X users will have the added benefit of a completely new user interface which includes dynamic and on screen controls.

 

 

 

Blinks effect

This utility plugin is designed to overlay a variety of blinking frames or shapes over your footage. Besides being able to select shapes or even load your own custom image, you can also choose among different styles of blinking effects; from pulsing to random or sharp, there are many ways to personalise the look.

 

 

Color Bands

An effect designed to add stylization to your video, the plugin produces either geometric bands or random waves both vertically orientated that animate with the action occurring in your video.

 

 

Color Booster

This plugin, as the name implies, substantially boosts the intensity of colors adding stylistic tones, which the user can modify. Colors may appear really strong after applying the effect, the quickest way to reduce the intensity is by using the Mix slider at the bottom of the parameters.

 

 

Night-Time

If you are trying to get an evening, dusk/dawn and indeed a night-time atmosphere or effects simulating cloudy or gloomy weather this plugin will help. It comes with a range of presets which could be used as a starting point.

 

 

Retro Color

This particular effect is especially (but not exclusively) suitable for landscapes and nature shots, which the user intends to add a vintage or retro feel to.

 

 

Stylized Luma

Many editors find themselves in need to modify or stylize just the highlights in an image. This plugin offers a variety of options to do that. While the blurs and the glow are almost exclusively used to stylize images the Color option in the Style menu can effectively help to add and modify a color tint to the overexposed or very bright areas.

 

 

Temperature

Smartphones like the iPhone feature a tool within their picture editing effects called “Cast” or “Temperature”. We were partially inspired by that when we decided to create this useful tool. This new simple effect includes only 4 parameters, just what you need to make the highs in your video either cooler or rather much warmer.

 

 

 

 

To find out more or to purchase Light Kit 2.0 for the introductory price of $49 ($29 for existing Light Kit 1.0 users) follow this link.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s production of The Revenant labeled “A Living Hell” to work on by some of the crew

 

It’s nothing new that making movies is a complicated, sometimes difficult and not always straight forward process. However Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s, The Revenant, his followup to the highly-acclaimed Birdman, was apparently really difficult. Shot in the Canadian wilderness of Albeta, the film was plagued with issues ranging from conflicts between the director and producer that led to communication breakdowns and wasted time, to the project going significantly over schedule and over budget.

 

Most worrying are the reports that upwards of 20 crew members quit the production on the spot, or were fired. One anonymous crew member even went so far as to call their experience on the production “a living hell.”

 

The Revenant

 

The Revenant, set in 1820 tells the story of Hugh Glass, a frontiersman played by DiCaprio as he sets out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling.

 

Even with all the drama on set, this is definitely a film to look forward to. Not only for the performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Will Poulter in this epic revenge adaptation, but also the cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki’s (Gravity, The Tree of Life, Burn After Reading, Children of Men to name but a few) and his work shooting on the new Alexa 65 camera system.

 

Check out the breathtaking trailer below.

 

Werckmeister Harmonies

 

This monochrome, dream-like film by Hungarian director Bela Tar is pure poetry and has stuck in my mind since it first came out in 2001.

Based on László Krasznahorkai’s novel “The Melancholy of Resistance,”  Werckmeister Harmonies is about powerlessness and tyranny.

It is a unique film, beautifully shot with long long takes. A true masterpiece that leaves you wondering what you have just witnessed on the screen.

 

“Mysterious, poetic and allusive…” Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times

 

Take a look at the trailer and opening scene below.

 

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Posted by Chris

Spectacular Norwegian Scenery – Ex Machina

 

Anyone who is a fan of Alex Garland will know they will be in for a visual treat. From breathtaking scenes of the Gulf of Thailand to the empty streets apocalyptic London, the backdrops to his films are always a vocal point and plays a lot to the narrative of his stories.

 

His directorial debut, Ex Machina, is no exception. Set in the wilds of Alaska but filmed in Norway’s Valldal vally, the film highlights the the countries dramatic landscape.

 

“We knew that if we found a spectacular landscape it would provide a lot of the power of the guy. If he owns this landscape, he must be spectacular too.” Alex Galand

 

No less spectacular is CEO Nathan’s Alaskan mountain retreat, shot on location at the award winning Juvet Landscape Hotel.

 

“With its reflective surfaces, glacial soundscapes, and Kubrickian geometric compositions, this is knowingly seductive sci-fi cinema, its slyly subversive allegiances hidden by the two-way mirror of the silver screen, its androids dreaming of much more than mere electric sheep.” Mark Kermode, Observer film critic.

 

Take a look at the trailer below.

 

 

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Russian Ark – A miraculous film

 

Russian Ark is an astonishing film directed by Alexander Sokurov in 2002.

There are several reasons why this is probably one of the most magnificent films in history but one that may fascinate cinematographers and editors is that this unusual documentary that takes us through 300 years of Russian history was shot in a single day AND …It is a single shot 99 minutes feature.

 

Sokurov and amazing cinematographer Tilman Büttner (Hanna) managed to get 2000 actors, 2 live orchestras and a total of 4500 people (including crew) working so perfectly to complete principal photography at the fourth take. Achieving such result is seriously a miracle.

 

The movie was shot on digibeta uncompressed and is the first ever feature film consisting of a single shot. If you have never seen Russian Ark I strongly recommend it, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it truly is a feast for the eyes. See trailer below.

 

Posted by: Luca

 

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IDA’s amazing cinematography and the beauty of Polish cinema

 

I have become a huge fun of Polish cinema since I discovered some beautiful experimental short-films shot in the 70s and 80s. Even though my supreme masters remain the Russians A. Tarkovsky and A. Sokurov (will post something about them in the future) I believe Polish cinema has produced amazing movies over the past decades (everyone know the work of K. Kieślowski for example).

 

Pawel Pawlikowski’s IDA is another fantastic movie from Poland. DOP Lukasz Zal’s frame composition is impeccable and overall the cinematography is simply brilliant. I  thought you might enjoy watching the trailer, the release of the DVD/Blu-Ray in UK is imminent.

 

Posted by: Luca

 

 

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Face Hacking – 3D Video Projection Mapping for your face

 

We have all seen 3D projection mapping on static objects such as on buildings, parked cars, on mannequins and on indoor spaces etc but Face Hacking combines 3D projection mapping with face movement in real-time. Imagine a temporary tattoo made of light that can change on demand!

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing Behind the Scenes Video of Shooting Sony’s Ice Bubbles

 

Here is a fascinating behind the the scenes look at the concept and location of Sony’s ‘Ice Bubbles’ video for their 4K Ultra HD Televisions. This incredible natural phenomenon of bubbles crystallizing and turning into hollow blocks of ice while in the air is captured on video for the first time.

 

Posted by: Chris

 

 

The Importance Of Color Grading

 

We strongly believe that Color Grading is a fascinating art form and essential part of the post-production process. It is not that rare to see productions where color grading is neglected and sometimes its importance is even totally ignored. We thought many of you might enjoy and appreciate watching these “Before and After” color grading examples from the independent feature film “The House On Pine Street” directed by Aaron and Austin Keeling. Colorist: Taylre Jones.