Instructables

Faux HDRI Video Effect in After Effects CS5

Picture of Faux HDRI Video Effect in After Effects CS5
02.jpg
HDRI is an interesting effect that, if used in certain instances, can create some very artistic photographs.

The technique combines three photographs, taken of the same scene, at three different exposures.  This combination allows the viewer to see a light range higher than what the average camera (and sometimes human eye) can photograph.  It allows you to see detail in shadows and light areas that would normally be too dark or blown out.

Problems arising with creating an HDR video stem from the ability to take three different exposures.  At the moment, I know no video camera that can take three (or more) different exposures of a single frame.  A fix for this would be strapping three cameras together, which will cause some huge complications with focus, zoom and perspective.  Not to mention the price of purchasing three HD cameras.

What this Faux HDR effect does is push the exposure in both directions from a regular video clip.  While this is not true HDR, you can see a similar effect.  Shadows will be lighter and light areas will have more detail.  For those lucky few who own a camera that can capture RAW video, your footage will look the best because you can actually push the video up or down a couple of stops.  For those of us who don't have $30,000+ on hand, we can still get a pretty nice effect.

What we need - 
Adobe After Effects (I used CS5, but older versions may be able to work)
A Video Clip.
  -I found that well exposed, and even slightly underexposed video works best.  Overexposed video does not look good.  I've also found that shade or cloudy days work much better than direct sunlight.  Mostly because a camera loses a lot of detail in the shadows when you have an incredibly powerful and uneven light source.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Import Your Video

Picture of Import Your Video
The first thing we need to do is import our video and create a new composition.

If you are familiar with After Effects, this is a pretty basic step.  If not, please look up how to use After Effects.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!