Vintage Old Photo/Film Effect

GrayMotion
GrayMotion Posts: 1,660 Enthusiast
edited December 2022 in Post-production techniques

It's been a few since I have engaged here to any degree but I'm back with a question.

We have just finished watching 1883 for the 3rd time and we believe it was the most impactful and magnificent piece of work we have ever seen in our 60+ years. If you have never seen the series we really really suggest you make time to watch it yourself. But...to the point of the title of this thread. We have films (Super 8mm color) from the early sixties from family in Montana, Wyoming and Colorado and I'd like to capture images or clips and make them vintage looking B&W ...late 1890-1930 feel.

Since this forum does have very quite professionals I'm curious if I could joust any one awake and express their knowledge on how one might go about achieving old film/photo looks using Hitfilm effects and techniques beyond the simple vintage tools that HF already has.


We are looking t accomplish something similar to this

I'm sorry that I couldn't find the 1883 Credits Opener but there are some speed ramping effects and still photo manipulation from the Yellowstone opener that we would also like to create.


Thank you for your time.

Comments

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,401 Power User
    edited December 2022

    You're on a version of Pro, right?

    Start with the Custom Gray effect. Since that lets you play with each channel to determine how they affect the black and white output you'll get a lot more control over the look. As an example, if you want to brighten up a tree and darken a sky push up green and pull down blue.

    For a sepia tint you could try Hue Saturation or Color Vibrance, but, instead go old-school. Put a plane layer over the video with an orange color, set it's blend mode to Color and adjust opacity to taste. With this method you can even use gradients on the plane layer for variation... Like if you have a radial gradient from orange to gray you'll get sepia where it's orange, but it'll fade back to gray as the gradient desaturates. Fractal noise in a couple shades of orange or orange to gray can work too. In the video you shared there isn't a lot of sepia, but it's there (muted) on a few shots.

    For dust, scratches and lines the built in effects like film damage are still the way to go. Unless you want to look for overlay footage from a stock site. Consider Hitfilm's Grain and Add noise filters, or even an animated tiny fractal noise with an animated seed. Try these on a plane layer creates at 50% gray (128,128,128) set to Overlay, Soft Light or Hard Light and you can dial the look up or down with Opacity. For scratches you can use a grid effect and position the corners off screen where you just have a line or two in frame. Link the grid corners to control points to move your lines. Here I'd go with white grid on black plane set to screen blend for light scratches or black grid on a white plane set to Multiply for dark scratches.

    There are a lot of texture overlays in use. That's downloading an image from a stock site, crushing it to a lot of white with dark gray and black and adding that above the video in Multiply. Again, Opacity to control strength.

    For other textures you do have a lot of Hitfilm filters that can create textures. A white plane with black Lightning (turn off glow, set effect blend to multiply and set animation to 0) can make those cracked looking textures. Again, Fractal Noise or Atomic Particles can create grunge looks. Don't forget the Distortion (or Displacement) effects to grunge your grunge.

    Don't forget the Grunge Effects group. Dot Matrix over a Fractal Noise can create patterns. So can Half Tone. If you want your film slipping in the gate the Shake effect set to vertical movements only could work. The flicker effect could be useful - try that on an overlay like white grid "scratches" or directly on the footage.

    And a little Vignette never hurts.

    Finally, don't discount Hitfilm's Film Damage effect. It's pretty powerful. Most of what I've discussed above is just using other filters on overlay layers to do what Film Damage had wrapped into a single interface. Ultimately by layering effects onto overlays you'll have more control and avoid the "Hitfilm look" from the way the Film Damage effect creates its own overlays, but that can still be used to sketch out a "that's almost it" look you go back and recreate with other effects.

    But definitely, DEFINITELY custom gray. That, more than anything else is gonna let you control the base values of how the monochrome looks.

    Hell, since you're starting with Super 8 the custom gray might be all you need. Since you're starting with old film it's obviously going to have an old film look!

    One last trick - although this is more for a vintage photo look. 50% gray plane add a lightning. Make it black and set the effect blend to multiply. Duplicate the exact same lightning. Make it white and set the effect blend to screen or add. Offset one so they are right next to each other. Add 0.5-2 pixels or so of blur. Precomp it. Use this as an overlay layer set to Overlay, Soft Light or Hard Light. Use this same Precomp as the source for Displacement. Just a few pixels. Put this all together and you just created a wrinkle/crease in the photo. The best way to do this is to create it in its own comp and attach each lightning to a point. Parent one point to another and save this out. Change up the look by tweaking lightning A then copy/paste the changed setting to lightning B. Move both lightnings by moving the master point around. You can reload this comp as desired for easy reuse.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,255 Expert
    edited December 2022

    @GrayMotion I cannot speak too much to effects to make images look old & worn vintage as I usually am trying to reverse the process and get rid of creases and such. 😁 But I wanted to mention that I had an outfit laser scan my super 8mm family films and provide me with.not only a watchable video file, but each individual frame at 1080p. It was a little pricey but not terribly so, and super results. I played around with transferring film to VHS back in the mid 80s to late 90s and this was superior by far. If you want their info, I'll email.it to you

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Posts: 3,208 Expert

    @tddavis You and I joked one time about collecting all of the @Triem23 posts like the one above and writing a book. All I can say is I hope you've been doing that and this one gets added! 😁


  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,255 Expert

    @FilmSensei Now, that is a great cover! I did copy and paste this into a document and add to my collection btw.

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Posts: 3,208 Expert

    @tddavis I need to get a copy of that collection from you!

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,255 Expert
  • GrayMotion
    GrayMotion Posts: 1,660 Enthusiast

    Wow Mike! Now that was exactly the professional advice I was hoping to gleam from someone -- and for some reason I knew (hoped) that you would respond. Thank you very very much. You went all the way with the process and even added old school effects...you know I love old school. Jezzus bud...I do wish I had your knowledge. Excellent!

    You're right that I might not have to do much with the Super 8mm because it's "vintage" to begin with although that means I come from a vintage era of film. Depressing when I think that the Sixties are considered vintage now-a-day which means that makes me close to the age of dirt.

    @tddavis We haven't converted all the 8mm we have but we did start with a few...used Imemories service just to get a feel for the quality. Wasn't bad at all but I'd like to check your source too. If you dont mind....yes...please shoot me a private message with the info. Thanks very much Terry. πŸ‘

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,401 Power User

    @FilmSensei Oh, look how young I was in 2012! Yup that photo predates my discovering Hitfilm!

    I think this one is probably a better cover for a faux Hitfilm folio. ;-)