Thursday, December 16, 2010

PHYX Color

I've been playing with color correction in Final Cut Pro using the Three-Way Color Corrector for some time now, and though I'm getting better at tweaking things the way I want them to be, I still have a long way to go to get really good at it. And never mind Apple Color...

Which makes the idea of a preset bunch of color correcting filters somewhat appealing. Phyxware has released the color filter set PHYXware Color, which runs within Noise Industries FxFactory (FxFactory is both a collection of video filters, as well as a filter engine that other developers can develop and sell their own filters for.)

PHYXware Color consists of five filters: BleachBypass, Glow Dark, Selective Saturation, Shift Suppress and Techni2strip. The first two provide a wide range of general image manipulation, while Selective Saturation and Shift Suppression adjust a specific color range within the image. The Techni2strip film simulates the Technicolor 2-strip process first introduced as the Technicolor System 1 Additive Color Projection in 1917, Technicolor was used for films such as ‘Gone With the Wind’, ‘Ben-Hur’, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ and‘The Wizard of Oz’.

Selective Suppression and Shift Suppression, used in small amounts, can manipulate the color balance of  the image. I think the trick here - like all color correction - is too work in small amounts.

In truth, the filters I was really drawn to are BleachBypass and Glow Dark. These ones sort of encourage you to go a bit crazy with the different settings. I particularly like the somewhat painterly texture that the Glow Dark filter can add to your image. Techni2strip will probably be most useful for special effects/projects.

Settings for BleachBypass

Manipulation of the filters is reasonably easy, since you're mostly working with sliders to adjust parameters. There's only two to five parameters to adjust, though even those can offer a lot of variables. I particularly like their online help; each filter has it's own help page which shows both what the filter does in general terms, and explains each of the parameters.

Help for BleachBypass

The parameters for each of the filters is listed below.

  • Saturation
  • Gamma
  • Bleach High - Controls the 'high clip' of the Bleach process. Lower this value to crush highlights.
  • Bleach Low - Raise this value to crush dark areas.
  • Bleach Lift - Raise this value to boost the processed image brightness
Glow Dark
  • Dark Glow - Control the size of the darkness to glow. Increase this value to increase the size of area effected by the glow.
  • Glow Size - Control the size of the glow in pixels. Increase this value for larger glow.
  • Glow Amount - Control the amount of Glow Dark applied to the effected image.
Selective Saturation
  • Sample Color - choose the color to sample (using an ink dropper, or color picker dialog)
  • Saturation
Shift Suppress
  • Presaturation - Control the amount of saturation pre-shift/suppress.
  • Color - choose the color to shift or suppress (using an ink dropper, or color picker dialog)
  • Method - [Shift] to shift the color toward the color selected above, or [Suppress] to suppress or remove the color selected above.
  • Amount
  • Method - [Method A] more accurate method of simulating the two-strip additive process, or [Method B] a similar effect, through less authentic.
  • Blue Shift - (Method A only) Controls the amount of 'blue shift', used to recreate the blue channel missing from the two-strip process.
  • Amount

Sample clip with filters

PHYX Color costs $99 and a free trial is included in FxFactory 2.5 (which can also be downloaded and used in trial mode.) At the moment they are offering a 10% discount on PHYX Color.

Phyxware: PHYX Color
Noise Industries: FxFactory

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