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Dynamic Effects Plugins

Lesson 11 from: Creating a Cinematic Campaign with Special Effects

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

11. Dynamic Effects Plugins

Lesson Info

Dynamic Effects Plugins

I would like to encourage you guys to start collecting a effects library. Because here's the thing, it's really hard to get this stuff when you need it, when you're on a job. So what if, while you're walking around Seattle, while you're walking around San Francisco, while you have a fire at your house, if you start shooting things. So have some things with glows. I have a shot that I went to Cuba with Kena. It's not my shot, but I went to Cuba with Kena, they've got those windshields that are really jacked up because they're so old, and the light coming through them are amazing. It looks like this basically, because it all refracts. What if you started looking differently, in this room, there's some panels of glass behind you that would be absolutely amazing because they have bubbles and they have the metal lines in it, what if you start taking pictures of that? The brick walls, what if you start taking pictures of the desk, and things like this, and just start making an image library.

What if you start collecting star pictures? And then when you need it, you have it. Smoke, oh my goodness. Now hey, is it fire season yet? Is it on its way? in LA I think it's almost starting. Shoot the fires, something good from the bad, I don't know. But start gathering this stuff, because are you going to be able to illustrate this? I'd be hard pressed to illustrate that. I might be able to, but it would take me a while. So this is the kind of thing you want to consider. When is it stock or when is it, you know, you illustrate it. Or maybe find some stock shots you like and emulate it and learn how to paint it, but to do this on a job is really hard, it is much easier to do it when you're not on a job. So start collecting libraries, all right. So do you remember that Grand Tour, we ran it through an app, right? We ran it through that FX app. There happens to be an app called TinType. A bit of a one trick pony, I'll admit, and it's available on your phone, it's by Hipstamatic, I think it's a dollar or something like that. I went to New York recently and I took this picture that I thought was really cool, and then, I'm going to skip, do I have it up here? Hold on, I don't have it in here. All right, there is a show called Deadwood, it's out right now, do you know Deadwood? You go look at those posters, for Deadwood, and you see they have this look on it. 100% you could do it in Stock, if you have Stock, you could make it. You want to not pay for the Stock? Use it in TinType. Well, how are you going to use it in TinType? Well, in the application of TinType, you could, on your phone, take a picture of nothing. This is me holding the camera over nothing and taking a picture and running it through TinType. Look at that texture I have, isn't that amazing? But wait, there's more! This is a picture of a white piece of paper run through TinType. Here we go, do you see the file size? It's 34 megs. Do you know what your average file size you get from a stock agency? About 34 megs. That's a $3, $2 app. And now I've run it, so the key here is to, and it's always my goal, while I'm not showing you all a single step-by-step, how to go through everything, what I'm trying to show you is how to think. How to think in the program, how to be walking around and going, "Oh, that sweater, "that would make amazing rain, "I should take a picture of that sweater and use it for rain." Or, "That app is really cool, I really love that look, "but I need to be able to blur it differently, "I need to be able to change it." Well I can't do that in a phone, but what if I just simply take, well let me see it, what the hell, we can try to do it on the fly here. Oh, this might be dangerous. What if I take my picture and I bring over my tintype, my god I hope I don't get myself in trouble right now doing something really stupid. And what if we put that on multiply, or headfire, what if I do it again, and I put it on screen. Remember those blending modes? What if I start making it this way? And I choose what comes in and what comes out. That's the white, where's my black one? I closed it. So what I'm kind of hoping is some of the stuff we've talked about today, you guys won't be afraid to go in there and go, "Oh, what can I make out of that?" What was that thing we kind of dug, subtract? Let's see what that does, that's kind of cool, look at that, not even maxed out, and it puts all the stuff. And now, this image here, if I make that a smart object... I have so many actions it's hard for me to look at the menu. So I've now taken that original, I've made it a smart object, and what if I go to blur gallery, and I go to field blur, and I go okay, maybe I'll blur it a lot over in the corner, but I won't blur it here. Do another one here, maybe blur it less, maybe that's a little out of control, blur it a little less, put another pin here, blur it more... I think I'm getting in the ballpark, that took about three minutes, and I did not pre-plan this, this is me going, "Oh, I don't know, let me see if I can figure something out." Again, you have to hit okay on that. That was blur gallery, I love blur gallery, it's my favorite, everything is my favorite, but, let's look at the original. It's always my goal at Creative Live you guys, I'm going to preach here for a second. This is the difference, Creative Live is the difference, this kind of process from YouTube. This is not me doing a YouTube video and saying, "Hey, I made this cool filter!" I don't want you to do the Brooklyn Bridge with a tintype, what I want you to do is think. Oh, wait a minute, so if I have a different app, that does a whole different look. Oh I know what I can do, I could shoot a black carton and I could shoot a white carton and I could bring it into Photoshop and make it my own. Oh, rockin! I wanna match this color, this color, on a file. How do I do that? Oh, that auto color, I remember that. I don't want you to make my picture, I want you to make your picture, and then this way you can figure our your own path by hand. So you know how the car works, does that make sense? Once again, we're going to have the money conversation, and so, for those of you who are hobbyists, or if the subscription to Photoshop is already a push, this is not a conversation for you. This is a conversation for folks who are maybe doing some jobs, and they have some disposable income, and they want to do their jobs faster, and they want to have some automation, and they can afford to have some automation. So this is a filter system, it was free for about 10 seconds, and it's called Nik Effects. I'm gonna be honest, I bought this program. I'm going to leave the filter on here, no I'm not, I'm going to do it this way. I had to buy this program, oh my goodness, easily 12 years ago because my client used it. This is what he wanted his stuff processed in, and I was like all right, it was $400, and I had to buy it. Then it became free for a minute, and now, I'm going to show you how it works really quick, but let me show you the page so I can be clear here. They have a full unlocked 30 day trial. You can try it for free, see if you like it. I'm not professing that you do, I'm just telling you for someone like me, it has been worth its weight in gold, and I paid way more than any of you would ever pay for it now, and it's been invaluable. So, it's got a ton of filters in it, I find this incredibly handy, yes. Can I do this in Photoshop? 100%, but what this buys me, and this is the next conversation, this buys me time. My time is very valuable in my world. So, I'm using something called the bleach bypress, by the way, which I think is really groovy cool, and I'm going to say okay to that, and while it's going I want to talk a little bit. So, for me, when I do comping, for example, I have to come up with three different versions of art a day per show. Three different full composites per day per show, and I'm on multiple shows sometimes. When I say different looks, I mean like different looks. Like different, okay, it's getting mad at me. Just go, yeah. How do I quickly come up with different looks for different comps? So, here's my original, here's my new look. That took 30 seconds. Yeah, I can do that in Photoshop, but right now that's 30 seconds, and I can move onto the next one, and I can reproduce it later if I have to. And for me, it's worth it, it's worth this to be able to come up with, I used this exact filter for this comp, and this was a comp, so I was doing it fast, and then I had to do the full color one, and then I had to do the red one, and then I had to do the blue one, and this way I can run it quickly, and for me it's worth the time. If you don't have the money, put the time in. You can do it with some of the tricks that I showed you earlier, but let me show you this. So, I did a campaign, again this is all comping, and I think this is relevant that we talk about what happens in an real world production flow. So, this is a job I did for a company and I did 35 comps in one week, 35 comps in one week. That's a lot, and I needed to come up with different looks, and I had very limited photography, so if you see that portrait of the dude, it's the same guy. And I had to come up with different stuff quickly, so what I did was I used that filter, and I have a file that's set up, and I'm going to pray to Buddha that it doesn't crash. I'm giving you totally, like back stories of what I do. I have multiple files, they are pre-set up with the filters already applied to them. Already applied to them. If I do this it's going to take a minute to run, full disclosure this is going to take a minute. I can double click on the smart object of this guy, I can replace the shot, I'm not going to do it, I can replace a different shot of this guy. I could hit the close button, I go to get my coffee, all the filters apply to the brand new shot, all of them. And then I can take them and put them, this is just a demo file so you can see it. I can take that shot and put it in a comp, I can make that shot and put it in a comp, and it's fast, do you understand? So, to me, the $400 I spent 10 years ago for this program, worth it's weight in gold. The $120 I think it might cost you now might be worth it's weight in gold for you if you're making your living in this. For those of you who got it free recently, like in the last five years, that's awesome, it won't run on the new system. So you have to run it on old Photoshop, it'll crash. It won't run on 19, if you have the free version. If it's not for you, rock on, don't take it, it's cool, but if this is something that you would like, then go ahead. So I literally have one file with full comps, it looks like this, that repopulates with a brand new comp, and it's got maybe 25 different filter looks, and then I output them, and guess what, each one of those is a version. Did I tell you I have to come up with three versions everyday for a comp? Each different filter look is considered a different version. So, I end up giving my client 31 comps, hey, here you go, and it didn't take me that much longer, cool? All right, I've got one more plug in to show you, and again I don't want to make anyone mad, don't get mad at me, I can feel the emails coming. If it's not for you don't do it, just ignore me, forget I'm talking, it's all cool. ParticleShop plug in by Painter, freakin love this brush. You don't need to buy the whole packets, they're basically kind of all the same, but they have different color. They have fabric, I love this, I use it all the time. It's buggy, it crashes a lot, once again, for someone like me, it's worth it's weight in gold. I think it's $140, it might not be for everybody, it's good for me. Well I'll let you know, I've got a bunch of classes here at Creative Live, the one class I have to say I'm really proud of, it's a little dry, but I think it's really useful, is the brush class. It will go through every aspect of what the brush does, every single thing. It's a little dry, it's a little like a calculus test, but there's a lot of power behind it, and it comes with a 90 page booklet that will show you what each little button does. You were there, you took that, it's a little painful, but it's all right. It was worth it. Yeah, good, all right.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Cinematic Effects Presentation & Notes
Cloud Brush
Dust Brush
Light Ray Brush

Ratings and Reviews


Watching Lisa work her creative magic is so fun! This was such an incredible class, I can't wait to watch it over and over again while I practice using the tools and techniques that are covered. It's enough to make me want to move away from portrait work and into creative commercial art. Such an awesome class!


Lisa is a great teacher! She does move quickly, but I have found her instruction to be very precise, and focus. So I think the time she spends on each topic is very efficient, and thoroughly covered. I love her teaching style. Thank for for another great course Lisa!


There are so many ways to accomplish the same thing in Photoshop. But I always love to learn new ways. This is a great class if you are already comfortable with Photoshop. It is not a beginner class.

Student Work