Classic Course: Grayscale Shootout

No, the Hue/Saturation effect is not the best way to convert a color movie to black & white.

Back in 2009, we had the ambitious idea that we were going to release a new movies on a regular schedule that were dedicated to the built-in After Effects plug-ins that we found to be most useful, sharing our favorite settings and showing some sample applications. Unfortunately, at that time was not set up to do what is now called “drip” training where content is released in installments rather than all at once – so we cancelled the project before the end of the year. However, the movies we did release proved to be very popular, and we’re happy to be re-releasing the best ones now on PVC.

In addition to covering specific effects, we also created a few movies dedicated to over-arching “special topics” that applied to multiple effects. The one below contained a number of tips for creating a grayscale or monochromatic look from color video (spoiler alert: it’s not Hue/Saturation, and may not be Tint). We hope you find some useful ideas in it:

One major change that occurred after the above movie was created is Adobe added a Vibrance plug-in to complement Hue & Saturation, and we find Vibrance de-saturates (as well as adds saturation to) a movie much more natural way – give it a try!

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Chris & Trish Meyer founded Crish Design (formerly known as CyberMotion) in the very earliest days of the desktop motion graphics industry. Their design and animation work has appeared on shows and promos for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, HBO, PBS, and TLC; in opening titles for several movies including Cold Mountain and The Talented Mr. Ripley; at trade shows and press events for corporate clients ranging from Apple to Xerox; and in special venues encompassing IMAX, CircleVision, the NBC AstroVision sign in Times Square, and the four-block-long Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas. They were among the original users of CoSA (now Adobe) After Effects, and have written the numerous books including “Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects” and “After Effects Apprentice” both published by Focal Press. Both Chris and Trish have backgrounds as musicians, and are currently fascinated with exploring fine art and mixed media in addition to their normal commercial design work. They have recently relocated from Los Angeles to the mountains near Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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