How to Give a Picture a Grainy Film Look

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There are a few different ways that you can give a grainy film look to your picture when making a movie. Give a picture a grainy film look with help from a professional filmmaker in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Film Editing
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Tom Mitchell and we're going to look at the question how to give a picture a grainy film look. Now first, I want to say that a true film look requires much more than grain. There are a number of good third party film look filters available but I digressed. Let's look at what is already available to add that grainy look. We'll be working in Final Cut Studio 3 but most serious nonlinear editing systems will have similar capabilities. Grain is also referred to as video noise so you'll be looking for a filter called film grain, video noise, or something similar. In Final Cut, the filter is called add noise. Here we have a nice shot of a 56 Buick Special we want for a flashback sequence. Let's stylize the shot by adding a little noise. Double click the clip to load it into the viewer, then from the Apple menu, select effects, video filters, stylize, add noise. As you can see, we definitely have some grain now so let's adjust it a bit. Select the filters tab in viewer and there's our filter parameter. My personal opinion is that a little grain goes a long way so I want to lighten things up a bit. The amount of noise is expressed as a decimal fraction. So a smaller fraction like .25 will cut back the amount. Secondly, set the type to gassia noise. Yes there are different types of video noise. Oh that's better. I'm going to set the blend mode to multiply because I think it tightens things up a bit and make sure to keep the auto animate option on or your video noise will stand still rather than move with the footage. Now render and let's take a look. Very nice. So there you have it, how to give a picture a grainy film look. I'm Tom Mitchell. Thanks for watching.


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