Bitweiser Light

Bitweiser Light

Posted on 12. Aug, 2009 by in After Effects

Problems with overerexposed footage? Need to work in 32bpc for nice depth of field and motion blur? Now you can! Convert your footage from 8bpc to 32bpc with my new free plugin.

We all deal with overexposed footage from time to time when doing postproduction, color correction, motiongraphics or visual effects. Usually theres not much we can do about it. In some cases we can replace the sky when it was a cloudy day and the clouds turned out looking like a white or gray solid. But what if the overexposed pixels are exactly what you need? Well… than you need to do nothing… until you start blurring the footage or adding color correction. In those cases you end up with areas that turn out gray while they should still be white. That causes a lot of additional work when compositing. At least that’s how thighs were until now.

Bitwiser is a concept I had in mind for quite some time that just came to life as Bitweiser Light Pixel Bender plugin. This “light” version is completely free, has no settings, and only works for overexposed areas converting them to superbright pixels in 32bpc mode. Let me know what you think of it, so I’d know if it’s worth spending more time on improving this solution. The Bitweiser Pro version (if it will ever be made) will have a bunch of settings for tweaking the looks, threshold, tinting colors, separate settings for highlights, midtones, shadows, and probably a lot of other features that did not yet came to my mind.

I’m always hungry for your comments, opinions and suggestions. Please enjoy this free release and let me know what you think.

Download: Bitweiser Light Pixel Bender plugin (After Effects CS4)

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62 Responses to “Bitweiser Light”

  1. markus ziegler

    12. Aug, 2009

    Hi Jerzy.
    Thanks for just another great tool.
    The only thing that comes in mind is, if there is a way to adjust the strengh of the bitweiser-plugin.
    sometimes the effect it creates is a little to strong for my taste.
    But it is a great thing.
    Please keep them coming.
    Markus

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      12. Aug, 2009

      You can’t do it yet. Settings like that will be available in the Pro version if more viewers will get interested with this. Strength, threshold, colors and other settings. I wrote about it in the article. Anyway – I’m glad you like it.

  2. TRiGGER80

    12. Aug, 2009

    Very useful!

    And yeah, first thing i thought of was Kramer´s “Earthquake in 32bpc” Tutorial. His technique is great, but i think the results of your Bitweiser are smoother and more natural. And i think it can be very handy when using it in conjunction with Particular and, of course, glows.

    About a pro version:

    Yes please… i think, using plug-ins like this on 8bpc footage might not just give the opportunity for some very nice effects, but i thinkit can also be very helpful for colorcorrection, as you can get a lot more flexibility and dont run into the danger of clipping values as easily.

    (and why does the word “Tonemapping” suddenly pop into my head?)

  3. Andrew

    12. Aug, 2009

    Is there an advantage to using this plugin as opposed to building something with the built-in effects? Just adding a glow effect could probably achieve a similar result.

    • Sean

      12. Aug, 2009

      He covered this in the tutorial….have you not watched it? He showed an example of what you could achieve with glow as opposed to bitweiser. The effect was much more effective with bitweiser than it was with glow.

      • Andrew

        12. Aug, 2009

        Nah, he used glow in the tutorial to show the blooming out.

        I was talking about using glow in 32 bits to create superbright areas. Something like levels+cc composite could do the same thing.

        I was wondering if bitweiser did something that can’t normally be achieved.

        • Jerzy Drozda Jr

          13. Aug, 2009

          Most of the things that plugins do can be achieved without them. I think I proved this many time across all my tutorials. The point is that sometimes it’s just easier to use a plugin. Saves time, precomps, layers, and simplifies the project

          • Andrew

            13. Aug, 2009

            In this case though, there’s no precomping, layering, or even layered effects. As far as I can see, Bitweiser can completely be emulated just with the glow effect, all by itself.

  4. chiscoarce

    12. Aug, 2009

    Thanks I’m looking for something like that…cheers

  5. unconsenting

    12. Aug, 2009

    Im new to Pixel Bender Graph files (.pbg) but where do I put this file in order for it to show up in the effects list? I put it in Adobe Utilities>Pixel Bender Toolkit but it did not show up in effects and presets.

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      13. Aug, 2009

      Oh. Sorry. My bad. Should have covered that in the tutorial. You just put it in the Plugins folder.

  6. Mike

    12. Aug, 2009

    I love this, wish I had the pro version about 3 weeks ago…had to adjust old skool on some footage shot on a dark stage and off center spotlight..seems this could have made my life ez’r,
    by the way you really need your own web show like the one your interview was on, I found you more interesting and lots more personality than your friend ..he seemed to step on your toes alot during the interview..you smiled and waited and then gave the info out freely…a thing of beauty…thanks again for your efforts
    Mike in Tampa

  7. Frank Busch

    12. Aug, 2009

    hello jerzy,

    i think you are working on a great idea at the moment…
    keep up your great work.

    cheers from berlin

  8. illd

    12. Aug, 2009

    Hi Maltaannon, Bitweiser looks really interesting (cool name btw) Is there a cs3 version also planed?

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      13. Aug, 2009

      Thanks. Only CS4 since Pixel Bender works only with CS4.

  9. PhSn

    12. Aug, 2009

    Nice ;) Before I allways did it by dublicating layers adding levels and so on, you know it :D This is pretty cool: Only one layer and one plugin! Great!

  10. Brian

    13. Aug, 2009

    This is very useful. I would love to see a pro version; and please make one for AE CS3 as well. Thank you. Keep up the great work.

  11. Gref

    13. Aug, 2009

    I like the idea of not having any slider whatsoever! perfect plugin! (and very very useful!)

  12. Dave Glanz

    13. Aug, 2009

    Great work! Love the idea.

  13. DLow

    13. Aug, 2009

    so how do i export anything 32bpc and still preserve all the level of detail in the highlights..?

    seems to me there’s no use in daily motion graphics for a 32bpc workflow..?

  14. John Robbins

    13. Aug, 2009

    This is great! It’s so simple and has such a great result. I ran into the white-fading-to-gray transition problem a while back, but with this I can get really great results. I would definitely be interested in a “pro” version. Thanks!

  15. Lyndon

    13. Aug, 2009

    cool beans man! thx for all your time and effort, i’ve really been enjoying all the tuts you’ve been putting out lately. you and videocopilot are the two best sources for cool tuts in my opinion ;)

  16. Navarro Parker

    14. Aug, 2009

    Could I use Bitweiser with Knoll Light Factory to make HDR flares?

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      14. Aug, 2009

      Yes. That’s actually a great idea! Just be aware, that flares are very specific type of graphics and when you apply Bitweiser onto a flare the colors might shift a bit, and the brightness will probably be increased, so you’d need to adjust the settings on your flare. But that’s still pretty sweet. If Bitweiser Pro comes out it will have a bunch of settings, thresholds, falloffs and other sliders to help you tweak the final result. For now it’s just a simple solution. Try it out. It’s free.

      • Navarro Parker

        14. Aug, 2009

        Would I need to precomp the flare first, or can I apply Bitweiser right after KLF? Or use an Bitweiser on an Adjustment Layer?

  17. Francisco de Souza

    14. Aug, 2009

    Thanks! You just gave me the tool that I was looking for!
    Muchas gracias desde Rivera, Uruguay!

  18. Boreale

    21. Aug, 2009

    Great work, as usual ! :-)

  19. Iman

    23. Aug, 2009

    Hi Jerzy,
    I’m from Iran. and i wanted to ask you how did you learned After Effects. I’ve also asked this question from big guys of After effects like Aharon Rabinowitz and Andrew Kramer but i haven’t got any answers. please help me cause I’m really confused.
    tell me if it needs any thing i should study, i want to know all about it. if you don’t have time, just answer the most important parts.
    thanks a lot for creating such a grate website and tutorials.

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      23. Aug, 2009

      I’m a self-taught and I never actually spent any time teaching myself After Effects. I knew image processing from photoshop and programming, so for me After Effects is not a motion graphics or vfx tool – it’s a video processing unit. Things are want to do with the video are mostly in the plug list and they do what I’d expect them to do.

      One way or the other you shouldn’t study After Effects. You should study design – composition, cropping, editing, principals of animation, picking colors, and so on and so on. Software is always secondary.

      Theres a lot of books and free online resources on design, so just google something up and start to play with it – that’s the best way to learn anything – play.

      Hope that helps.

  20. Ricky

    26. Aug, 2009

    …amazing! I’ve always wondered why wasn’t that an AE default feature! :)
    Thansk a lot!!!

  21. VIKASH

    09. Sep, 2009

    hey this is .pbg file. I mean i use mac and can’t really figure out where to put it to really use it in after effects

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      09. Sep, 2009

      You need to put it in your plugins folder. This only works with CS4. Let me know if you got it working. Should be simple enough.

  22. Carlos Sosa

    16. Sep, 2009

    Nice, but I don’t really like the blurry look of the images after blending them with a layer that has the bitweiser light and the fast blur effect. I find it easier to just duplicate the layer, apply threshold and a fast blur, then blend it using the add mode. I’m sure the Pro version off the plug-in is gonna be great!!

  23. mohamed aljazaere

    17. Sep, 2009

    Great work! Jerzy !!

  24. Anders Hattne

    19. Sep, 2009

    Hi!
    Great stuff!!

    I’m new to 32-bit and just tried it out on a photo with a bright light in the background and some highlights on a persons forehead. Obviously the highlight is not as intense as the lightsource but this plug-in won’t know that which causes some funny results with the blur or exposure effect. I don’t know how you’d avoid that – I’m sure you’d figure that out!

    Cool plug-in! I hope I get some good use for it!!

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      20. Sep, 2009

      It’s hard to control what’s identified as a light source and whats now in the “Light” version. I will create a “Pro” version one day that will have a lot of controls in it for precise selection.

  25. Craig Wall

    25. Sep, 2009

    Thanks Jerzy. Awesome!

  26. david

    15. Nov, 2009

    Very useful. can you make a copy for mac?

    • Jerzy Drozda Jr

      15. Nov, 2009

      It is cross-platform. Just download the provided file and extract it to the Plugins folder. It will work on a Mac and on PC.

  27. mohammad

    13. Feb, 2010

    hi,Thank you

  28. Sanaullah sanu

    03. Mar, 2010

    Dear sir,

    all the tutorials are very excited and helpful for all. I like all these tutorials. It’s really helpful. For uploading these tuts.
    Thanks

  29. Atom

    28. Mar, 2010

    Any chance getting a CS3 version for windows?

  30. Majid Al-Aydeross

    01. Jul, 2010

    Neat plugin. Creates eye-catching visuals, just the way I love them :)

    Thanks for the great tool. Hope the pro version sees the light someday :)

  31. SaloSopor

    04. Oct, 2010

    Dropped the .pbg into the plugins folder for CS5, on AE launch, I get:

    After Effects error: Pixel Bender file (file path) contains an invalid graph.

    1. Line 1, ‘graph’: The graph must be in the Pixel Bender namespace

    2. Line:0, required metadata “namespace” not found

    3. Line: 0, required metadata “vendor” not found

    4. Line 0, required metadata “version” not found

    5. Line 0, Graph must have exactly one output image

    (25 :: 0)

    Help, Maltaannon! Is this a CS5 compatibility problem?

    • Isaac V

      15. Nov, 2010

      Same error in CS5….

      Should it work in CS5??

  32. toryburch

    23. Oct, 2010

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  33. TutorialAfterEffects

    02. Dec, 2010

    Thankz for all!!, however i wan´t to upload a video in spanish about how to download a really nice plugin free, so could you leave me to upload it on youtube? obiously i will put the link just for they will go to your web page :D

  34. abigfx

    05. Jan, 2011

    muchas gracias, esta super el efecto.

    saludos

  35. roni

    15. Mar, 2011

    very good

  36. Marcin

    18. Mar, 2011

    Szkoda ze nie dziala z CS5

  37. Krishan inodra

    29. Jul, 2011

    very nice tutorial

  38. Eric

    23. Sep, 2011

    Any plans for a CS5.5 version?

  39. Name (required)

    17. Feb, 2012

    how we do with cs5.5?
    it doesnt work :(

  40. Cris is Bliss

    24. Feb, 2012

    I just upgraded to CS5.5 and unfortunately Bitweiser doesn’t work there. I’ll be waiting and hoping you make a CS5 compatible version.

  41. Icemak

    03. Mar, 2012

    If you open the CS4 version in Notepad.
    Open up the Pixel Bender Tool kit, and create a new kernel, you can copy the code portion from the cs4 version from notepad, and paste it into the new one (over write if you like), then save it out and get a version for 5 or 5.5.

  42. Icemak

    03. Mar, 2012

    Ok, I went a head and did it for you if you get it fast enough.

    NOTE: I only have CS5, so I do not know if this works for 5.5 (maybe someone can test and let me others here know)

    Not sure if html code here works, but here is an attempt

    RIGHT Click and Save As to your plug-in folder (or where ever, open in pixel bender first if you like to verify what it is)

    BitWeiser CS5

    • Cris is Bliss

      15. Oct, 2012

      Thanks a million Icemak.

      NOTEPAD runs on MicroSoft windows environment, is there a similar product for the Mac, I would like to learn how to do this myself. I don’t much about programming.

      And yes it works in CS5.5

  43. Vlad

    15. Apr, 2012

    Pointless as you can easily achieve this manually. Why make plugins like that if that can be handled by almighty after effects?

    all you ever gonna need to get as a 3rd party app are bullet looks and trapcode.

  44. hosein

    09. Jun, 2012

    please update this tools ( Bitweiser Light) for after effect cs6

    hope
    tnx

  45. video effects

    19. Aug, 2012

    tanks Jerzy