Please Return My Heart and Max Payne 3 Effects!

YEAH! Can you still remember our latest video Please Return My Heart? If not, you should definitely check it out before reading this post:

When I had cut the whole video I thought that I should add some sort of an effect on this video. I decided to ask from Otto and Tom for some suggestions and Tom said that I should go for Max Payne 3 effects. I checked out the first Max Payne 3 trailer that I could find, and it was this one:

There are two different effects: RGB split and strong desaturation combined with boosted exposure. On this post I will explain how I created those effects.

In RGB split effect all different color channels Red, Green, and Blue are spread around. For more effetiveness there are horizontal lines like in an old TV and some camera shake. I started by creating the RGB split.


You could do RGB split manually, but that kind of work is not for me. I knew that there must be some plugins especially for that and all I had to do was to find the right one. Since I had used Video Copilot’s Twitch before, I tested it first. There’s an option for RGB split, and it definitely separates all the channels. However, I didn’t find good settings for it, so I decided to find something else. Luckily there was one pretty close.

Red Giant has a free plugin pack called Universe, which includes also a free plugin Simple RGB Separation. This did just what I wanted and had really simple controls. I created some key frames and applied them to an adjustment layer like this:


Now RGB split was done, but I still needed those old TV stripes and some shake. Once again you could do those scan lines by yourself, but I decided to go the easy way. So I found this site from which I downloaded those stripes. I also added some crossfading to the end of the clip, so the effect would blend in more seamlessly.


For the shake effect I used free Camera Shake plugin from Red Giants Universe. I applied straight to the footage below adjustment layers.


Now that the RGB split effect was done, I moved to desaturation effect. Here I could use scan lines and shake from scan lines, but I had to find a way to desature and brighten up the footage. For desaturation I decided to use my favorite plugin Colorista Free.

In order to increase the impact of the effect I needed to brighten up the footage. I used Brigthness & Contrast to boost brightness all the way up, so the effect would be as effective as possible. However, the footage should be really bright for only few frames, so I keyframed brightness and contrast like this:


I also added a strong vignette and Glow Highlights to boost the footage even more. These two effects have actually quite big role in creating the whole look.



And that’s it. Since I had done both of these effects by just stacking some layers, I could copy the whole package and paste it all over the video in good spots. This way it was both fast and fun, just like I like my video editing to be!

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