Damage User Manual Part 1 – Digieffects

DIGIEFFECTS / DAMAGE USER MANUAL PART 1 /


Damage User Manual Part 1

Digieffects 3.0 

Digieffects makes plug-in collections for use in Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro or Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion.  

We've listed some installation procedures and effect controls that are common to all products.

Installation

1.  Locate the Install file. 

2.  Double-click the installation program and follow the instructions. 

3.  The first time you attempt to apply a Digieffects effect, you will be asked for your serial number.

There are a number of parameters that are common to almost all Digieffects effects.  These parameters work consistently across all the effects in which they appear.

Reset

Changes the parameters of the effect to their default state.

Option

Is the link to register your Digieffects product if no valid registration information is found on your system. Otherwise, it will function the same as “About”.

About

Clicking on ‘About’ displays the version of your Digieffects product.

Blend with Original

The range runs from 0-100 or 0-255 depending on the effect and it controls how much of the original, unaltered image is blended in the final image. While a value of zero shows no original image, a high value will leave very little effect visible and a maximum value of 100 or 255 will show only the original image and no effect.

Random Seed 

The Random Seed adds a mathematical 'monkey wrench' to the self-animating attributes of the effect.  Given no other changes in settings, each iteration of the effect will be unique if it has a unique random seed value.  

Digieffects Damage 3.0

Aged Film 

Digieffects' Aged Film can be used to give any video clip the look of being projected on film.  While giving video the imperfections and defects of old film can be a creative decision, it's particularly effective for scenes portraying historic events.

Aged Film can create an aged “old movie look” with plenty of grain, dust, scratches, hair, frame jitter, luminance distortion, colorization. The Aged Film effect auto-animates over time without the need for additional input such as keyframing.

*Note that many parameters like noise, dust and scratches should be previewed with your video display on full quality to get an accurate idea of the result.  Draft quality modes in host software are extremely helpful when working with many effects, but with many parameters in Digieffects' Aged Film, draft resolutions will give the impression of much more coarse results than they actually will be when rendered at full resolution.

Deinterlace

Deinterlace control offers a simple method for eliminating fields by interpolating one of the two fields (or both) to create a non-interlaced, progressive output. This is useful, for example, when the source or the input to the effect is interlaced and the appearance of scanlines detracts from the effect. The following modes are available:

  • None: Use this setting for progressive source footage.
  • Lower/Upper Only: Uses either field (i.e. half a frame worth of information) to create a whole, progressive frame..useful for emulating lower resolution images from 8mm.
  • Merge: Create a progressive frame for each field, then combine the both. This is most useful for introducing a filmic look to an interlaced composition containing slowly moving objects, where the motion doesn't create tell-tale interlacing.

Note: Various host applications offer built-in deinterlacers, often on a per clip basis. For example, After Effects’ “Interpret Footage” allows fields to be separated, if selected. There are a number of reasons why this should or should not be selected. If the host’s deinterlacer is engaged and/or the effect’s input is no longer interlaced, select “None” in this section.

Color Control

  • Gamma Response - Raises (or lowers) the midtone values, per channel. By changing the balance between the red, green and blue channels, you can make subtle adjustments to simulate a certain palettes or color balance biases...or you can make an over-the-top color effect that would never occur unless you were shooting through fruit-flavored gelatin.
  • Flicker Amount - Controls the amount of flicker. Really crank it up to make it look like the shutter and frame advance are in complete disagreement like many home movie projectors might appear after being resurrected from the basement or attic after years in a poorly sealed box.
  • Flicker Frequency - Controls the speed/duration of the flicker. Frequency values are in Hertz, which simply means the number of repetitions per second.
  • Flicker Phase - The phase parameter controls the cycling of the flicker in relationship to the sine wave generated by the combination of the frequency and amount parameters.  The stranger the mathematical relationship between these parameters, the less repetitive the cadence of the effect will appear.
  • Flicker Erratic Amount - The erratic amount controls the unpredictability of the flicker with values range from 0 (extremely predictable) to 100 (goat in a curio shop with his tail on fire).
  • Flicker Erratic Probability - Control the likelihood of the unpredictability…higher values make the unpredictable more probable.  Think of it as the control that handles the the goat's emotional well-being...and the breakability of the shop's merchandise.
  • Channel Noise (R), (G), (B) - There are three separate values for adjusting the amount of noise one each for the red, green and blue channels.  While digital noise isn't exactly the same thing as film grain, it definitely adds some texture to the frame that makes the image seem far less smooth and 'video-like'.  
  • Monochrome - Mono means one, chrome means color —that’s all you need to know.
  • Monochrome Tint - Use this color swatch to determine which color the monochrome parameter tints the image with.
  • Edge Gradient - The darkness that can appear around the edges of a projected film frame due to the bulb being in the center of the frame and the light dropping off in all directions...
  • Gradient Curve (H), (V) - With the Edge Gradient box checked, you can control the edge gradient size for horizontal and vertical edges individually. Higher values mean more of the center area is exposed, while lower values let narrower area in the center show through.

Dust Control

There are four discrete dust generators with different particle models (numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4) included in Aged Film. While you can set all dust generators the way you want, Dust1 and Dust2 simulate smaller defects with sharp edges (1 pixel wide lines) typical of film scratches caused by sand, dust speck (Dust1), blunt objects (Dust2), etc. Dust3 and Dust4 tend to be thicker defects typical of mold and mildew, etc. 

  • Color - Use this swatch and eyedropper to define the color of the dust generated by each dust generator.
  • Size - Each dust generator can have a separate size setting…higher values make larger dust particles.
  • Amount - Each dust generator can have an individual amount value. Higher values add more dust. 

Vertical Line Scratch

Add vertical scratches to your image to not only give your footage the aesthetic that you shot film, but along with some dust, demonstrates how careless you were in storing it...or at least in your projector maintenance.

  • Number of Scratches - You can push this value all the way to 200 if you want that 'film stored in a box of shifting bunches of steel wool' .  
  • Scratch Maximum Velocity - Control how active the movement of the scratches is with this value. Less is more here. Really high settings might be appropriate for some applications, but it ceases to look authentic at a point.
  • Scratch Lifetime - Control how long the scratches last —higher values mean longer durations.
  • Scratch Opacity - Another less is more parameter. Fully opaque scratches don’t really come off as convincing. Experiment and see how subtle a scratch can be and really sell the effect.
  • Scratch Opacity Variance - Scratches evolve and change, the higher this value is, the more the scratch opacity will vary over time.

Frame Jitter

Control Frame jitter on both vertical and horizontal axes.  Vertical jitter simulates vertical frame advance/shutter issues and horizontal jitter would be more characteristic of issues like gate weave.

  • Max Amount (V), (H) - Higher values increase frame jitter for vertical and horizontal axes individually.
  • Probability (V), (H) - Control how likely the occurrence of frame jitter is for vertical and horizontal axes separately.

Artifact                                                   

Artifact is an effect designed to simulate digital image decode or transmission errors usually associated with dropped data from satellite transmissions or digital video playback errors and it does so very convincingly. (It’s usually good to warn the client before previewing the effects as they may question your technical quality control.) 

  • Operation Type-There are six different operations to choose from inside of Artifact:
  • Normal:  This mode uses all the operations available inside Artifact in combination to create an effect similar to a digital VTR with dirty heads or a failing digital feed of some kind.
  • Burst Mode:  Burst uses the same combination of operations as Normal mode, but applies them in much higher density.  Using keyframing within your host application, you can use burst mode to bring a clip in from complete digital distortion…or keyframe the effect in at the end of a clip to represent a lost digital feed.
  • JPG Noise:  JPG Noise consists of visual artifacts made up solely of multi-color blocks with varying detail inside of them…simulating improperly decoded picture information being replaced by insufficient error correction. This operation can be used to simulate MPEG-2 macroblock glitches, such as those seen when a scratched DVD is played.
  • Blackout:  Choosing Blackout will make the areas of the image affected by Artifact be simply black. There will be no colors or detail inside the affected areas, only black. When data is lost in many kinds of digital feeds, the blocks may simply come up as black. 
  • Recolor:  Recolor creates affected areas with simply random color change.  The defects will show only as tinted areas over the existing image.
  • Shifter:  Shifter is useful for creating the look of a digital video decode failingwithout having as busy a pattern as you might have when you use Normal or JPG Noise modes.  Shifter simply moves image content out of place into the affected areas to create a somewhat more subtle but still disconcerting image problem.

Codec Artifacting Controls 

Use the properties under this heading to set the intensity, frequency and duration of the defective episodes and to choose the amount of freezing “frame stutter” or some might call it a “frame dropping” look.     

  • Artifact Amount –Surprisingly, this property controls how intensely (the amount) the defect is generated on your clip.  The scale is 0-100 with zero disabling the effect altogether. Extended range of 0-200 is available by typing in the value, or dragging the value field.  If you adjust this property to a very low value, your effect may not be visible in the frame you have paused.  It’s best to scrub or preview the clip to ensure you have the effect you want.
  • Artifact Frequency – Another surprise, this property controls how often the defect repeats itself.  Again, value range is 0-100 with 0 being never repeating and 100 and above being never…uh…not repeating.
  • Average Duration – Adjusting Average Duration values affects how long each repeating defect ‘attack’ actually lasts…on average.  0-100 range running from no duration at all to a nearly solid, constant stream of the effect.
  • Freezing – Often, if a digital transmission is failing in some fashion, the receiving device will just hold frames in a frame buffer until it can again, resume receiving packets.  This results in what appears to be intermittent freeze frames in the midst of all these other failures.  Adjusting the Freezing property controls how often the clip freezes as if it has lost its connection.

Downgrader Controls

These controls mimic the lower resolution images that can occur when video is only partially decoded, or was simply sent at a very low resolution and scaled up in some less than pristine fashion.

  • DownRes. Factor – This control will decrease the apparent resolution of your footage.  Details will become less distinct and the quality of the image will be affected in proportion to the value you choose between 1 and 32.  A value of 1 will not affect the image much at all and a value of 32 would be similar to viewing your footage through a digital shower door.
  • Re-interpolate Res. – As your footage loses resolution and detail, some devices will attempt to ‘smooth’ the remaining detail so the jagged blocks are less objectionable.  A setting of ‘None’ will do no smoothing, ‘Horizontal’ will not smooth vertical edges, and ‘Horizontal + Vertical’ will smooth in both directions.
  • Lo-Fi Color – Many forms of digital compression store some color channel signals as lower resolution samples that are processed separately, and often errors in playback and decoding can affect different parts of the file in different ways.  The color precision of your image will get increasingly inaccurate and crude as you increase this setting from 0-8.

Blockade

Blockade places random blocks of slightly tinted color around your image, which creates the impression that these areas are not being faithfully color sampled, which is a common occurrence in many of the low resolution video cameras in phones as the video has to be highly compressed to be transmitted over the cellular phone…and then stored in as small a file as is practical.                                       

Freeze

The Freeze properties affect how the processed clip will infrequently “hang” on a frame, simulating a possible interruption in data transmission.

  • Freeze Recurrence – Recurrence controls how frequently the video will freeze.  A higher value here will result in less moving video in your affected clip and a greater amount of time spent “hanging” on a frame.  More frequent freezes might represent a less reliable video source, or a more distant or strained transmission…
  • Freeze Duration –The duration controls how long the video stays frozen during each occurrence. The higher the value, the longer the freeze duration.  The frames that would normally occur during the freeze will not be shown, the video will continue at the point it resumes playback.  This value represents the number of frames of freeze duration, but note that it is affected by the Random Seed, Freeze Recurrence and Freeze Duration Variance values.
  • Freeze Duration Variance – A completely predictable pattern of freeze occurrence and duration doesn’t look like a defect so much as a video strobe (which wasn’t the most compelling effect, even in the late 1980’s when for some reason it was inexplicably popular), so some variation can help sell the “unintendedness” of the effect.  Increasing this value will vary the Freeze Duration +/- in increasing amounts as the value increases.

Stutter

Stutter properties make your clip seem to jump around in time, as if some data was lost and the clip is trying to go back and play a small bit over again, or is skipping over some temporal data that is lost, making the video “jump ahead” in time.

  • Stutter Recurrence – Recurrence controls how frequently the video will stutter.  A higher value here will result in more skipping around moving video in your affected clip and a greater amount of time spent “hanging” on a frame.  More frequent freezes might represent a less reliable video source, or a more distant or strained transmission…
  • Stutter Duration – The duration controls the length of the segments that stutter out place during each occurrence.  The higher the value, the longer the stutter segment duration.  This value represents the number of frames of stutter duration, but note that it is affected by the Random Seed, Stutter Recurrence and Stutter Duration Variance values.
  • Stutter Dur. Variance – Predictable patterns of any of these properties are best avoided to better sell the effect as a “defect.”  Variations in the duration of the Stutter property can help sell the effect.  Increasing this value will vary the Stutter segment Duration +/- in increasing amounts as the value increases.

Timing 

The Timing parameters control the temporal properties of the blocks in “Blockade”     

  • Blockiness Recurrence – Recurrence controls how frequently blocks will appear.  A higher value here will result in more frequent blocks in your affected clip.  More frequent and intense blocks might represent a more aggressively compressed video source, or a more primitive camera system.
  • Blockiness Duration – The duration controls the length of each occurrence of blockiness.  The higher the value, the longer each block occurrence is on screen.  This value represents the number of frames of stutter duration, but note that it is affected by the Random Seed, Blockiness Recurrence and Blockiness Duration Variance values.
  • Blockiness Dur. Variance –Variability of all the factors inside the Blockade effect help to portray the results as unintended defects. Increase this value to increase the fluctuation in length of each occurrence of “blockiness.”
  • Blockiness Speed – Blockiness Speed controls how quickly the blocks change form. This effect tends to look more like a cel phone, PDA, or web camera when the speed is set for relatively fast changes.

Sizing

These parameters have control over the size of the blocks and the size of the size of the groupings.

  • Block Amount –The Block Amount parameter controls the amount of picture affected by the Blockade effect. For a simulation of crude palettes evident in aggressively compressed video from hand held devices, a very high value which covers the entire frame works very well.
  • Block Size – This parameter controls the vertical during the freeze will not be shown, the video will continue at the point it resumes playback, as if the data was lost as opposed to being ‘paused’. This value represents the number of frames of freeze duration, but note that it is affected by the Random Seed, Freeze Recurrence and Freeze Duration Variance values.

Striping  

The Striping parameters control the horizontal aspect of the block artifacts in your image.

  • Stripe Length – The Stripe Length parameters control the horizontal size of the block artifacts in your image.
  • Stripe Len. Variance – Increasing this value will vary the Stripe Length +/- from occurrence to occurrence in increasing amounts as the value increases.

Coloring

Control the color properties of the Blockade effect.

  • Block Color – The color palette here defines the color of mosaicing / color-blocking.  To what degree the color chosen here is implemented in your clip is controlled by the ‘Color Conformance’ slider.
  • Color Conformance – At the highest Color Conformance values, the blocks take on the color as defined in the palette. At the lowest Color Conformance values, the blocks take on either the source image colors or more random color (mainly primary colors such as full-red, full-green, or yellow, which is full-red plus full-green).
  • Color Change – The Color Change parameter determines whether the blocks take more of the source colors (at the lowest Color Change values).  High values here causes at least one channel of the blocks to take on the maximum value (e.g. 255 in red channel at 8 bits per pixel), so you will tend to see more primary-colored blocks as a result.
  • Color Change Weight – The Color Change Weight parameter at lower values allow the blocks to have a mixture of source image colors as well as a partially-blown channel, so the effect seems like a wash of transparent color blocks.  On the other hand, high Color Change Weight values cause less of the original source image to modulate the block colors, so the effect looks like solid-color blocks replacing the source.
  • Transparent Blocks – This parameter controls the balance between square mosaicing and more rectangular bands of rectanbles. At minimum values, the effect is mostly mosaicing, while higher values result in layering of transparently colored blocks.

Alpha Handling

  • Don’t Preserve Alpha:  Blockade will affect the entire frame without regard for any alpha channel transparency information.
  • Mostly Preserve Alpha: Blockade will use the alpha channel as input for its computation, but will not necessarily confine its operation to the opacity defined by the alpha channel.
  • Completely Preserve Alpha: Blockade will only function where the affected clip is opaque and blocks will appear at a transparency level that corresponds to the target clip’s alpha transparency value will vary the Blockiness Duration +/- from occurrence to occurrence in increasing amounts as the value increases.

Channel Offset

Channel Offset is used for creating interesting designs and effects by transforming the red, green, blue and alpha channels of a layer separately.

View Mode

The View Mode is used to isolate and work with different aspects of Channel Offset. You can use it to view each channel individually while dialing in the controls.

  • Source Layer- This displays the unaltered input layer of Channel Offset. The input layer is the layer on which the effect is applied.  This mode is useful when placing the Anchor Point, since the layer remains fixed in the same position.
  • Red, Green, Blue, Alpha Channel - Each of these options will display the selected channel. This temporarily disables the other channel controls to help you see more clearly what you are doing with each channel individually and speed up rendering.
  • Composite - Choose this view mode to see the final result of Channel Offset. All the controls will be enabled in this mode.

Offset Controls

These controls repeat for the Master clip (affecting all channels together) and for each individual layer (Red, Green, Blue and Alpha) separately.

Mode

(With the exception of the Master controls, each set of channel offset controls starts with a Mode option.)

  • Enable Offset: This option enables the offset controls for the channel
  • Pass Thru: This option disables all the offset controls and leaves the channel in the default state, even the Master offset controls will not affect a cannel set for Pass Thru.
  • Off: Channel is completely disabled and not visible.
  • Time Offset - Shifts the channel in time.  Think 1970s science fiction time travel sequence shot on video...or the go-to effect for simulating drug-induced hallucinations.
  • Anchor Point- Determines the center point of a layer, which influences the rotation center point.
  • Position - Controls the position of a layer, relative to the anchor point position.

Scale 

  • Uniform Scale - Checked will keep scaling proportional, unchecked allows width and height scaling separately.
  • Scale - The scaling of the channel is measured in percentage and is available in separate X and Y controls when 'Uniform Scale' is not checked. 
  • Rotation - Rotates the layer on the Z axis around the anchor point.
  • Shear X and Shear Y -  Corner-to-corner stretching and rotation.  Can simulate some types of rotation in small amounts...starts to simulate questionable decision-making in large amounts.
  • Blur - Blur each channel individually and through master controls.
  • Uniform Blur - When checked, blur is applied uniformly across both the X and Y axis. Uncheck to use different amounts of blur horizontally and vertically.
  • Convergence - Scales all individual channel transformations towards the master settings. This is very helpful to transition in and out of Channel Offset.

Edge Behavior 

  • None - Areas outside of the layer area will be rendered black transparent.
  • Wrap - will infinitely repeat the layer in all directions.
  • Hold - extends the pixels on the edge of the layer out to infinity, most often creating a solid or streaking effect.
  •  Mirror - repeats the image infinitely in all directions, but flips the image with each repeat.
  • Blur Quality - When set to Automatic, the effect will render Gaussian Blur for best quality and Fast Blur for draft quality..
  • Motion Blur Samples - this value determines how many samples are used in the blur. 
  • Alpha Mode - There are special modes for the alpha channel since it is inherently treated differently than the RGB channels.
  •  Enable Offset:  Enables transformation of the channel.
  •  Pass Through - Renders the original alpha channel unmodified. 
  •  Distribute: Splits the alpha proportionally among the RGB channels, producing a very natural looking separation.
  •  Premultiply: Premultiplies the channels with the alpha value of the layer. If you do not need the result of Channel Offset to be transparent, the premultiply mode is most likely the best choice.
  •  Each Channel:  The alpha will be duplicated for each channel.  Each channel's edge detail will be more sharply defined vs other settings.
  •  Off: Turning the Alpha Mode off will simply render out solid white for the alpha.

Continued in Part 2

DigiEffects Tools Have Been Used By:
Used by Paramount Pictures, CNN, WB, ESPN, Comedy Channel, HBO, Disney Channel, and MTV