Starter’s Guide to Specialty Filtration

Summary: Ryan covers speciality filtration you can use to solve technical problems and create unique looks for your productions.

Length: 2:10 minutes

Video Lesson

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In this video, we wrap up our look at effects filters by examining specialty filtration.

Specialty Filters

Specialty filters allow you to solve technical problems that come up on set, and they allow you to create a highly stylize looks. They have names like diopter, streak, center spot, star, among many others. An example of over coming a technical issue would be changing the minimum focus of your lens.

No Split Diopter for Night Scene

Split Diopter for Night Shoot

A diopter allows you to focus closer than what the lens was made for. These filters also come as split diopters. A split diopter covers your frame on one side, and it is empty on the other.…

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
2 replies
  1. rogermac
    rogermac says:

    Hey Ryan. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    I have a question. Do you know Bruno Aveillan, a French director?
    It seems he uses split diopters (with something else in front of his lenses) to get this kind of amazing flares and distortions in his shots.
    Do you have any idea on how to achieve this kind of effects?
    Thank you.

    • Tim
      Tim says:

      Hey Roger, I do know know Bruno Aveillan, but his work is impressive. In looking at the video you linked to, I don’t think he uses split diopters. The flare effect you are seeing is most likely achieved by smearing petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on an optical flat clear glass filter. There is beauty in the simplicity of this effect, especially since you can change where you place the petroleum jelly on the filter, change the amount, and adjust the thickness.


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