There was some problem at first linking this to Jack's original video, which you can find here vimeo.com/1272456 if you care to compare the before and after. Admittedly this has tremendous digital grain, which is always my big reservation about video vs. film. Film grain somehow seems gritty and real, while digital noise/grain just seems noisy and almost inhuman. A lot of the post-processing in these versions was done, in fact, to try to reduce the effect of the noise in the original (or actually a compressed version of the original, when you get down to it).
This is an attempt to doctor what was mostly a dark video containing very little information.
Even with the application of (I think) six separate effects, the result is a bit disappointing. This is the version with six effects. The next version -- vimeo.com/2695578 -- is more or less the same, but with 2 of the effects removed.
The effects chain (in the order applied) as described by Sony Vegas:
Levels: "a correction filter used to control color and brightness (luminosity)"
Color corrector: "adjust colors in your video by independently adjusting the color of low, middle, and high color tones."
HSL Adjust: applied using keyframes to make some tiny adjustments to color at discrete points within the video.
Brightness &Contrast: also keyframed to compensate between sections where the brightness of the sky would have thrown things off. For instance, the effects used to increase overall gain and color space left the sky so burnt in that the church steeple in those shots was entirely invisible. This adjustment brought the steeple back.
Effects ONLY used in THIS version:
Gradient Map: "The Gradient Map effect maps the colors of your video to the colors of a gradient that you specify. Black is mapped to one endpoint of the gradient, white is mapped to the other end of the gradient, and midtones are mapped according to the intermediate control points you establish in the gradient." In this case it was mostly used to shift the midtones with a light addition of blue-green, to restore the appearance of night and mask some of the strong noise and digital "grain" revealed with the first 4 filters.
Median: "This plug-in is another method of blurring an image that works by replacing pixel values with the median value from the surrounding pixels. This effect produces a smudged appearance that resembles a watercolor effect at higher pixel values. At lower values, it can be used as a correction filter to remove noise."
Obviiously, in this case used to mask (I wouldn't really say it removes) the noise by blurring a tiny bit across the pixel field.
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