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Puppet Kaos - where Kelvin Kao plays with puppets and tell random stories

Editing Trick: How to Turn Day into Night (by adjusting brightness and contrast)

I’m kinda behind on writing up these editing tricks, aren’t I? Anyway, here is one trick that’s useful when you want to film footage in daylight and then pretend it’s filmed at night or in a dark area. I’ve used this trick in both Obscure UCLA Facts You Didn’t Know, and Episdoe 12: Daylight Saving.

Let’s look at the before and after pictures. The one on the left was the raw footage. It was filmed in front of a green background because it was originally planned out to be a green screen shot. I later abandoned the idea. The one on the right is the finished product, as seen in the video.


The effect is done by adjusting the video’s brightness and contrast settings. I did mine in Adobe Premiere Pro, but most editing software should have this option.

First, in the Effects window, find Video Effects => Adjust => Brightness and Contrast. Drag it into the Effects Controls window.


And then in the Effects Controls window, adjust the brightness and contrast settings. I changed the brightness to -100 and the contrast to 13. So basically I dialed down the brightness and upped the contrast.


We are trying to make the image much darker, so we dial down the brightness. This will give you the picture on the left. Now, why did I turn up the contrast? This is actually not that important of a step, but I’d like to get more contrast between the dark background and relatively bright character to emphasize the idea that my character is in a dark room. When we do that, we get this image on the right. The difference is not huge but you can see the difference when they are side by side:


Now you can turn day into night (just like Mr. Burns)!

Related Posts:
Filming in the Dark or Filming in the Light
Obscure UCLA Facts You Didn’t Know
Episdoe 12: Daylight Saving.

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