3 Replies Latest reply on May 24, 2011 8:24 AM by Andrew Yoole

    Creating a "Midas Touch" effect? (aka Turning things into gold)


      Hi everyone.


      I currently have an English project where we need to make a video based off a myth, and we've chosen the myth based on King Midas' Golden Touch.

      Basically, I need to create a video where objects turn into gold once I touch them.


      Although I have some general idea of how to do it, I was wondering if anyone had suggestions of how to better achieve this in After Effects. Here's how I do it currently


      1.) Rotoscope the object from the background and have a layer with just the foreground object

      2.) Create a second layer of just the background where the object will be

      3.) Apply a color balance effect to the layer with the rotoscoped object and increase the yellows (with a slight tint of red).


      I've tried it on a calculator I had at home, and here's the result: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9VEpgXFJpw&feature=player_embedded


      This was an easier subject to apply the effect on since:


      1.) The object wasn't moving relative to the video camera

      2.) The video was shot at night under an artifical light that already gave the whole video a yellow-ish hue.




      If anyone has suggestions for how to create a similar effect in outside daytime conditions, or on other more advanced moving objects, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Creating a "Midas Touch" effect? (aka Turning things into gold)
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          Generally yes, but this ends up quickly like on "Little Britain": "Yes, but no...." A lot of your success will depend on the lighting itself, not so much the post work. You need to think of a "neutral" color scheme mostly and colorize your environment with the light, then shoot in passes so you can munch together the pieces as you need. If you don't have access to a motion control rig, this essentially means you will have to shoot with tripod and replicate any pans and tilts by hand or limit yourself to static shots. You should also pay a lot of attention to controlling the gloss of your objects, like flattening it with matte hairspray or in reverse, make objects look metal-ish by making them wet. If you have specific coloring in mind, it wil lalso help to work with strong colors on the "hero" objects - a pink girly calculator may look ridiculous, but can easily be dialed to look golden with a color correction. The same should apply to the actors - think of ways to separate them from the environment on set as much as possible by setting up differently colored lighting for the foreground and background and working with a consistent color scheme. This will also help to retain depth and contrast - simply tinting everything yellow will look just like that - the world through yellow shades. Instead try to capture the multitude of different gold shades from reddish copper to silverish platinum alloys and use the natural colors as a base - e.g. on a golden tree, the leaves would still very likely look different from the bark. Subtle color shifts might do that better than tints.



          • 2. Re: Creating a "Midas Touch" effect? (aka Turning things into gold)
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            You've got to consider that gold is reflective. There are a bunch of tricks like displacement mapping and overlays to simulate reflections. It's best if the objects that you're turning to gold are already reflective. Think plastic or glossy paint.


            I'd try Colorama as the effect to turn the cut-outs to gold. There's a great preset right inside Colorama's output cycle called Gold...


            Here's a sample project. Note the use of blend modes, mask feather, and opacity.




            Good luck.

            • 3. Re: Creating a "Midas Touch" effect? (aka Turning things into gold)
              Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional

              I'd work backwards on a project like you've described.  It's easier to make something look non-reflective than the other way around.  So, in your calculator example, I'd spray paint the calculator gold, and I'd use effects to remove the gold colouring at the start of the shot, rather than add the gold to a black object.  It's easier to crush white reflected highlights than add them.