Expensive lenses practically eliminate or correct this, but as a 3D artist it can be worth adding a small amount. If you’re trying to adjust footage for this, or if you want a more photographic look, try it. Some software even has profiles for certain lenses.
Since the real-world effect usually increases towards the edge of the image, it is advisable to replicate it afterwards. It is also helpful to duplicate the image twice. The first one contains a small aberration, followed by a reduction of the opacity, the second one a little more aberration. It is also advisable to use a large feathered selection to delete the central part of this layer, so that the overall effect of the chromatic aberration is a decrease towards the center of the image, similar to a photo.
Blurring and distortion.
Another great tool to create a familiar photographic look is to add some blur and noise to your work. For blur, I would suggest depth of field, either light or heavy, if you want to give things a macro look. Adding a little edge blur can look good and look like trying to be subtle.
You can see here that I’ve added some depth of field to replicate the look of a large aperture. The renderer, along with a small contrast enhancer and film grain, looks more photographic than a normal straight renderer. As for the warp threads, keep them. Many users have a habit of using the lens correction tool negatively by loading the filter and then pressing the “D” key and dragging on the image to get real-time feedback.
You can be pretty extreme here, so be careful. A small bend on straight edges will go a long way.
Noise awakens negative associations in graphic designers, but can be helpful in downstream processes to standardize adjustments and give a touch of a film look.
On the one hand you can add film grains, on the other hand you can use Photoshop’s tools to add noise or magic spheres. They all have different approaches, and by testing them you can find out what suits them best. As with all these things, it stays subtle.
Here you can make your mark and be less subtle if you want. The color in an image is what determines the tone and style, according to the lighting, but with a certain relationship to it. The best way to work with color is on a duplicate of its main plane or on an adjustment plane.
Usually we work on the color after we have made our first curves and adjustments. Whether you’re trying to emulate your favorite look or find your own, a little hint on the color wheel will help. It’s usually best to work in opposite directions, both in color and brightness. Let’s look at the latest trends.
The Transformer movies and many others have really pushed this to its limits and it doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, but it’s very easy to see. The shadows are brightened with a blue/tea shade and the lights are slightly muted with warmer tones, sometimes almost salmon-like.
There is no rule that says you have to stay within these limits, but we personally think it helps the viewer to feel comfortable with what you see. Experiment with different combinations and see what they like. There are some works with yellowish lights and purple tinted shadows that looked amazing. They should play around a little to see what they might like.
Another possible color choice would be the removal of color, either selectively or as a whole. Desaturating an image can add a touch of class or try to saturate it with brightened shadows for a 70s retro feel.
Or keep pressing for Sin City’s “Yellow Bastard” or “Goldie” look. You can do this by combining Keying and Garbage Mattes. The step-by-step is slightly outside the scope of this article, but the basic principle is very easy to get to grips with.