Waveform Monitor

Compositing and Motion Graphics

Waveform Monitor

Postby PeterW on 03/27/2010, 2:54 pm

Hey folks,

I just wrote a Pixel Bender script that gives you a traditional luminance waveform monitor in After Effects. It is basically implemented an effect you can apply to your image, but, like a histogram, it is a tool to monitor the color distribution in your image. Google "Waveform Monitor" for more info.


Here is how to use it:

1) Download the effect
2) Remove the additional extension, the file name should be "waveform monitor.pbk". This is because the forum won't let me upload pbk files.
3) Install the effect by putting it in your pixel bender effects directory (different on Mac and Windows, check the manual for more info).
4) Restart After Effects so it can load the effect.
5) Drag your existing composition for which you want to see the waveform into an empty new composition.
6) Apply the WaveformMonitor effect under Effetcs > Utility > WaveformMonitor and adjust the gain if necessary.
7) If it does not update quickly enough, set the resolution of your waveform comp to Half or even lower.
8) Edit your composition settings to make the waveform composition only as high as needed (256 pixels by default, depending on the number of levels in the parameters).

Now you can put the compositions side by side, lock the waveform one, and work on color correcting your existing one, the waveform will update live. That's it :)

Again, you may have to reduce the resolution of the waveform composition since the effect takes a while to render (due to the way Pixel Bender works, it has to do some already heavy calculations 256 times more often than would be necessary in a CPU-based implementation). But on half res, I found it to be reasonably interactive.

You can of course use the filter for creative stuff as well, for instance you can apply a glow or something and put it onto some HUD-style display for a futuristic screen or something.

Oh, and maybe don't use it for checking safe luminance, the effect is not using the exact YCbCr luminance formula, this is meant to be a guide for color correction.

It should work in Photoshop as well, but you'd have to input the image height in pixels manually (you can ignore the width, that isn't used by the filter).

Enjoy :)


NOTE: Again, you need to remove the .mov extension, this is not a QuickTime file, but the forum won't let me upload .pbk files.

[ Play Quicktime file ] waveform monitor.pbk.mov [ 3.38 KiB | Viewed 2337 times ]

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Joined: 03/27/2010, 2:26 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Waveform Monitor

Postby Mylenium on 03/29/2010, 12:40 am

Would you mind uploading this to Adobe Exchange or another more centralized page? I'm sure it would be worth a permanent link in the After Effects online help... If you need assistance, just contact me.

[Pour Mylène, ange sur terre]
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Re: Waveform Monitor

Postby jules on 03/29/2010, 1:45 am

Awesome. Thanks a lot!
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Joined: 08/5/2008, 7:46 am

Re: Waveform Monitor

Postby Francofinch on 08/23/2011, 11:45 pm

Thank you for making your upload available)) very useful ;)
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Joined: 08/23/2011, 11:41 pm

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