Download Free Film Grain and Light Leaks
When used well, a touch of film grain and a well placed light leak can really perfect a look. When used badly it can be carelessly sloshed all over your edit, leaving every transition relying on a blur of bright light.
As Spiderman knows, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Therefore use the following free film grains and light leaks at your own editorial risk!
Colorist David Torcivia shares why you want to add film grain to all your projects (yes all of them!) in this DaVinci Resolve tutorial and this accompanying blog post. In the post David articulates the numerous benefits to adding grain to your project, provides a free DaVinci Resolve node download for quickly adding grain and a free 4K grain emulation file, created in Nuke to mimic Kodak 5219 stock.
One of the benefits to adding grain to your video, is that it can help reduce colour banding, especially when compressing your video for the web.
This is one of the best reasons to use grain in your projects – especially if it is destined for a lossy web upload. Above is a gradient I created from yellow to blue. The top part of the gradient has a light grain applied while the bottom section is untouched. I’ve saved it in a low quality format in order to exaggerate the effects of color banding as you might find when compressing digital video.
Free Film Grain & Light Leaks
There are plenty of places to get free film grain downloads, including some of the sites that offer products like those from Gorilla Grain. Here is a quick round up of the best of what’s currently available and unless I’m mistaken, all of these downloads can be used in commercial projects. If I’ve missed something – let me know!
- Vision Color – 2GB of 2K 35mm and 16mm film grain and light leaks, plus other bundled extras. Cost: Become a Facebook Fan.
- Gorilla Grain – Medium Grain Dirty plus 3 film burns. Cost: Email sign up.
- Cinetic Studios – Six Kodak and Fuji film emulation grains in 8mm, 16mm and 35mm. Pro Res 4K files.
- Colorist David Torcivia – 4K Pro Res digitally created Kodak 5219 emulation grain. DaVinci Resolve node graph.
- Holy Grain – 1080p 35mm film grain.
- Grainzilla – 1080p 35mm film grain. Plus ‘war filter and California Vintage’ Film Look. Free 4K letterbox ratios.
- Color Grading Central – 30, 1080p film burn and light leaks, plus FCPX plugin and Powergrades. Cost: Email sign up.
- FilmLooks – Super 8 4×3 film frame with grain. Super 8 flash frames and leaks. Cost: Facebook Like.
- Vegasaur – 10 seconds of real 35mm film grain, 720p and 20 light leaks 1080p. Plus 5 dust particle videos.
- Rocketstock – 13, 4K light leaks. Cost: Email sign up.
- Digital Cinema Foundry – 720p film burns in four flavours.
- Edit With Light – Digital Artefacts Animation Pack.
Paid For Film Grain and Light Leak Packs
To me Gorilla Grain is the original king of film grain packs, and I know a fair few editors who make use of their packs. Currently you can purchase film grains from 16mm and 35mm stock, along with various light leaks and film grains.
If you’re after a 4K scan (4096 x 2304) from real 35 mm film then Gorilla Grain’s 4K Film Grain Pack includes just one 40 second Pro Res file for $49, which seems pretty steep to me, especially when you can get 9 HD film grains for $69 with various levels of density and cleanliness. But if you need 4K, you need 4K.
This short tutorial from Gorilla Grain demonstrates how fast it is to add a 4K film grain to your footage in Premiere Pro and adjust it to taste with the brightness contrast filter.
Cinegrain are probably one of the most expensive places you can get film grain and look packs from, with prices starting at around $76 dollars and hiking all the way up to $999 for their full pack of 425 grains, looks, leaks, splices, headers and footers, dirt and scratches, flares – basically everything they sell, all delivered in Pro Res 4444 4K and shipped on a drive.
That said, in comparison to Gorilla Grain, their 35mm pack comes with 16 clips in Pro Res UHD for $96, (currently on sale at $48), which is a better deal than one 4K file for $49!
In this short tutorial you can learn how to add a LUT pack into DaVinci Resolve, and make all of the ‘looks’ instantly available.
Edit with Light (formerly 5DLeaks.com) has some much more affordable products including 4K (4096 x 2160) grain shot on a RED camera for only $9.99. They also sell animation elements, light leaks, hues, vintage bokeh and more. You can also grab a free ‘digital artefacts’ pack featuring 15 unique short digital noise animations.
UPDATE – Rocket Stock 4K Light Leaks
If you’re after some high quality, 4K, light leaks and flares then this 4GB pack of 120 assets from Rocketstock could be just the thing. You can check out some of the flares in this promo video (above) – which actually demonstrates some pretty classy ways of using the light leaks within shots rather than just slapping them on as transitions – or download 13 free light leaks from Rocketstock to try before you buy.
The pack normally costs $59 but is currently on sale at $39.
This tutorial from Michael James, featuring the Rocketstock 4k light leaks, walks you through how to composite light leaks effectively in Adobe Premiere, FCPX and After Effects, all in under 7 minutes.
6K Simulated Film Grain
RGrain is one of the only sites I’ve seen that offers 6K film grain downloads at 6144×3160 and based on their most popular plate, RG 35mm Lush. Their prices seem pretty reasonable, for example the single 6K file is $39, but it’s worth noting that these are digitally created film grains, rather than scans of real analogue material, e.g. 35mm film stock.