A looong time ago, I promised to make the “film look” compositing network that I use available once Soft Light mix mode was in trunk, as the effect depends upon it heavily and irreplacably. That time came a couple of months ago, and I just remembered to follow up.
So, you can click on the thumbnail below to get the full sized image of the network.
The effect is created from an old tutorial I had found on some kid’s website for adding a film style look to his digital photography in Photoshop. I re-purposed the decently complicated Photoshop layer-based work flow into a nodes-based one for Blender. I went looking for that original one, so I could link and credit, but I’ve been unable to find it since that one lucky strike a couple of years ago. To be fair then, the general theory behind this technique isn’t my own, although I added and adjusted a bit while I was nodifying the process. As a reminder, the results are:
You adjust the way that the shadows, highlights and midtones cast by changing the colors in the RGB color node, and in the Color Ramp node. If you’re going to use this, make sure to set the render dimensions to match the dimensions of your input image.