Turning this daytime scene into night was inspired by the superb effects work in Lars von Trier’s film Melancholia. Shooting landscapes at night can present all sorts of challenges – and even more so if you were shooting a moving image and couldn’t use long exposures. For this reason, it can be preferable to get the shot you’re after in the day and then simulate the exposure and color shifts of shooting at night. Here we’re using two Curves layers to add a colour balancing component to our lighting effects, taking us from the warm hues of sunlight to a cool, moon-lit feel.
This tutorial uses Photoshop but these techniques can be applied inside After Effects for similar results.