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Blurring the Background - Is it a good idea?

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Michele PoggiBlurring the Background - Is it a good idea?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:30:21 am

Hey guys. ;]

I have this clip, it's a filmed test for an upcoming short.

In the background panel are clearly visible some little holes/dots, and that's something the directors would like to quit from the final clip.

How's a good way to achieve this? My first thought is to mask the singer and then blur the background a little.

Do you have any other ideas?

http://reels.creativecow.net/film/blurringbackground

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Erik WaluskaRe: Blurring the Background - Is it a good idea?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:06:51 pm

If it were me, I would have them re-shoot it. If he didn't want a perforated background then why did he use one?? Director's love to screw things up and then just say "ah, well, we'll just fix it in post", but it's generally more expensive and time-consuming to fix things in post than to re-shoot. Just my opinion.


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Darby EdelenRe: Blurring the Background - Is it a good idea?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:39:07 pm

[Erik Waluska] "Director's love to screw things up and then just say "ah, well, we'll just fix it in post", but it's generally more expensive and time-consuming to fix things in post than to re-shoot."

This depends a lot on how many people need to be recalled to the set to re-shoot. It's a pain to have to fix something seemingly obvious like this, and the director should definitely get an earful for being oblivious, but in terms of combined man hours 1 person working for 12 hours to fix a shot may well be less costly than 8 people working for 2 hours.

Shots should be better planned from the beginning, but the correct solution after a shot has been flubbed is going to be dependent on a lot of factors and I think it's shortsighted to always default to "reshoot."

Besides... these are more billable hours for you :)

Darby Edelen


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Erik WaluskaRe: Blurring the Background - Is it a good idea?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 8:52:48 pm

Sure, I wasn't saying "always reshoot", just that in a lot of cases it would cost less than fixing in post. But of course, as you pointed out, it depends on the particular situation. This shot doesn't look very elaborate and rotoscoping the curly-haired girl from the background would be difficult and might not give you very good results. Also, if you roto and blur the background wouldn't you be blurring out the sax player's silhouette as well?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Blurring the Background - Is it a good idea?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:43:18 pm

I agree completely with Erik. Fixing shots in post is is extremely time-consuming and costs much more.

I'm sorry that my computer can't see the shot, but it's a very good thing this is a test. You can now tell the director that fixing the shot will involve many hours, if not a few days. It depends on the nature of the shot. You can now ask the director if you should progress with fixing the shot. AE's Rotobrush feature can help a little bit perhaps, but it can't be used intuitively. You need time for training.

Tell the director that fixing it in post is very unwise. Shooting it the right way the first time is always better.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Darby EdelenRe: Blurring the Background - Is it a good idea?
by on Apr 17, 2012 at 5:35:17 pm

If you can achieve an acceptable roto of the subject in front then you might be able to save the shot with some blurring (or median, or possibly minimax) but there are no guarantees here. I'd look at trying to fix the background before doing any roto work and seeing how it looks.

Darby Edelen


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