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David Oulashian
How to mask?
on May 4, 2006 at 3:57:45 am

What is the best way to do dynamic masks on moving video in Sapphire for Adrenaline 2.2. We have Sapphire V2.

I would like to create animatable masks with bezier handles to use on moving video. The idea is to mask an element and then move and effect it. Animatte allows the beziers and animated masks but then trying to move the masked layer is ridiculous. I haven't seen any "rotoscope" filter in the sapphire menu (but there are so many that I may have missed it).

Thanks for any advice.

David Oulashian
Editor - E! News


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GaryO
Re: How to mask?
on May 4, 2006 at 1:19:47 pm

Hi, David.

Sapphire doesn't have a mask generation tool itself, but once you have a matte/mask clip (whether imported from AE or Photoshop, done with Animatte, or extracted from a keyer) you can easily use those masks with Sapphire plug-ins, especially in Sapphire 2. Just put the source layer on V2 and the mask on V1, then apply the plug-in to the source and select Mask: 1 Track Below. Most effects also let you invert the mask, and many also have a Mask Blur parameter to soften it.

Hope that helps!

-- Gary


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David Oulashian
Re: How to mask?
on May 4, 2006 at 2:50:58 pm

Thanks for your reply Gary. However, I still seem to have some problems.

Here is my example:

V2 -- Video of person talking
V1 -- Graphic background Layer

I cut out the person on V2 with Animatte -- no problem.

Now say I want to do simple Sapphire blur on the face (V2) but I still want the V1 Graphic to be unaffected, how do I do this? I tried as you suggested :

V3 -- Video of person talking with Sapphire Blur
V2 -- Animatte layer of video person talking
V1 -- Graphic background Layer

It is not doing what I want. When I try to use the mask parameter, the mask layer seems to INFLUENCE the blur, not not "limit" it to that layer.

Does this make sense?

Appreciate any help.

Thanks,

David Oulashian
Editor, E! News


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GaryO
Re: How to mask?
on May 4, 2006 at 3:45:18 pm

Hi, David. I think you're trying to do two different things:
(a) use the matte to affect which parts of a single image get blurred and which don't. That's what the Mask dropdown in the effects means.
(b) Composite a foreground over a background and only affect the foreground.

I'm not an Animatte expert; I only have Xpress Pro, which doesn't do animatte at all :-(. But I'm guessing that in its normal mode it just acts like a cutout; you draw a shape and it composites the foreground over the background using your shape.

If that's so, then of course once the composite is done, you can't affect the foreground and background separately -- they're stuck together. You could blur the foreground before alt-dropping the animatte, which would only blur the fg. That may work for you. If you can soften the animatte's borders you should get a decent look from this.

The best solution would be to make the Animatte effect output the alpha rather than the composite, the way you can with the Avid keyer. Then you can use that on a separate track. I'm not sure whether Animatte can do this or not -- anyone here know?

Assuming it can do this, I'd set it up like this:
V2: animatte, outputting alpha channel (hi-con, b/w)
V3: original foreground source (fill)
V1: graphic background
Then do this:
Apply S2_MakeRGBA to V3. That combines the matte and fill into RGBA.
Alt-drop S2_Blur to V3. That blurs the matte and fill together.
Select Background: 2 tracks below to composite that over the graphic on V1, and you're done!

I've done this with the Avid keyer and it works nicely.



-- Gary


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promoboy
Re: How to mask?
on May 5, 2006 at 4:02:32 am

Animatte, from my basic (read: limited and long ago) use of the effect is basically like creating masks in After Effects. I haven't tried this, but it might be worth a shot (and I might actually have time tomorrow to test it!):

V2: Person talking. You animatte this to cut them out.
V1: Background.

Now, try stepping into the animatte effect on V2. Apply your Sapphire blur. Step out. Did it blur just the person, or both the person and the background? If it did both, try this:

V2: Person talking. Animatte them.
V1: Background.

Now:
V2: Step into the person you animatted. Replace them with a white title.
V1: Replace your background with a black title.

You have essentially created an alpha channel. Two options from here, one should work, one probably won't. This one probably won't:

Collapse the tracks, move the collapsed track to V3, apply matte or luma key, put your person back on V2 (now the fill), apply Sapphire blur to them, V1 gets the background.

Otherwise, export the V2 White/V1 Black piece, reimport and you have one piece of media you can use as an alpha. Possibly. Hopefully. Again, all of this is theory, and hasn't been tested. Don't hold me accountable, but if it works, feel free to sing my praises. :-)

Also, I might have the White/Black reversed. I can never remember how alpha channels are supposed to be set, so you might need to make the person filled with Black and the Background white. Experiment. Let me know if any of these ideas work (if you try them). Thanks.

Mike.



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