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Is motion tracking and matting the way to go?

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Sophie Marcil
Is motion tracking and matting the way to go?
on Apr 3, 2008 at 7:34:44 pm

Hello
My final sequence in FCP has 40 minutes of puppets talking in a white cyclo background and always the top of the head of the puppeteer in the shot. A pro suggested I use motion tracking and matting in Motion3 to correct this problem through out. I thought I would find information easily on this but I have not. Is motion tracking and matting in Motion3 the way to go? Any suggestion on where to learn more about this aside from reading the book? I have read the book a little but as I am new to motion, it is not clear to me yet. If it is the way to go though to save a bundle instead of hiring an after effects person correcting 72000 frames, I will learn how to do it.

Thanks in advance

Sophie


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Noah Kadner
Re: Is motion tracking and matting the way to go?
on Apr 4, 2008 at 2:44:02 pm

Depends on the shot to be honest. Post some still or a short clip and we can help. But in theory yes it's doable.

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color. Now featuring the HD Survival Guide!
http://www.callboxlive.com



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sophie Marcil
Re: Is motion tracking and matting the way to go?
on Apr 4, 2008 at 4:15:38 pm

Hi Noah,

Thanks for trying to respond. I have uploaded exemples of some frames. The puppeteer's head is always present and a pro at apple suggested mition tracking and matting but the way he said it, I could read about it everywhere... I would love to learn how to do this instead of paying someone drawinf each frame in after effects.

I appreciate very much the time your taking to answer me :)
Sophie

http://www.sophie.marcil.com/exemple/exemple.htm




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Burt Hazard
Re: Is motion tracking and matting the way to go?
on Apr 5, 2008 at 5:13:16 pm

Pretty much matting/tracking and/or clone painting would be the only way to fix a problem like this and yes, for a 40 min. clip it would be a lot of work no matter what route you took.

The only good thing about your clip is that it has the solid white cyclorama in the background which would help in the creation of what is known as a "clean plate," i.e. a lower layer that you would have a "clean" area (devoid of puppeteer heads) that you could reveal via masks. Your friend is right about some sections of the footage, you might be able to get away with simpler garbage mattes that would be tracked to the tops of their heads. In other words, garbage mattes wouldn't have to be an exact roto shape if just compositing against the plain white background. Where you will run into more work, real rotoscoping basically, is where their heads intersect with the puppets ( in this, you could maybe try the new Shape Track Points behavior as well). Maybe you could also try a luma key to isolate both puppets and heads from the background, but of course you'd still have the roto the intersect borders.

(I'm always wary of an "Apple pro" who would think cleaning up 40 minutes of footage would be easy; sounds like a wanna-be to me.)



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Wayne Marx
Re: Is motion tracking and matting the way to go?
on Apr 6, 2008 at 10:21:24 pm

I don't know what kind of resolution/format you shot on, but if you shot HDV or some other flavor of HD you could just zoom your image in 10-20% and that would probably cut out a huge percentage of the time the heads are in frame and not lose significant quality.
On SD I don't think it would be wise to zoom in more than 10%, but even that could help significantly.


Another quick-&-easy suggestion could be to add letterboxing, which would obviously cut out the heads. The letterboxing doesn't have to be black bars.
Since this is a puppet show, you could give the letterboxing a nice color, or even make it look as if you were looking at the puppets on a puppet-show stage, if youknow what I mean.

All I know is, motion-tracking and roto-ing these shots could be a real head-ache.

My 2c.

Wayne



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sophie Marcil
Re: Is motion tracking and matting the way to go?
on Apr 7, 2008 at 12:13:17 am

I think I will trye what Burt suggested as I want to have as much of the puppet as possible. I shot it this way to have as much as their body as possible and the puppetteer could only reach so high. Thanks very much everyone, I am trying this as of Thursday full-time until I finish the whole project.

If ever you have more precision, let me know as it will be crucial for me (a new user to motion) I will learn only what is pertinent to my project.

Thanks again

Sophie



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Noah Kadner
Re: Is motion tracking and matting the way to go?
on Apr 7, 2008 at 2:26:47 am

Those shots are totally fixable- with a lot of garbatte mask mattes. Lot of work but yes totally fixable. And motion tracking is overkill. Just hand track it using the autokeyframing mode. Send over a few seconds of material as a .MOV and we can show you how.

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color. Now featuring the HD Survival Guide!
http://www.callboxlive.com



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