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Best method for masking unwanted thing?

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Andrew Rabka
Best method for masking unwanted thing?
on Apr 27, 2016 at 7:07:01 pm

Hello, my problem is the visible socket on the wall in background. Whole time it is covered, but in this particular moment women moved her's head.

I tried two methods:

Clone stamping tool - but it requires work with every single frame

Roto brush tool (with added still image without socket on the wall in bottom layer) - the edge (hair) is unprecise and the final effect is poor.

Maybe I use those tools incorectly? Do you have any advice?

Here is the frame:



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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Best method for masking unwanted thing?
on Apr 29, 2016 at 8:23:42 am

"Roto brush tool (with added still image without socket on the wall in bottom layer)"

is close to the answer. But a feathered animated mask instead of roto brush would give you a more controlled movement.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Best method for masking unwanted thing?
on May 11, 2016 at 10:37:47 pm

If you decided to go the animated mask route I recommend you let AE try to track the mask for you. Create your mask and then right click on it. Choose "track mask" from the drop down menu. It actually works surprisingly well. I used it for some parts of this spot I did:

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Andrew Rabka
Re: Best method for masking unwanted thing?
on May 12, 2016 at 1:45:16 pm

Is there any smart tutorial how to do it? I can't understand how to shape mask for more complicated things like hair. Every tut says about easy figures. Using the curves for shaping the mask, seems to be much harder than using rotobrush.

I'm thinking about correcting frame by frame, but exporting every frame to the photoshop and creating sequence in ae is quite inconvenient. Maybe it can be done direct in ae, like using clone tool? How set different "cloned points" for every frame?


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Stephen Smith
Re: Best method for masking unwanted thing?
on May 12, 2016 at 2:37:48 pm

First off, in the still grab her hair appears to be so thick it should work with the rotobrush. Here is a tutorial to watch on the Roto Brush: http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/alien_surface/ Skip to 16:35. Be sure to add a feather to the roto brush.

If you want to use the mask track all I can advise is what I have already said with the addition of make sure you add a feather to the mask.

Back before both of these tools where availableI did do stuff like this in photoshop and it never work. Because you are looking at each frame independently it bounces around to much once the images are stitched together.

I used a roto brush on the boy in this commercial:

Here is a before and after:

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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