Hello! I am quite new to After Effects and was wondering if someone could assist me. I am trying to remove this black electrical outlet from the background. Is there a better method than creating an image mask and arduously moving it frame by frame? Her hands pass over it too, which makes it harder to use the clone stamp. What would be the best way to go about removing this?screen for forum.jpg
you might be able to use the difference matte effect... usually it does not produce an acceptable key, but in this case, since the keying would only be noticeable over the outlet, it might work. I'm also assuming that the camera is locked down and does not move.
first you'll need to find the cleanest frame, best would be if you have a shot before the woman is in it and freeze frame it on a copy of that footage (or export the freeze frame as a PNG and import it back into the comp).
next you want to make a patch to cover the outlet, you can do this in photoshop or ae, it just needs to be a little larger than the outlet.
then i'd layer the comp like this
footage layer with difference matte
patch layer to cover outlet
footage layer (without difference matte)
freeze frame (to use with difference mate)
on the footage layer with difference matte, choose the freeze frame as the 'difference layer'. this effect will try and remove the pixels from the footage that are the same as the freeze frame, thus producing a key. sounds perfect in theory, but in reality the key is often much less than perfect due to noise and compression artifacts. however, since you are laying the keyed footage over the original footage, you only need it to be acceptable as it passes over that small outlet. so you may be able to tweak the difference matte settings to get what you need.