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Silhouette without green screen?

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Ginny Siv
Silhouette without green screen?
on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:12:03 pm

I'm pretty beginner with after effects so bare with me.

I'm filmed these dancers as a silhouette and want to create a digital silhouette (video not still) . I don't have access to a green screen big enough, otherwise I would of done it that way. Can I mask out everything other than the dancers? How would I do that.? Will the fact that the floor is grey and not white be a problem?



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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Silhouette without green screen?
on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:31:42 pm

You can do it by rotoscoping. It's mostly manual work and it'll take a lot of time.


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Silhouette without green screen?
on Feb 2, 2018 at 5:32:42 pm

If the dancers stay in the lit up section you might be able to key them out.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Silhouette without green screen?
on Feb 2, 2018 at 6:23:50 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Feb 2, 2018 at 9:26:28 pm

Ugh. Like Tero says, this will take a LOT of time.

You can try using Rotobrush -- do many Rotobrush tutorials first! It is NOT an intuitive tool! But it probably won't solve all your woes -- like getting the feet right. That will most likely take hand masking, and that will be an odious, time-consuming task. For which you'll want to look up tutorials on Rotoscoping, and it doesn't matter how old they are -- the technique hasn't changed for 20 years.

I don't know how long this shot is, but the longer it gets, the odds fall in terms of success. Rotobrush isn't intended to do 10-minute shots; it's suited more for things under 30-seconds.

I do NOT envy you. This project is a cast-iron bit*h.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Sander Broos
Re: Silhouette without green screen?
on Feb 3, 2018 at 1:31:26 am

Personally (although the quality may not be as high as rotoscoping, but it's a lot faster) I'd use a keying plugin like Extract to key out the bright areas of the frame (it looks like the dancers are very deep black). The feet will be very tricky, but if the dancers stay in the same distance from the camera you could create a mask for the dancers that stops just where their feet would meet the ground, as it looks like there's a bright reflection on the floor behind the feet that would also be keyed out with Extract. You could also keyframe the border of the mask if they move forwards and backwards.
You'd have to try it first to see if this works, and it also depends on how high the quality of the silhouettes needs to be, but if it works it will save a lot of time.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Silhouette without green screen?
on Feb 3, 2018 at 2:18:02 am

I hope you're right. Otherwise this girl's in for a lot of pain.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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