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Anyway to display all frames at once with a specific blend mode? (Trying to see all movement of a light object on black background)

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Scott May
Anyway to display all frames at once with a specific blend mode? (Trying to see all movement of a light object on black background)
on Feb 17, 2018 at 1:25:59 am

My goal is to find all the movement in a video. The background is completely black.

For example in a video clip like this:


I can render out every frame, stack them on top of one another, change the blend mode to Add and see something like this:


Is there anyway to do this in After Effects? I know Echo can get me something close but it's not enough.

My video files are 60fps, and almost an hour long, so doing my current method would be a bit too much of a headache...

Thanks in advance for any advice or help


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Graham Quince
Re: Anyway to display all frames at once with a specific blend mode? (Trying to see all movement of a light object on black background)
on Feb 17, 2018 at 11:25:58 am

Never had to worry about doing a shot like that before, certainly not anything like that length. I'd be tempted to augment Echo with Levels or Curves, if the issue is the echoes fading out. The method you describe seems unwieldy, (60fps x 60 secs x 60 mins = 216,000 files)

Difference Matte would give you the difference between a current frame and a reference frame.

Maybe there is another option. Can you go into more detail about what the end result is for?

Photoshop might get you closer, this discussion from 2013 talks about smart object,s video frames to layers and stack mode. Best of all, you could do it in shorter sequences (i.e. one for each minute then combine the final 60 images together) which might not kill your computer.

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - Free FX for amateur films
http://shiveringcactus.wordpress.com/ - FX blog


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Scott May
Re: Anyway to display all frames at once with a specific blend mode? (Trying to see all movement of a light object on black background)
on Feb 20, 2018 at 7:38:06 pm

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

The video is displayed as a hologram so wherever its black does not show up. The footage is of something doing exercises and I am trying to easily find out how far I can crop in without ever having the subject go out of frame. I don't trust my eyes watching the hour long image so I was trying to come up with a way to know what pixels turn not black and which ones stay black.


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