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Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground

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Dustin Orgas
Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 1:39:39 pm

Hello everyone,

the film I'm currently editing has a shot in it, from which I would like to remove some objects in the background. However, in the foreground the actor passes in front of those objects.

To be more specific: there are treetops and a fence in the background, and the actor walks across them in the foreground. I would like to remove the treetops and the fence.

Is that at all possible with After Effects? And if so, how would one go about this?

Thank you so much and have a great day!

Best,
Dustin

--
RePic media GmbH
Konrad-Zuse-Bogen 22
82152 Krailling, Germany
mail: d.orgas@repicmedia.de


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Phil Williams
Re: Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 1:55:47 pm

You need to create a new background with the objects removed, and then composite the actor on top of the background. This could be quick and easy or very difficult.

If the camera was locked off on a tripod, then it could be easy. A classic approach would be to just grab a still frame of the scene and paint out the background objects using the clone tool in either AE or Photoshop. Then re-composite your actor over that still.

If the camera is moving, which means the background is constantly moving and shifting perspective, then it's going to be much more difficult. It might even be impossible to do. It all depends on the shot.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 1:56:22 pm

It is possible! Think in layers. Your background is one layer and your actor is another layer. You can create a layer that goes between them that has the cleaned up/removed areas.

What are you replacing the treetops and the fence with? Just blue sky? (An example frame would really help us give better suggestions too, by the way.

How much of the actor goes across areas you plan to replace?

Basically, you will need to rotoscope your actor. However, don't rotoscope all of him! You only need to rotoscope the parts that cross over the replaced parts.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Phil Williams
Re: Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 2:02:00 pm

This tutorial might help:



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Dustin Orgas
Re: Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 2:23:43 pm

Phil and Michael, thank you so much guys!

I will clean up the background and re-composite by using rotoscoping.

I think the video you posted helps tremendously. I had actually seen it on Youtube but wasn't sure if it would do the trick oO

Again, thank you very much!

--
RePic media GmbH
Konrad-Zuse-Bogen 22
82152 Krailling, Germany
mail: d.orgas@repicmedia.de


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Steve Bentley
Re: Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 3:54:43 pm

And remember that because the actor is going to be composited on top of, what amounts to, the background he was already on (minus the offending objects of course) your rotos don't have to be perfect like they would be if the actor was shot on a green screen or a completely different background. Any errors in the roto mask will only reveal what was already there.



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Martin Brennand
Re: Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 4:01:12 pm

You can also use the Mocha Pro plugin to help streamline the object removal if you prefer a tool designed for this exact purpose:






Martin Brennand | Product Manager | mocha - Imagineer Systems


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Dustin Orgas
Re: Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 5:15:27 pm

Thank you guys!

I will take a look at the mocha plugin. I tried the rotoscope option but I find it rather difficult. The guy is running in front of the objects I would like to remove. Here's a picture:

hill.jpg

Does that mean I have to do the rotoscope of the legs frame by frame?

--
RePic media GmbH
Konrad-Zuse-Bogen 22
82152 Krailling, Germany
mail: d.orgas@repicmedia.de


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Steve Bentley
Re: Remove objects in background while person crosses them in foreground
on Jun 6, 2018 at 7:07:01 pm

Paint reveal might be easier - because the legs are going to intersect the trees etc only at specific points. And because the background doesn't really change you won't see any of the boiling you normally get with paint.

Mocha can certainly do this too and might even automate it a little for you. But there's a learning curve if you're not used to it.



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