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compositing ropes for human puppets?

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tony haer
compositing ropes for human puppets?
on Oct 6, 2010 at 6:55:43 pm

Hi i'm doing a music video where the actors are supposed to be marionette puppets on strings, i've been trying to rack my brains to think of a way of doing this as they really need to look like they are being controlled by a puppeteer. Ive thought about having ropes over a bar on the lighting rig in the studio but the ropes won't be spread wide enough and also you'll see the ropes coming down the other side as the person pulling them to provide some taughtness will have to move with the dancers and you'll also see them, even if i have them wear a green screen suit, i'll still have to dye the ropes half green. besides which it won't leave much space between the ropes and i suspect there will be some lag. i also thought of helium ballons but again lag. so i have come to the conclusion that i will need to composit them afterwards. so i am planning to have little green stickers on the hands and feet and head of actors so i can track to them in after effects. but i'm not sure the best way to have a rope move like it would in the real world and look real on screen, any advice would be appreciated?

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Chris Wright
Re: compositing ropes for human puppets?
on Oct 7, 2010 at 5:58:31 am

I'd use mocha instead of green stickers that you'd have to later clone stamp out. Mocha can stabilize even with heavy motion blur. Use the transform export and apply it to a null for each part. Then use rope expressions listed below in combination with inertia of actual rope.

rope attachment

rope inertia

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max bretherton
Re: compositing ropes for human puppets?
on Oct 13, 2010 at 10:42:30 am

how did this go in the end Tony..?

did you get the effect you were after using the expressions Chris points us to?

i am wanting to produce a similar effect using ae.

You may have seen this tutorial recently posted on AE tuts+


but i am interested to know if and how you have done it already..?


thanks and my best regards...max

Creative Director - RTR Productions

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