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Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?

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Chris Rasmussen
Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on May 31, 2013 at 4:16:38 pm

I took a Steadicam Merlin shot walking past a sign with logos on it that I need to blur out. This is normally easy to handle. The Blur Shape Mask works well until I walk past a person in the shot who is blocking part of the sign. I tried applying keyframes around the person to keep them in focus while tracking forward, stopping and adjusting. Unfortunately, the original shape mask over the sign loses it's shape accordingly.

Can Slice-X with Mocha work with a clip like this? I need to deliver this to a client and would appreciate any advice. I just purchased the upgraded license and have watched the tutorials.

Thank you in advance.

Chris Rasmussen
Minneapolis, MN


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Eberhard Ammelt
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on May 31, 2013 at 4:41:23 pm

Hello, there are two options for this kind of problem:

If the sign itself is large or is on a larger planar surface, you can try to track with a large mask so the tracker can handle the person hiding the sign partially. Once you have good tracking data, you can refine the mask to match the smaller logos.

If this doesn't work or is not possible, you can try to track around the moment when the person hides the sign in forward and backward direction. You can then try to keyframe the mask over the missing part.

Eberhard


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Chris Rasmussen
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on May 31, 2013 at 10:00:19 pm

Thank you Eberhard. I've been working with the clip per your suggestions. I start tracking the large sign no problem. Then I stop and add keyframes around the person as I pass in front of her and repeat every couple of frames. When I play it back, however, the original rectangular shape (blur) has now taken on the morphed shape from later on in the clip when I had to keep the woman in focus. I was hoping that the original shape would track normally then change shape around the woman as I keyframed around her. Am I missing something?

Thanks again!

Chris


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Eberhard Ammelt
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jun 1, 2013 at 10:03:39 am

Before you start manual keyframing you need to add a keyframe at the time when the tracking transform is still correct. This keeps the computed transforms correctly when you proceed with adding manual keyframes. Does this answer your question?

Eberhard


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Chris Rasmussen
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jun 3, 2013 at 3:32:06 am

That makes total sense now. Thank you very much Eberhard! Have a great week.


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Chris Rasmussen
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jul 2, 2013 at 1:12:23 pm

Hi Eberhard and anyone else who can help.

Per Eberhard's post about adding a keyframe before starting manual keyframing, where do I add this keyframe given there are many options (in FCPX's Inspector or in SliceX's on screen controls and which one)?

Thank you for your quick reply.

Chris


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Eberhard Ammelt
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jul 2, 2013 at 1:35:12 pm

Hello Chris,

if you edit the spatial transformation of a shape as a whole, you can edit keyframes only in the effect inspector. If you edit shape points, you need to enable keyframing and then you can just drag the point to add a keyframe.
You can find more information about this in the documentation.

Regards, Eberhard


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Chris Rasmussen
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jul 2, 2013 at 3:35:20 pm

Thanks Eberhard. I've read the documentation and your advice and I thought I was doing it correctly.

For my steadicam clip I'm working on, I added a blur shape mask, enabled Mocha tracker and keyframing, drew my polygon shape and tracked forward. In my case, I am tracking an 8 foot tall sign with a blur shape (polygon shape tool). Half way through when a person starts to obstruct the right part of the sign I start adding new shape points to curve around the person to keep them clear and the sign blurred. I'm stopping and restarting the track forward each time it gets off track. When I go and preview the clip, The new odd shape is now visible from the beginning of the clip, when I started out with a clean, simple 4-point polygon. Can you help me figure this out, Eberhard?

Can I add shape points while adding keyframe by moving existing shape points and have those new shape points only be visible half way though a clip?

How do you start or stop a blur mask half way into a shot ? Do I need to split the clip?

Thank you for your help!

Chris


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Eberhard Ammelt
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jul 2, 2013 at 4:57:02 pm

Chris, we cannot discuss every detail as I don't know your clip. If tracking is complicated and you only need to blur a sign, you may not need high accuracy, and animating your blur shape may be easier.

If I understand the problem correctly, setting key frames before you edit the shape might help.
You can split your clip, or you can animate the blur strength parameter.

For more information about keyframing please have a look at our tutorials here:
http://www.coremelt.com/tutorials/for-fcp-x.html

Regards, Eberhard


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Chris Rasmussen
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jul 2, 2013 at 4:21:05 pm

Hi Eberhard,

I should add that I am stopping the track and moving the shape points each time it gets off track as the person is starting to cover part of the sign. Then I track forward again and repeat.

I am rendering out a different 40 second clip that has 6 or 7 Blur Shape Masks applied to a clip with several things needed to blur out. Should this take a LOT longer than usual? Source clip is DSLR footage native H.264 and the clip not been rendered. I'm exporting to a 720p sample for the web. I'm only at 33% after 20 minutes... for only a 40 second clip! Normally it should take 1-2 minutes. Should I render before exporting when using SliceX?

Thank you Eberhard.


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Eberhard Ammelt
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jul 2, 2013 at 5:14:19 pm

Rendering should not take so much time. Are your shapes complicated? How long does it take to render with only one shape applied? What is your graphics hardware?
Rendering before exporting shouldn't make a big difference.

Eberhard


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Chris Rasmussen
Re: Slice-X with Mocha - can it do this?
on Jul 2, 2013 at 7:24:54 pm

My test clip was 40 secs long and had 8 simple blur shape masks (mostly rectangles) and one that morphed shape a few times.

With all 8 shape masks applied, it took 1 hour to render a 720p .mov for the web (from native H.264 DSLR clip and no rendering in the timeline). I tested this twice with the same result.

The same clip with only 1 mask applied only took 2 minutes to export the same file.

Graphics in my mid-2011 MBP 15": AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1024 MB.


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