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Advice with masks, nodes and keyframes [Newbie warning]

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Victor Stan
Advice with masks, nodes and keyframes [Newbie warning]
on Nov 27, 2015 at 7:09:03 pm

Hi guys. I took a grading project and decided to do it in Resolve 12 rather than in AE. It involves separating an object in many shots that needs to be graded separately from the entire shot. Basically it's a story about a pair of boots and I need to leave the boots colour intact. Something along the lines of the girl in the red dress in Schindler's List. You know the effect, it's classic and has been done many times.

So what I am encountering in Resolve is a workflow issue or rather lack of knowledge. There are about 50/50 shots with the boots and without the boots. I want to create a mask (or power window if you want) on the boots where they are present. Then I want to create a look and apply that to the timeline or to a group instead of to each clip.

So my question is. How (if it is possible) to create a node with just the mask and one with just the grade so that the mask affects the grading. So far I tried everything I could think of, but I can only seem to do it on a single node. I need this so that I can easily change looks if the client changes his mind.

I have to mention I am newbie and have no idea how nodes except serial and parallel work. I also would like to know if and how can I copy certain info from one node to another. For example I want to copy only power windows from one node to another or just the qualifier, etc. Speaking of power windows, is there any way to control the Curve PW. It seems to draw polygons if I click and curves if I press and hold, but then it gets locked into curve mode and can't switch back to polygons. I wish alt-click would work like it does in PS or AE to quickly convert the point from angle to bezier.

Last but not least, any recommendations of a tutorial/guide on complex masks animation. I'm spending probably 30 minutes on each shot masking out these boots and animating the mask throughout the shot and it's really time consuming. The keyframing on Resolve is such a pain, can't even select more than 1 keyframe at once so moving, deleting, copying or pasting keyframes like I can in AE is simply impossible. Or am I doing it wrong?

Thanks a lot!

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Marc Wielage
Re: Advice with masks, nodes and keyframes [Newbie warning]
on Nov 29, 2015 at 9:13:01 am

You may be making this harder than it needs to be. If you're just trying to change the color of the boots, it may be possible that a very loose garbage matte and a qualifying secondary will pull a better key and won't require you to hand-rotoscope the whole thing. I can't see the image, so I don't know what you're working with, but this is the method I usually use in Resolve. If the boot is the same color as the background, then you'll have to rotoscope the whole thing. VFX people I know generally use Mocha Pro for this purpose, but there's a lot of good programs out there. AE would be one possibility.

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Glenn Sakatch
Re: Advice with masks, nodes and keyframes [Newbie warning]
on Nov 29, 2015 at 5:42:56 pm

How much motion are we talking about here? Person wearing the boots and running through the screen, walking through the screen or just the camera on a hand-held look?

I'm assuming you've tried tracking the window?

Lets face it, if there is lots of motion (and motion blur) there is no easy/qucick way to do the masks, if you secondary controls aren't pulling a proper key.

The advantage you have is that the shape of the boots aren't changing, unless they truly are magical. Take this into account when you start moving your keyframes around. (move them as a group, not as individual points)

Rotoscoping is a time consuming process. As Marc said, Mocha is a great tool if you need to roto. You can spit out mattes from it, to use in resolve to help with your workflow.

And yes you can use only selected items from one node to another. Save it as a still, right click on the still and display node graph. You can then drag any of those nodes to an existing node on your current tree. You could also right click and append node graph, and then delete the nodes you didn't want to use. Helpful if you want to copy several nodes, but not all from an existing still.


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