If I wanted to remove someone's belly button (to make it look like they were created in an artificial womb) for a moving shot of about five seconds, should I go in and photoshop each individual frame? Or is there a quicker, better way to do something like this?
Thanks for your help guys! I can do basic editing, but haven't figured out special effects yet!
You say you're new to VFX--unfortunately, there's no easy way to do this. It will require learning a few different techniques in After Effects.
I've done something similar with After Effects' 3D camera tracker. If you have a blacked out background, or mask off only the subject, the 3D camera tracker can sometimes be used to reverse-engineer a matchmove. Then you create a patch in Photoshop, place it on the plane of the object, and do some blending work. Here's an example of this: 12230_ultramerino145ziptvfxbreakdown.mp4.zip
Mocha, in conjunction with After Effects, is also ideal for this kind of thing--it exports corner pin data that you can use to track a patch you've made in Photoshop onto a planar track.
Finally, is there any way you can do this effect practically with makeup effects on-set? It's always great to just get it in-camera if possible.
This would be kind of crude, but place a square of chromakey green tape over the navel of your Teletubby, er, actor. Color sample the adjoining flesh in the shot and feather the key. Kind of quick and dirty but might avoid the work of doing it the better, but more complex and time-consuming way, of planar tracking.
And you can still go to match-moving and planar tracking if the chromakey trick doesn't work... you could use the tape as the track marker:-)
A scientific quibble: unless the body is 3-d printed, I think even a clone or artificially grown body would need the equivalent of an umbilical cord and thus, a navel.