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Thomas Morter-Laing
How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 2:35:09 pm


How do I do this?
I hope you werent expecting specifics in this post.... although feel free to ask, but I wanted to do something like this ages ago and coudnt pull it off very well- i tried painting the skin green and doing a mix of keying, rotorscoping and movement mapping, but couldnt get the image to fit the contours of the skin very well etc. (I was using motion and FCP).
So, any ideas?

:D
Tom Morter-Laing
Freelance Editor
Certified Apple Product Proffessional, 2010
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Shane Ross
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 2:54:37 pm

I highly doubt this was done with any of the Final Cut Studio tools. Smoke, Flame...some other high end thing. Maybe After Effects. But something way up there by a very talented person.

Shane



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Dan Brockett
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 3:01:19 pm

Wow, that's a pretty cool effect. I would venture a guess that each of the band members was shot multiple times isolated against green screen, the rest is good old compositing using image warp and wrap. The effect does look good and pretty realistic which means that somebody spent some serious time and money to achieve it.

Could be done in AE, probably with some 2.5D or 3D plug-ins, not sure how you could accomplish the meshing and warping effects from within AE as I am not a compositor but perhaps someone who is will chime in here? More likely it was done in Smoke or something like that for expediency but who knows?

As far as the duotone effect that makes the footage look like a tattoo, I would think that de-saturating and applying a duotone filter would get you close, then tweak with some color correction?

Nice stuff, pretty accomplished work.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 3:39:52 pm

You don't use green screen for this. You use a motion tracker on the skin, perhaps using dots drawn on the skin and painted out later, digitally, or just random blemishes and freckles as tracking points. You would have to divide the tracking passes up into several iterations as one freckle leaves the view and another comes into place, but there are COW tutorials on how to do this. A planar tracker may not be enough for this, it may require a 3-d tracker. The tracking data then gets applied to the band footage so as to lock it with the camera moves and body moves, and the rest, while not trivial, is mostly different layering and blend effects, probably done in AE but possibly others.

You could fake this another way, using a high-resolution photo-realistic 3d model of a human, one of the Daz/Poser models, maybe, and that could allow some more pretty cool things to happen, but I don't think that's what this video did. The tracking and masking is actually not the hardest part of it; as was said earlier, warping the band footage to look like it follows the curvature of the limbs is the "non-trivial" part.


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Walter Soyka
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 4:08:19 pm

[Mark Suszko] "You don't use green screen for this. You use a motion tracker on the skin, perhaps using dots drawn on the skin and painted out later, digitally, or just random blemishes and freckles as tracking points. You would have to divide the tracking passes up into several iterations as one freckle leaves the view and another comes into place, but there are COW tutorials on how to do this. A planar tracker may not be enough for this, it may require a 3-d tracker. The tracking data then gets applied to the band footage so as to lock it with the camera moves and body moves, and the rest, while not trivial, is mostly different layering and blend effects, probably done in AE but possibly others."

I'd agree with Mark. A 3D tracker with lots of points could help generate the geometry that the footage is projected on to.

This would be extraordinarily difficult to do in After Effects. I'd imagine this was composited in Nuke, although Smoke or Flame might also be possibilities.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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Dan Brockett
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 4:25:50 pm

Mark, wouldn't you agree though that the band was photographed green/blue screen? A lot of those composite builds look "built" to me, all isolated elements.

I am no compositing artist, but I have produced a lot of VFX and animation and this was no low budget job, top of the line work.

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 6:28:58 pm

Possibly, but not necessarily; some of that look can be done with blending modes as well as keying. Why don't we just ask them?

I mostly looked at the footage mapped to the skin, not so much the other elements.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 4:27:19 pm

This is done with 3D models, most like created in Maya, and then skinned by bitmapping Images onto the models inside Smoke, Flame, or Nuke. It\\\'s no different than mapping skin onto a typical animated character, except that it has an additional layer of moving tattoo animation added.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Dan Brockett
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 4:28:26 pm

If anyone is truly interested, the editors and compositors can be contacted directly here http://www.motionserved.com/gallery/SURFAHOLICS-Pink-Lady/818429

Dan

A Producer Who Is Also A DP? Yep, that's Me.

http://www.danbrockett.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 6:31:24 pm

While I agree it is *possible* they did it as you suggest, David, the credits list a live model so I'll go with the "motion track a live limb and then composite project onto it" theory, until somebody asks them. The video was good technically but it didn't do anything much for me as a song or otherwise.


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Shawn Miller
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 7:31:44 pm

I've done effects like this a few times (fake tattoos, brands, scars, etc) - the workflow if fairly simple.

- Shoot background plate (body parts with markers for tracking)... make sure to keep your camera movements simple AND high contrast if possible.

- Develop graphics (stills, video, etc)

- Track in 2D (position, rotation and scale) then 'pin' graphics to the background plate

- Remove tracking markers.

- Duplicate your background plate, de-saturate subject and increase contrast until you have an nice smooth ramp from the lightest parts of the subject to the darkest.

- Use the new grayscale plate as a distortion map for the graphics

Note, this 'can' be done in 3D by projecting graphics onto geometry... but it's three times the effort.

FWIW, I don't think this video used a 3D model with projected textures at all... the distortions aren't extreme enough. It's also fairly obvious that there wasn't any 3D object tracking done here.

Lastly, You can also do this the old fashioned way by using a real projector. It takes a lot of planning and a bit more time in post (rotoscoping to make sure the projected graphics don't go beyond the subject)... but it can be done. :-)

I hope this helps.

Thanks,

Shawn



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Shawn Miller
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:05:14 pm

"It's also fairly obvious that there wasn't any 3D object tracking done here."

Oops, forgot to explain this. Object tracking would require more movement to expose more curvature of the surface... the camera movements are too flat.

I also meant to add that this might be a question better asked in the 'compositing forums' (AE, Nuke, Blender, etc)... AND, I believe videocopilot.com covers many of the questions you might have about an effect like this in their "Healer" tutorial (these kids give away the good stuff for free... I might be bitter if I was still freelancing). :-)

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/the_healer/



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Mark Suszko
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:06:10 pm

Using a real projector is neat; they did that a numebr of times in those James Bond Movie title sequences. But that would require some fancy exposure tricks. Nothing is ever quite as easy as you first figure it.


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Shawn Miller
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 8:21:40 pm

So true, I've seen Michel Gondray use this technique a number of times, and I keep threatening to try it someday... but I can never justify the dev time, when I know I can do it quickly in post. :-)

Shawn



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Mark Suszko
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 6, 2010 at 9:09:51 pm

Gondry is a god. If you don't own his Drectors Series DVD, get it on your xmas gift list. VERY inspirational.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: How's this done?
on Dec 7, 2010 at 10:47:34 am

Shawn is spot on. There are a variety of tools that can accomplish this for you. If you use After Effects, then be sure to utilize Mocha AE which gives you very good 2D planar tracking which is the bulk of the effect we're talking about here. Imagineer Systems has a lot of good tutorials on their website and Andrew Kramer (http://www.videocopilot.net) also recently did a tutorial called Magic Tracking.

Hope this helps,
Dennis


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