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Matte or Mask for candlelight Effect???

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Jebster Kropf
Matte or Mask for candlelight Effect???
on Oct 19, 2012 at 12:08:19 am

There may be an easier way to do this than I am thinking of but Im trying to fake (create) an effect of a man walking into a dark room with a candle lighting his way. I would add, he is shot in green screen and lit rather brightly so the whole effect I am compositing has me playing with the brightness/contrast of not only the room but all the other objects (which are separate graphics i.e. furniture) in the room to make them (obviously) appear darker. My thought was to create a circular matte or mask that is completely transparent where the candles are (that being the brightest area) and then as the circle widens having different degrees of opacity so as to appear the light is getting dimmer the farther away from the candles you get. Am I on the right track? Or am going about the this completely the wrong way. Obviously I would have to keyframe the matte/mask to follow the candles but its creating the mask I'm having trouble with. I've been madly searching for tutorials online but have not yet come across one. If anyone can help me accomplish this I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks in advance to any who respond.

Also, I'm editing in FCP 7 and I also have Photoshop CS4. Should I make it in photoshop and import it? Or is the matte/mask in the effects palette of FCP enough to do the job?

Where are you from?..........originally.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Matte or Mask for candlelight Effect???
on Oct 19, 2012 at 1:57:33 pm

There's a multipoint masking tool in FCP7, it isn't hard to figure out, and it should work fine for what you need. Pick a 4-point or 8-point mask, adjust the feathering adn you're almost done.

You could also just use a vignette effect and manually crank up some of the controls on it. You are correct that you will have to keyframe the effect to travel with the light. Make one keyframe at the start of the shot, go forward and make the last keyframe, then go tot he middle and see how well the computer guessed, nudge the position a little bit if it isn't quite right, set that keyframe, then go half-way between that middle keyframe and keyframe one, adjust at that point if necessary. This I find is the most efficient way for me to keyframe in the least number of steps, unless of course you use motion tracking instead.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Matte or Mask for candlelight Effect???
on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:07:06 pm

How close is the candle light to the subject? In real life, the shadows would move around as the flame changes, and the changes grow more obvious and the flame gets closer.

But if such a concern is not a big deal for your situation, you already have a good answer.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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