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Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?

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Scott Howard
Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 29, 2012 at 2:50:02 am

I'm editing a short in which an actor plays dead. Obviously, the actor sometimes had to breathe; and obviously I can't show a breathing corpse. Unfortunately, there's a take I'd like to use where he's perceptibly breathing. It's a static (tripod) shot in which the dead body is lying on the right side of the frame, while the non-corpse actors are talking on the left side.

How might I achieve the appearance that the body isn't breathing? There are moments where he doesn't breathe for a couple of seconds. Could I freeze or loop just one side of the frame? If so, how? (E.g. some combo of freeze frame and overlay...?) Or, would that look way more distracting than a breathing corpse? Any other solutions within FCP 7?

Thanks.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 29, 2012 at 3:07:08 am

Duplicate the picture on a new layer (video track), and use the "8 points Garbage Matte" (Effects > Matte) to isolate the corpse.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Scott Howard
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 29, 2012 at 3:31:44 am

Thanks, I'll try to figure that out.

Before I do, any idea whether using that effect to freeze part of a frame would look weird and draw attention to itself?

This is shot on DLSR indoors so there's no moving light to consider (or much graininess).


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 29, 2012 at 6:41:33 am

A soft edge on the top layer will help hide the "seam" between the two. If the camera moves at all you will have a tough time making this work, but if it's locked-off it might be easy.

David Roth Weiss
ProMax Systems
Burbank
DRW@ProMax.com

Sales | Integration | Support

David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Rafael Amador
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 29, 2012 at 1:20:21 pm

As David say, make the edge soft.You can try as well to go to the matted portion with a dissolve.
You say that the camera is static, so with all that and with some action on other area of the frame, may work well.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Scott Howard
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 30, 2012 at 2:17:16 am

Thanks folks. I appreciate it. Time to go suffocate an actor.


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Bret Williams
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 30, 2012 at 2:36:46 am

That'll work too. Much more realistic. ;)


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Nick Meyers
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 31, 2012 at 7:33:50 am

looping a section of the film, or really running it fwd, then backward, then fwd again,
is much better than a freeze.
the frame maintains a breath of life... not in the corpse, but in the grain etc


nick


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Scott Howard
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 31, 2012 at 5:25:00 pm

Good idea re: the loop. I used a simple Four-Point Garbage Matte on one of the shots I needed, and it looks good even as a freeze frame. Breathing begone!

Unfortunately, when I turned to the shot where it's most needed, and there's a problem--another actor keeps getting in the way of the corpse I need to freeze (or loop). So, I need the matte to change shape during the same take.

I don't have After Effects or Motion. Rather than key the hell out of it to make the matte travel around, I'm wondering if I can just razor the same clip in a few places and have a differently-shaped hole every few seconds. Would that look weird? How would I deal with this in FCP 7?


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Nick Meyers
Re: Breathing corpse problem: how to freeze just one side of a frame, while the other side keeps playing?
on Dec 31, 2012 at 10:39:08 pm

simplest approach, IMO, is to use a THIRD layer to deal with the fg actor.
you'll need to move up from a 4-point garbage matte to 8 or even 16,
and keyframe it as the actor crosses.

if the body is motionless enough during the crosses, then you are right, you wont need super accurate mattes.


nick


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