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Trying to remove object from image in FCP7

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Neil Orman
Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 2:38:30 pm

Hi,
I recently did a shoot in the rain and unfortunately have a tiny corner of plastic (from an improvised rain cover for the camera) visible in some images, in the corner of my frame. It's small but I still want to remove it, and just wondered if anyone had any guidance? I'd appreciate it very much. I want to retain the full image, as opposed to cropping, scaling or anything else that will degrade the image quality, and for the same reason I don't want to 'feather' the edges or do anything else like that. Is it possible to accomplish this in FCP7 or After Effects, and if I do it in After Effects does anyone have any quick guidance or even tips on good Web tutorials?
Thanks a lot,
Neil


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Mark Suszko
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 3:13:08 pm

Before we make a suggestion, can you post a still frame of the worst example? There are plug-ins designed to fix blemishes like missing or dead pixels, and even entire scan lines, but for something bigger than a pixel or two (like a water drop), you're looking at a rotoscoping/wire-removal type job that steals good pixels from nearby and layers them over the image are that is bad.


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Neil Orman
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 3:42:09 pm

Much appreciated Mark, attached is a still of the problem, in the upper left corner (just let me know if you can't see the image). So I need to approach this as a rotoscoping/wire-removal type job that steals good pixels from nearby and layers them over the object? That's a big help. Just let me know if you have any quick tips or resources to recommend for how to do that. I have some After Effects experience but none in this area. Thanks again!


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Neil Orman
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 3:43:54 pm

Let me try embedding the image again sorry:


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Mark Suszko
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 4:38:31 pm

First I'd try to fix this right within FCP. If that intrusion is always exactly the same in all the shots, I think the first thing I would try is to duplicate the video track, stack it above the main track, offset it to the left by about 7-10 pixels, and mask the triangle. One way to do that is, I'd use the 4-point masking tool to mask off just the corner an eliminate the rest of the frame. Playing with the feathering and width settings on the mask and the opacity and compositing mode of the top layer, and maybe applying a bit of blur, maybe flopping the pixels in the horizontal plane, I've now made a "bandage" of the nearest, similar, "good" pixels over the triangle of plastic. If the framing and the lighting don't change too radically, this might be enough to get away with. My best idea I think is to make the replacement layer a "mirror image" of the specific region of the source layer, so the reflection of the good pixels extends over the triangle, out and up, into the corner.

In AE, which I'm just a beginner at using, I might try creating a new solid that is the same shape as the triangle, and pasting the original layer onto the triangle, with a few pixels of offset in the horizontal, then adjusting opacity to blend this mini-solid over the original. Youtube tutorials on the wire removal tool are a click away, but it may not cover enough are to fix this triangle all by itself. Using the roto brush basically isolates the corner, so you can mess with color correction or other filters, limited to only that immediate area.

The hard way would be to export a strip of frames in an image sequence, into photoshop, and get in there with a lot of patience and a good wacom tablet, and paint-in the good pixels, using a clone brush or healing tool, frame-by-frame. Recommended only for very short shots of a few seconds, of course, and depending on your skill, the repair may call more attention to itself than leaving the flaw in the shot.


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Neil Orman
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 7:08:40 pm

Thanks so much for the great step-by-step suggestions, Mark! I've been trying to take your advice on using the 4-point garbage matte tool within FCP7. I know you mentioned the 4-point 'mask' tool, but I only saw the 4-pt garbage 'matte,' so just let me know if that's not what you meant. It's working pretty well in some, not so much in some particularly challenging clips, especially ones with more camera movement. I think I might try the Photoshop method for a few of these, as these clips are all a few seconds at most.
Thanks again.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 7:38:08 pm

BTW, the 4-point garbage mask IS key-frameable. Also, free versions of the mask tool in 8-point, 16-point, and larger, are out there for free. Google Paul Crisp free multipoint masking tool.


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Roger Poole
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 8:33:27 pm

Not sure how to explain this but I have done something similar years ago so here goes. If you are panning in the affected shots you may be in luck. Say for instance that several frames along your triangle was over the tree trunk you already have an unobstructed shot of the tree trunk a few frames back. Now if you layer the same clip over the top, but go back to where the tree is good then crop out the unwanted parts on the top clip leaving you with a "good' tree. Manually position the top clip in image and wireframe mode so that it covers the bad stuff Done correctly it can be made to look very good as it is the same scene but just running a few frames back where the shot is clean.

I'm sure that's as clear as mud but that's the best I can do. Years ago there was a plug-in specifically for object removal. I watched a demo of it and figured out how it worked. I can't remember what the plug-in was called but in the event didn't need to buy it because I could sample previous "good" frames too without it. Anyway, I hope this gives some food for thought


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Neil Orman
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 10:47:24 pm

This is a big help Roger, because the kind of problem you correctly identified, with things like trees and signs ruining this effect during a panning move, is exactly what I'm running into. So when you did the cropping of the trees etc., did you do all that in Final Cut or something else like Photoshop? And if you did it in FCP, how did you accomplish the cropping? Because I'm still not sure how to crop with any Photosho-like precision in Final Cut, and shapes like trees and signs will take some finesse, like you said.

And thanks very much also Mark for mentioning the keyframeable point about the 4-point masking tool, as well as the others.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 11:00:00 pm

This sort of shot repair is much more easily done in an application like Motion or After Effects.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Roger Poole
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 11:49:23 pm

I'm sure you are right Dave but I never got into After Effects so I can only speak about sorting out similar problems in FCP. It is tricky but it can be done if a re-shoot is out of the question.


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Roger Poole
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 21, 2014 at 11:39:12 pm

Hi Neil, I've looked on Youtube to try to find something to illustrate what I mean. There is similar stuff on there but they use a frame grab which is cropped with a garbage matte, which is fine where the camera is static but not on pans. The way I suggested is sort of like cloning in Photoshop but doing it with video in a different way by having the same clip layered over clip A. Move clip B under the playhead until you get a clear frame of the object which is blocked in clip A, say for instance the tree trunk which you will be introducing the offending triangle to as you pan. If you position clip B so that when both clips are playing, clip B is showing a clean tree trunk, crop it roughly then position it so that it is in the correct place over clip A. When everything is lined up correctly you can refine the crop and render. When playing out things should look pretty good as the cropped clip B will pan just like clip A but several frames apart.

Here's a YouTube video showing something similar but in this case he is using a freeze frame rather than video, but the idea is the same. Like I said, this is very difficult for me to explain but it does work.







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Neil Orman
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 22, 2014 at 10:54:35 am

Much appreciated Roger, and thanks for the Youtube link too! I'm gonna try this today and will let you know how it goes.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 22, 2014 at 2:20:14 pm

I'm gonna make your day:

http://www.borisfx.com/videos/BCCAVX/Motion-Key.php


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Roger Poole
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 22, 2014 at 3:33:31 pm

Well done Mark, I couldn't find it. The one I saw was a different scene but the principle is exactly right. What's going on here is that it's sampling clean frames ahead and/or behind the talent and substituting the talent with a clean area to mask him out. It can be done manually but this saves a lot of time and seeing it in action is a lot better than me trying to explain a rather complex manual procedure.


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Neil Orman
Re: Trying to remove object from image in FCP7
on Apr 22, 2014 at 3:39:40 pm

This is great, Mark! So I looked up Boris Motion Key and it appears to be about $200. Just let me know if you or anyone knows of any better deals on the software, or if I'm wrong on that, but it certainly is exactly what I'm seeking. For budget reasons I may need to give Roger's manual technique a whirl first. I'll keep everyone posted on the result. Thanks everyone.


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