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Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?

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dallas kruse
Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 3, 2014 at 2:06:30 am

I shot a music video and the exteriors were on a crummy day. I have REAL CLOUDS that I'd like to replace the sky with. My question is, how would one go about doing this?

I know theres a lot of ways to do it but wanted to get an idea for what you guys would do.

In the shots, the actor is walking along the hills so I'm not sure how or what to learn to do in regards to replacing sky when there's a moving actor in front of it.

Where do I start? AE? FCP?

ANY direction is appreciated.



Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 3, 2014 at 2:51:18 am

You don't really need to replace the sky, you just need to enhance it. And, that's doable, even for a lowly producer stealing the bread from the mouths of the children of real editors and VFX pros. :)

I the human being remains more or less as diminutive as you show in the sample frame, all you need to do is, put a still or moving image of a sky you like on V2, above this shot on the timeline. Then, double click the cloud layer to load it into the viewer, then use the various parameters in the effects tab to move the cloud layer up in the frame until it looks about where you'd like it, above the head if the person so you don't have to do any rotoscoping, then simply create a soft edge on the bottom edge of the frame until the line between the original picture and the clouds looks seamless. You can also experiment with the overall transparency of the cloud layer to blend in into the existing sky.

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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dallas kruse
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 3, 2014 at 2:54:17 am

David, great post. Thanks for the ideas.

I should've explained better that I was wanting to add some clouds and make the sky brighter ... a "happier" day. Then in subsequent shots, the sky turns dark and spooky and I have some REAL CLOUDS shots where the clouds are moving in a time lapse. So, essentially, the sky will have some "special FX to them".

I will try your suggestions.

Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 2:26:25 pm

Well, you can try using chromakey filters to key out the old sky and then you can place a replacement sky layer under that. That sky is a little weak on color for easy chromakeying, you could try luminance keying on it... or, you could deliberately crank up the colors on the shot using the 3-way color corrector, until you get a saturated blue sky, THEN make your key layer from that. Duplicate the key layer, undo the color correction on it, to get back to the original, and now, the first layer is your original, the second layer has a workable matte, and your "sandwich" now only needs a new sky layer.

The better, more pro-looking way to go about this, is to use Apple Motion or Adobe AfterEffects to motion-track the footage first. Using the motion tracking data, a replacement sky will move in synch with any camera movements, without a lot of tedious manual keyframing work. To manage the edge where sky meets land, you would use a multipoint masking tool, also taking its motion path from the tracking data.

The trackers in Motion are very easy for newbies to use. The one bundled with FCPX, derived from Mocha, I believe, is very powerful and almost as intuitive.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:24:35 pm

[Mark Suszko] "The better, more pro-looking way to go about this, is to use Apple Motion or Adobe AfterEffects to motion-track the footage first."

Hi Mark,

I assumed the camera was locked off, you assume it was not... Quite a huge difference between the two. If it's locked off it's a whole heck of lot easier, and all he has to do follow my earlier instructions.

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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dallas kruse
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:38:21 pm

The camera was locked off (tripod) although the actor is moving in the shot(s). He is walking and his body is above the horizon line which, to my understanding, would constitute rotoscoping him or masking him in front of the new sky/moving clouds?

Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:44:39 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:45:07 pm

OK, knowing that the shot is locked off, then I'd go with keying out the sky, then adding the new sky layer. Keying does your rotoscoping work FOR you.


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dallas kruse
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:45:08 pm

Here's part of what I'm talking about ...


Field Clip



Music Producer dabbling in Video.
FCP 7. CS3, 5. AE.
Canon T3i.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:48:58 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:49:24 pm

With a shot like that, might just have to play around with blending modes and opacity settings in FCP7 to add the new sky into the old one. But it should also key out pretty well, after goosing the chroma level a bit.


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Ross Shain
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:48:08 pm

Coremelt licenses and mocha tracking for (2) products:

TrackX - powered by mocha (planar tracking plug-in for FCPX)

SliceX - powered by mocha (masking plug-in for FCPX)

more info:
http://www.imagineersystems.com/products/partner-products/slicex-track-x/

Ross Shain
Imagineer Systems
http://www.imagineersystems.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 4, 2014 at 3:50:58 pm

That's fine if he's in FCPX, but he's in FCP7. Though FCPX would be a smart place to take it if he fails in seven.


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John Fishback
Re: Sky Replacement in FCP or AE?
on Aug 8, 2014 at 9:25:07 pm

CoreMelt had a sky replace effect for FCP7. It seems based on a luma key. It doesn't allow you to put your own background in, but gives you control over a number of parameters. Here's a COW tutorial about it.





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