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masking of microphone cables...match move or keyframes?

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julienne rathore
masking of microphone cables...match move or keyframes?
on Mar 6, 2012 at 8:49:49 pm

Dear creative cow,

I have to mask some microphone cables.
I send the clip from fcp to motion, create a clone, add a beziere mask and outline the area I want to mask. I then add the gaussian blur at a setting of about 5 and all is fine, but the microphone cables move slightly over the duration of the clip and my microphone cables slowly reappear.

I found the keyframing confusing and ended up using the motion tracking behaviour 'match move' to compensate for the moving image.
Although the microphone cables are not visible, I feel the gaussian blurred mask area sticks out due to it moving, although this is not very important as the audience will be looking at the characters and reading the subtitles as opposed to looking for any faults on the ground.
However, the blurred area is not constant, it is an area of the screen and as the shot moves the area it is blurring changes in colour. At times this sticks out so much that it would be better to leave the microphone cable visible as it is far less eye-catching than an area of the ground suddenly changing colour.

Would this issue be avoided if I were to keyframe the mask instead of using 'match move'? Or is there a better way of doing this?

If the answer is keyframing and you could direct me to a good tutorial on the matter I would really appreciate it - I have watched many, but still find the issue of keyframing difficult...

I really hope you can give me some advice!
Thank you :)

julienne.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: masking of microphone cables...match move or keyframes?
on Mar 6, 2012 at 9:30:57 pm

This sounds as though it could be a very problematic shot to fix thpugh without seeing your surce material it is hard to be sure.

A suggestion would be to try "cloning" a clean bit of floor rather than using your blurring idea. Keep your bezier mask and your tracking but try offsetting the position of the masked layer so it gives you the nearest possible bit of clean floor without cable. Not tsyaing it will work, but it's worht a try and will be less noticebale.

I'd say if your motion tracking is working then you're much better off with that than trying to keyframe it. Keyframing, even if you're really good at it, will almost always result in noticeably irregular behaviour which is instantly distracting.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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julienne rathore
Re: masking of microphone cables...match move or keyframes?
on Mar 6, 2012 at 9:48:36 pm



Here is a still shot of one of the clips in question - quickly taken, but it shows the problem.

Thank you.
julienne


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: masking of microphone cables...match move or keyframes?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:10:33 pm

Looking at your source image, I'd say that you definitely won't get a good result from your blurring technique but by cloning patches of the ground over the cable and tracking those to any movement you should be able to make it disappear quite convincingly.

The fact that the ground is so messy and broken up is very much on your side.

Don't try and do the whole cable run with one single patch however as that is going to be almost impossible - treat it in manageable sections, even though this seems like it's more time-consuming.

Here's how to do it in Motion.

Duplicate the source layer and apply a bezier mask to the new layer to reveal the layer underneath. (Maybe add a temporary quick obvious colour effect to the lower layer to see what you are doing - e.g. make it blue or something.) Then adjust the position of the lower layer until you are showing through to something that is not cable - you only need to move it a bit so you get something that looks like it belongs there.

Turn the resulting two layer into a group, duplicate the original layer (unmodified) and put it above the new group - carry on as above to make each new patch. In other words, apply a new mask to the top layer and adjust the group underneath which now contains the result of your previous fix.

Hope that makes sense.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Stephen Smith
Re: masking of microphone cables...match move or keyframes?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:16:13 pm

I think with all of the garbage on the ground you are fine. How much does your camera move on that shot?

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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julienne rathore
Re: masking of microphone cables...match move or keyframes?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 4:47:14 pm

Hi again,

Simon, thank you very much - I will try what you suggest.
One further question though: once I have my cloned area (on the first frame), from multiple groups, how do I track so that the cloned area follows the movement of the camera?

Stephen, the shot does not move much, but this is a handheld project, so there is some movement over time which becomes apparent if blurring and using match move.
It is also a project working with pretty rough street children which is why they were given these simple clip-on microphones and not wireless radio mics, and since they managed to brake 2 clip on mics I'm happy I didn't give them radio mics despite my present problem...

Thanks again!
julienne.


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: masking of microphone cables...match move or keyframes?
on Mar 7, 2012 at 5:26:13 pm

[julienne rathore] "how do I track so that the cloned area follows the movement of the camera?"

You would need to match move the bezier shape to something close to its source - you shouldn't need to adjust the offset layer if you've picked the right bit.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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