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Shadow Removal

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Michele Poggi
Shadow Removal
on Sep 25, 2011 at 11:47:00 am

Hi guys. ;)
After the Editing , I'm starting the post-production of a short and the vfx I've been asked to do are quite a challenge indeed.

As you can see in the embedded video, there's this girl running for fear trough the door.
The problem is, in the plot she does not have any shadow: this means I have to remove it.

Shadow Removal



I think that masking the wall/door until she comes into the scene it is possibile to remove it, but then.. She opens the door, that's where multiple shadows come to place and there's not a "plain" footage of the door opening.. So here's where I'm doubtful. Do you have any ideas or methods I still miss to think?

"Freelance Post-Producer"

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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 25, 2011 at 12:33:51 pm

Hey i think this can be treated easily.
Mocha would def. help u, but AE even without any 3rd party app.
can deliver ur shot.
You have to paint some frames (in photoshop )
to recover some hair edges for sec 6-7.
Now if i got ur plot..i think u don't have to remove the shadow of this scary hand.
However if u have to, just take a clean frame from this clip
(prob when door is closed )
mask it, make it 3d, animate it on Y and try to match move the original shot.. for the opening/closing door.

u have plenty of "Healthy" previous / next frames to work with.
Lighten for blending mode should also help.

good luck
S.


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 28, 2011 at 9:51:38 am

You're suggesting to use a closed door frame.. Make it 3D and then animate it over the opening/closign of it to hide the girl's shadow?

Really interesting tip indeed.. Thanks. ;) I suggested to not make the light flicker to mask it but then I got troubled with the moving door (in the original clip there was a fake fire beside her).. I'll definitely try what you said and indeed you got the plot, the scary hand does not have to be removed. My only doubt now is that.. Painting if photoshop and then using that frame.. Will it be noticeable once I comp it in 3D over the real one?

Thanks for the idea Steve, I'll surely update you in the next days.

"Freelance Post-Producer"

Editor Video
Graphic Designer
Digital Compositor
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Mail: snm.poggi@gmail.com


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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 28, 2011 at 10:33:14 am

I think that if you have mocha maybe u should try the remove module too, pull the trigger.. nothing to loose.
But this shadow eliminates the rest texture of the door,
so tracking may return poor results.

A typical animation of 3d layers in AE i feel will return better results.
Regarding realism, try to smart denoise ur layer.
Make a precompose of this animated layer ( motion blur on )
and then match-grain it in final composition.

I think the only trickie part might be the hair fine edges you will have to separate and reveal!
try to use some previous hair edges. might be a nice sample.

cheers


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 2:14:15 pm

Another strange problem is that the color space of Avid and A.E. never match, making this extremely complicated. Sadly I still have to understand how to use Mocha and I feel pretty much ignorant there. ;[

"Freelance Post-Producer"

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Mail: snm.poggi@gmail.com


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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 2:34:16 pm

hey,
i think you have to choose 601 color settings.
try to export a quicktime reference if you are using avid.
then you can export this mov file as a tiff / dpx uncompressed.
It is always safer to work with frames instead a video file.
If you feel hesitant using mocha, try option 1 1st
the one that involves the animated door still frame directly in AE.
utube/vimeo / imagineer = plenty of mocha tuts...its all about priorities and dead line for u i assume!


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 2:44:36 pm

I will surely study mocha, Asap.
Now sadly I don't have much time and I'm doing my very best to make this shot as good as it should. My first idea was to mask the Shadow itself using a freeze of the first frame of the closed door as background, but somehow the color mismatch.

Masking her is Impossible, she is blurred and her shadow of course isn't removable my doing so, since feathering create mess. I'm unsure about what you meant by animating the Y in 3D. I thought to copy the texture of the closed door and rotating it in perspective as it was opening but I think it's sucidial.. Geez.. It's years that I make this and I feel so abruptly noob.

"Freelance Post-Producer"

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Mail: snm.poggi@gmail.com


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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 3:00:19 pm

I thought to copy the texture of the closed door and rotating it in perspective

yes this is what im talking about.
try it before u buy it...its just a few keyframes.
try to add a color filter for this anImated layer too so u can manually match the color.
add motion blur for this layer and precompose it
then add a match grain filter too.
regarding feathering..just use multiple masks for her. NOT just one shape..
so u can set a different feather keys per shape through time..
also enable masks motion blur.
ONE AT A TIME...
STRESS=NOT GOOD


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 2:31:40 pm

I'm also finding serious problems to mask her. Somehow the Door's color change during the clip even if in a minimal way, making very clear the mask that, actually, is kinda hard to blur without revealing the trick..

"Freelance Post-Producer"

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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 2:43:20 pm

mask her in AE?
if u maksing her in AE..The 3d layer of the door still(precomposed)
that should be placed below, should be animated in color also so it will match with the original clip.
Just add color balance/ or levels / or curves ...
and set a few keyframes .
For the part that her shadow blends with hair...photoshop is the solution .
u can also enable masks motion blur so it will blend nicer.


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 2:38:59 pm

I'm starting to believe I misunderstood what you were suggesting me, uff.

"Freelance Post-Producer"

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Graphic Designer
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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 2:52:36 pm

hey hey...take it easy..
here my 2 methods I'd try for my self.

method 1: just uses only AE by animating a still frame of the door.
try to replicate the way this door opens in 3d space.
i think u found this approach interesting in your 2nd post.

method 2: try mochas tracker to support the doors animation,
and even the mochas remove module so u can deal with the moving shadow.
Now if u feel unready to work with mocha ( novice?) then if u do have the time..surf on imagineer /vimeo or utube to watch some very nice tuts about this module..

regarging export settings from avid..its just a matter of right or wrong settings while exporting a clip for 3rd party app. such as AE or mocha etc.

regarding masking / color matching in AE just add some color correction filters so u can match the color variations if there are some.

i dont think i can be more clear .
give it a try..and let us know


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 3:21:43 pm

Animating a still frame of the door sounds as a good idea as I said.. :) The problem is that like that I should mask the whole girl and being blurry and in color contrast I'm facing some problems with that. I'm using levels to make color match, but the difference is really small and unclear sometimes. Painting single frames if of course a Huge no since it would make the clip flicker like a thunder.

I use A.E. since I was 14 but I never found a serious man or school to teach me professionally, so I actually never used Mocha. Not falling in personal hates about my country that kills every single desire and opportunity about these jobs.. I'm at this point for now:

Masking_Test



It.. Kinda sucks, I think and know. Now that the door is moving, even if I animate it, it Won't match her hands and another problem I think it will be to make this animation feel real.. Not mentioning masks. I admit to feel a little sad about all this, lol.

"Freelance Post-Producer"

Editor Video
Graphic Designer
Digital Compositor
VFX Supervisor

Mail: snm.poggi@gmail.com


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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 3:52:29 pm

u doing it fine...just improve this little blury area at her ribs.
(left side of the frame )
animate feather too
to enable mask's motion blur do the following:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/855/maskmotionblur.jpg/

Make a new shape for arm/ body /head/ hair if possible.
you can also import ur video sequence entirely in photoshop so u can rotoscope it 100% in it.. then u can save this animation as psd file
( bare in mind that this psd will need the original image seq. so it can retrieve the animation )
Alternative u can render export this by clicking :
file / export/ render video.
try photoshop too


to do this just switch photoshops workspace by clicking:
window / workspace / video


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 4:03:46 pm

Thanks again.
Somehow the Motion Blur check is grey, so I can't enable it.
Also.. What's the purpose of having the Mask Layer in 3D?

I'm attacching some steps foward into it, I tweaked a little the initial masks even if I still have that blurriness for now. The problem is now the 3D idea. In the last frames if you pay attention you will discover some issues:

I have to delete the girl's shadow, but the door's ones are natural and should remain, the problem is that to make the freeze frame match the movie I have to play a little with the scale and position, making it a little deformed. Also.. When the girl is opening the door it covers it but only for some frames, but masking it and playing with the "fake" one the handle is a proble, as well as the girl's hands.

3D_Test



"Freelance Post-Producer"

Editor Video
Graphic Designer
Digital Compositor
VFX Supervisor

Mail: snm.poggi@gmail.com


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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 4:28:21 pm

my last recommendation about motion blur was for the rotoscoping part
( girl not door ) so u dont have to hit ur head against the wall with all these feather parameters.

Regarding the 3d door layer that u gonna try to animate in Y ..just enable motion blur for this layer ( and in composition switch set icon )

to keep the doors natural shadow, dublicate the original clip, mask-keep the shadow and use darken blending mode to recover it for the final shot


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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 6:11:15 pm

MY latest* i meant!

feel free to ask for further assistance!

cheers
S.


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Oct 1, 2011 at 2:17:26 pm

Thanks. :) The blending tip is something extremely smart, I'll surely try it and let you know my results.

"Freelance Post-Producer"

Editor Video
Graphic Designer
Digital Compositor
VFX Supervisor

Mail: snm.poggi@gmail.com


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steve agriosi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Oct 1, 2011 at 2:51:51 pm

i bet it will work.
u gonna do it fine..
good luck


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Michele Poggi
Re: Shadow Removal
on Sep 30, 2011 at 3:34:05 pm

Anyway, my deepest thanks. ;) For your time, kindness and tips.

"Freelance Post-Producer"

Editor Video
Graphic Designer
Digital Compositor
VFX Supervisor

Mail: snm.poggi@gmail.com


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