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Wire Removal with Moving Camera

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Tyler PearceWire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 26, 2011 at 9:02:40 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm working on this movie for a project and was really hoping for some VFX advice. It would really help me out.

We have this one shot (you can see in the video below) where the camera is tracking from left to right and an actor gets pulled with a rope out of the scene. Now we didn't have a track for the camera so it was handheld.

I tried to do the same path for a clean plate, but it looks slightly different perspective wise (maybe a step closer).

Anyways, so I am trying to remove the rope from the shot. If you'd like you can take a loot at the video of the 2 shots.
http://www.vimeo.com/29628208

What would be your plan of action to do this?

I've tried tried line up some of the lean plate footage by eye frame by frame but when it's played back it kinda jumps around and is noticeable.

I would greatly appreciate some wisdom and approaches to take.

Tools I have are After Effects, Mocha, Photoshop

Thanks guys,
Tyler


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ben g ungurenRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 26, 2011 at 10:34:13 pm

Forget the clean plate -- unless you've got it matched up (with near-pixel precision) it will be more headache than it's worth. Have you tried CC Simple Wire Remover (I think it's called)? That should probably get the job done.

When you say you have "Mocha" do you mean "Mocha for AE" or "Mocha Pro"? The latter has a nice wire-removal feature in it.

A third option is to use AE's clone stamp tool, but the results will be similar to what you get with the CC effect from above.

Ben Unguren
Motion Graphics & Editing
http://www.mostlydocumentary.com


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 27, 2011 at 12:03:07 am

Menu Bar/Effect/Keying/CC Simple Wire Removal

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Todd KoprivaRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 27, 2011 at 2:12:22 am

Note that this question has been asked here, too, and there are some useful answers there.

I wouldn't call what you have a "clean plate" at all. Next time, plan ahead and make sure that what you're shooting for the purpose of replacing background matches exactly with your scene. If you don't have a motion-control rig, that basically means shooting with a locked-off (no motion) camera.

Also, wire removal is much easier when it's actually a wire (i.e., thin) and taut (i.e., not bent and changing in amount of bend).

If I were stuck with the shot that you have, I'd zoom and crop, just cutting off the entire right side of the screen. Yes, it's possible to clone pixels in to remove that rope, but I can't imagine it being worth the time for this shot.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 27, 2011 at 2:16:38 am

[Tyler Pearce] "I've tried tried line up some of the lean plate footage by eye frame by frame but when it's played back it kinda jumps around and is noticeable."

If you don't have a Motion Control Camera Rig then it's rather pointless shooting a clean backing plate for this shot since the object to be removed only takes up such a small screen area - you have more than sufficient area from which to clone, to paint out the wire.

I actually doubt if CC Wire Removal will be able to do the job as the rope is rather than and will be difficult for plugin to know what to remove from frame to frame. But it is worth a look at cos it's the quickest and cheapest solution for you.

MochaPro, a relatively inexpensive upgrade from MochaAE may also do the trick - again the relatively obscure thin rope may not be noticeable to the software. MochaPro's remove module is a wonderful tool. A free trial version is available from the Imagineer Systems site.

Tracking the body (just the right side) and using the position data will allow the Clone Tool to be used as a solution but it's a tricky process, albeit easy once you've got the mechanics.

If you have the Meyers' Creating Motion Graphics with AE book, there is an exercise in the Paint Chapter that covers use of the Clone Tool together with tracking data.

I believe that Angie Taylor has a few online tutorials on using the Clone Tool together with tracking data. A google of "Angie Taylor motion tracking clone" should bring up a few useful links.

Another method is to use camera projection where you create a clean backing plate where the offending rope appears largest in the entire sequence. Since the area in the background is static, you only need to clone a single clean frame. Then solve a 3D matchmove and use the resultant camera solution from which to project the clean patch onto the scene. You will also need to roto the edge of the soldier being pulled but it's quite painless as you only need to be concerned with a small portion of his left edge - the area that is linked to the rope.

So, lots of options are available for you.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.


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Todd KoprivaRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 27, 2011 at 2:37:40 am

> I believe that Angie Taylor has a few online tutorials on using the Clone Tool together with tracking data. A google of "Angie Taylor motion tracking clone" should bring up a few useful links.


There's at least one such video in the series that Angie and I recently did together. This video from the After Effects CS5: Learn By Video series shows how to use motion tracking and the Clone Stamp tool to remove an object from a scene.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
Technical Support for professional video software
After Effects Help & Support
Premiere Pro Help & Support
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 27, 2011 at 4:32:41 am

Ah! Sorry Todd, I forgot about that one. The Cloning with Tracking data tutorial from Angie I have in mind had a video of a tiger.

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.


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Sean MullenRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 27, 2011 at 1:32:58 pm

Hi there Tyler,

Cool shot! I've had wire removals like this on shows like Charmed and Xena. I've found that in a situation like this you have a few options. You can track a clean plate in through the entire shot and roto any actors that cross it back on top (lots of work but there is zero trace of any wires). You can use portions of frames from before and after your actor flies out of the frame to help build your clean plate. You can probably grab everything you need for a clean plate between :03 and :04. Be mindful of any parallax issues.

You could also take your moving clean plate and stabilize it and attempt to take tracking data from your original action plate and apply it to your clean plate.

Another option would be to hand paint the wires out frame by frame, either by actually painting the background back in or using your paint brush as a matte and slipping in a clean plate just behind where the wires used to be.

Sean Mullen
Rampant Design Tools


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Tyler PearceRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 27, 2011 at 2:00:44 pm

Thanks so much for the advice.

I attempted to track a clean plate, but as you said, there were some parallax issues which made this noticeable.

So what I ended up doing, was buying Mocha Pro and I used it's Object Remove tool.

This let me track the background, and found bits of frames it could use to reconstruct areas where the rope is removed. It worked very well!

Thanks again guys, I appreciate it.


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Roland R. KahlenbergRe: Wire Removal with Moving Camera
by on Sep 27, 2011 at 6:08:33 pm

MochaPro ROCKS! Good choice!

Cheers
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Asia.


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