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Need assistance with selective coloring/"leave color" technique

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Thomas Handley
Need assistance with selective coloring/"leave color" technique
on Feb 3, 2012 at 9:56:23 pm

See reference video (short: 20 seconds):





Right, I'm really quite new to the Adobe After Effects scene. I've been tasked with producing a time-lapse video in black and white with yellow selective colouration. Usually this would not be a problem, except in the above scene and a few others the things I want to keep yellow are interacting heavily with other objects (people and traffic). I have 2 problems:

1) Is there a way to selectively color the road crossing lines without it affecting foreground objects? The only way I can think of is using masks in every single frame to block out the things that aren't meant to be colored. Obviously this is far too time consuming to be viable.

2) Changes in lighting (clouds passing over) are wreaking havoc with the 'Leave color' threshold, as you can see some lines changing between grey and yellow depending on the lighting. The current solution I'm thinking of is varying the threshold as the lighting changes in order to keep it as consistent as possible.

Are there any quicker/easier solutions to the problems I'm having?

Many thanks in advance

-Tom (GruntGuy)


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Paul Roper
Re: Need assistance with selective coloring/"leave color" technique
on Feb 3, 2012 at 11:09:42 pm

You could give the Color Stabilizer effect a try - it is designed to even out colour changes on footage such as time lapse. It should help with the lighting changes.

Without seeing your source footage, it's hard to advise on the rest of the problems, but you could try duplicating the layer, applying an overall yellow colour grade to the underlying layer, then keying out the stripes in the top layer to let the yellow layer show through, then make this top layer black & white. It should achieve the same effect as 'leave color', but you'll have more control over the keying - you could use multiple keyers if needed, plus after effects has a load of matte tools to grow/shrink/and generally finesse your matte.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Need assistance with selective coloring/"leave color" technique
on Feb 3, 2012 at 11:20:25 pm

AcccCKKKKKK! I've been to that store!

Paul's given a few possible helper solutions. However, I think you may end up having to rotoscope certain areas. You will want to look at AE's Rotobrush Tool for quick rotoscoping but it'll still be a time-consuming process.

I believe that the lines closer to the camera are the ones lacking/losing the yellow detail. If time/budget is an issue, you may want to advise your client NOT TO have yellow lines closer to the camera. It may actually look better - less cluttered/messy.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Thomas Handley
Re: Need assistance with selective coloring/"leave color" technique
on Feb 4, 2012 at 1:29:31 am

Thank you so much to both of you for your suggestions. I'm pleased to say that I'm making progress with the above clip and it's nearing completion. Just need to mask out a few things and it'll be good to go.

Roland, I would take your suggestion and advise my client not to have the yellow lines too close to the camera... Unfortunately all of the footage is my own! I shot this all about a year and a half ago for a different time-lapse video and this law firm in Hong Kong saw it and asked me to re-make it for them. I would re-shoot the footage, but unfortunately I'm in the UK with no plans to go back to HK anytime soon, so I've got to use all the old footage.
Not to worry though, I'm sure it'll still look great! (I hope).

Cheers,

Tom


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Need assistance with selective coloring/"leave color" technique
on Feb 4, 2012 at 12:24:19 pm

One technique I've used with success is the Color Range Key.
You can select the color/ color range you need isolated and comp that on top of the original footage turned black and white.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Mark Mart
Re: Need assistance with selective coloring/"leave color" technique
on Feb 14, 2014 at 3:49:02 pm

I've a similar need.
In my case I'm recording inside a car and I have to color the road stripes
Rotoscoping?
Thanks


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Paul Roper
Re: Need assistance with selective coloring/"leave color" technique
on Feb 16, 2014 at 9:29:05 pm

I'm guessing the existing road stripes are white, and you'll undoubtedly have a bunch of other white-ish things in the shot, so rotoscoping is probably your solution. Unless it's a really black road with really clean stripes and you can isolate just the road area with a matte - then you might be able to replace the white relatively easily.

- Paul


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