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Complicated rig removal... running out of ideas...

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Lila Sundari Devi Dasi
Complicated rig removal... running out of ideas...
on Jul 23, 2012 at 7:36:59 pm

Hi guys,
I am working on an aerial shot in which I need to remove some objects. I have tried many things and none of them have left the area looking real, here’s what I’ve tried:
First, I tried to use the rotobrush tool in After Effects CS5.1 and then use an underlay of the texture that is supposed to cover it and that didn’t work due to seams in the underlay that I could not figure out how to blur together to look good, Next I tried going crazy with the clone stamp tool and attaching the clone to tracking data but the problem with that was that the source point did not attach to a tracking point (which I don’t see how you would do, so if someone could tell me, this would be ideal), after that I tried going through the footage frame by frame in photoshop with the clone stamp tool. That didn’t work because when I put them together in After Effects into a Cineon sequence, the floor looked like it was swimming, meaning that because each frame was cloned slightly differently, the clone source was again, moving and the exact pattern on the floor was moving around from frame to frame. Now, I am trying something which is a little bit more complex and may or may not work... it has been 3D tracked outside of after effects, then that tracking data was imported into after effects and attached to a null object (a sphere) and a camera was added. After that, I went to a frame where the most stuff that had to be taken out of view was in the frame and I used the clone stamp tool in Photoshop to remove the rigs that must be removed and masked out everything but the pattern of the floor. I imported that into after effects as a layer of its own and attached it to the tracking data of the 3D track, then made a mask of the layer and key framed the mask path, added a key framed curves color correction and I will add some shrubs into areas where the rigs are not able to be covered. This may not work due to the fact that there are multiple shadows on the ground area that need to stay but are currently covered by clean floor pattern but need to stay consistant with reality and how the shadows would be on the floor. Maybe I could rotobrush out the rigs that need to be removed and then place the clean floor underneath the layer which needs rig removal? What would be ideal is if I could find a way to attach a clone stamp source point to tracking data so that the source points I chose stick to the same spot as the camera moves around the set and the cloning sticks to the points where there are objects that need to be removed from the frame. As a note, this shot is a dpx sequence so it is already split up frame by frame. I am asking this question to anyone and everyone who has even the smallest idea. I have already done so much research and watched many tutorials that I thought would give me some enlightenment then didn’t because they were for shot that were far more basic than this. The camera flys around the set in a non-steady fashion and the rigs which need to be removed are sometimes behind trees and other things.
Thanks in advance for any ideas you put forth to this project!
Also, I am willing to work with other programs if it means I can get this done and have it look top-of-the-line.

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keith mcgregor
Re: Complicated rig removal... running out of ideas...
on Jul 26, 2012 at 3:27:30 pm

Hmmm, sounds like a tough one. If you could post a screen pic of the shot with maybe a diagram of the cam movement it might help. But basically (and I'm sure you already thought of it) but replacing the floor with a still frame sounds like an option. Of course you'll have to roto a lot (as if you aren't already) and you'll be replacing it throughout the shot and then you'll need mattes for the trees and either key the shadows for a matte or create new ones and grain overall to blend it together.
As for the tracking a clone try it this way, (or tell me if it's just stupid): If you dupe the layer and create your clone source then bring that comp into the tracking data comp which then goes into another comp under and with the rest of the rig removal. Or, clone stamp in a new comp and place your source in another comp window so you can see both at a time and do a temporal clone stamp so the footage looks like the rest of it, but then you might as well re-create the shadows just to get a consistent look to the ground.
Please post a shot so I can take a look and see what you're dealing with, my ideas might be way off here.
Sorry to not be of more help.

Reality? What did you make it?

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Lila Sundari Devi Dasi
Re: Complicated rig removal... running out of ideas...
on Jul 26, 2012 at 3:49:58 pm

Well, thank you for the ideas, but I talked to the director and editors and we chose to outsource this shot to someone who has more resources.

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