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Establish Custom Corner Pin Points?

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Zak StoltzEstablish Custom Corner Pin Points?
by on Mar 8, 2013 at 9:53:10 pm

Let me begin by positing a situation in which the question I'm about to ask would be relevant:

Say I have a photograph of a building that is shot from an angle...


... but I want to extract the name on the front of the building and "unperspectivize" it so that it looks like I'm looking at it straight on.

Here are two images in which I tried a variety of methods to accomplish something like this:

What I did here is corner pin a solid in an arbitrary fashion, precomp it, and then attempt to get it back to what I would have guessed was the original shape using the blue mask as reference.

All of the effects you see in the screen shot worked to varying degrees. Reshape was the quickest to setup since I just had to draw two masks and let it do its thing, but it wasn't perfect (weird distortion going on at the edges, and the effect was super processor intensive), and since I'm seeking perfection here, that's out of play.

The corner pin effects were flawless, but took a lot of tweaking to get them into the exact right position. I'd get one corner perfect, but then it would move when I went to adjust the others. This is to be expected because the corners I'm adjusting are set at the corner of the comp.

That's where the question comes in:

Is there some way to set custom corner pin points natively within After Effects or (less ideally) with a plugin? So essentially, I'd be able to plop in four pins at four custom corners, lock them into place, and then move them like a normal corner pin? Another way to think about this would be to adjust the anchor points of each corner pin point.

Thanks for your input!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Establish Custom Corner Pin Points?
by on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:06:08 pm

Even though your example is a 2D image, it's an image of a 3D object (the building) taken in 3D space. You're asking AE to move the camera to a different point in 3D space... and then make another 2D image.

You're stuck with the hand you were dealt, sorry to say. All corner pin will accomplish is to further distort the 2D image.

Dave LaRonde
Former Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Zak StoltzRe: Establish Custom Corner Pin Points?
by on Mar 8, 2013 at 10:15:30 pm

Thanks for your response, Dave. But that's not quite what I'm asking. The image of the building was merely meant to act as an example of perspective in a real world situation. The question is regarding setting custom corner pin points that aren't set at the corners of my composition by default.

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Zak StoltzRe: Establish Custom Corner Pin Points?
by on Mar 9, 2013 at 12:06:38 am

OK! it turns out that the solution is way easier than originally anticipated, and somehow I overlooked it the first go around... Here are the steps:

1. Apply CC Power Pin to the layer you want to undistort.
2. Check "unstretch," and turn the effect off.
3. Align your four corner points with the distorted image.
4. Turn the effect back on.
5. KABLAMO! The distorted image is now rectangular and fills your comp.

Then you can stretch and squash it using the X and Y scale until you get it to look the way it should look... Although I would recommend setting your comp to the size you want it to be in order to avoid unnecessary transformations that could degrade your image quality.

Need to give a special shout out to my buddy Isaac Ravishankara for helping me figure this out and showing me this awesome script that while not needed to accomplish the goals set forth in this post, is still pretty excellent and helped us figure out the solution:

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Jesse WoodRe: Establish Custom Corner Pin Points?
by on Aug 28, 2014 at 4:43:05 am

Thanks for responding to your own post even though no one else did--was really helpful for me, myself, and I. :D

Appreciate it.

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Zak StoltzRe: Establish Custom Corner Pin Points?
by on Aug 28, 2014 at 5:00:38 am

No problem! I always find it frustrating when these questions go unanswered, so I figured if I have the question, someone else probably does too. Might as well share the knowledge. :-P

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