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Cutting Objects Out of One Clip & Inserting Them Into Another

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John Halbert
Cutting Objects Out of One Clip & Inserting Them Into Another
on Aug 21, 2013 at 2:16:14 am

So, just as a disclaimer, I readily admit to knowing next to nothing about After Effects. I don't even know for 100% certain that what I want to do can be done, but I think that it can. I think the title to my post here says pretty much everything you need to know, but a little more detail:

I have two videos, both shot with a camera on a tripod, so both very steady. In one we have a fish tank, in the other, a person (off-center). So, I'd like to take the tank from one and put it behind the person in the other.

Seems like if this can actually be done it should be very easy. The tank has really static defined edges, the camera doesn't move, and the person in the other shot shouldn't even come between where I want to place the tank, so it should be a matter of just cutting the tank out of one and placing it in the other in the appropriate spot, then adjusting the tank to appear natural.

I've been searching with every term I can imagine for the past few days, but for the life of me I can't find any info on how to do this. If anyone can point the way, or shed some light, I would be forever grateful!


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John Cuevas
Re: Cutting Objects Out of One Clip & Inserting Them Into Another
on Aug 21, 2013 at 11:50:58 am

The term you need to search is masking. Place both layers into your comp, with the tank layer on top. Use the pen tool(press "G") to cut out the tank(I'd make a loose mask if it's a locked down shot). Press "MM" and feather the mask a bit. You may need to color correct, but that's a whole new post and would need to include pictures. To exit the mask tool, press "v"

As you are new to AE, I strongly suggest you check out these links(there a whole lot of free training available online:

Getting started with After Effects (CS4, CS5, CS5.5, CS6, & CC)

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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John Halbert
Re: Cutting Objects Out of One Clip & Inserting Them Into Another
on Aug 21, 2013 at 6:20:09 pm

Wow, thanks for that man, that's exactly what I needed. I'm wondering, can I change the shape of the mask at different points in the clip? So, for a few frames can I expand the mask to include other areas, or is it static throught?


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John Cuevas
Re: Cutting Objects Out of One Clip & Inserting Them Into Another
on Aug 21, 2013 at 6:56:16 pm

Press "MM" to open the mask properties and click the stop watch for mask path. This will set your keyframe. Based on what I think you are doing, you probably want to work with hold keyframes at this point, so while the keyframe is highlighted press "cntl + alt + H". This way the mask will stay static until you alter it. Then it will snap to the next shape you make. So just move the CTI(current time indicator) to where you want to change the mask, select the vertices you want to move and make your changes.

With standard keyframes, they will morph from one shape to the next. This is great if you want need to roto an object.

I made a quick project illustrating them: 6436_keyframescs5.5.aep.zip

Again I suggest your check out those links when you get the chance. To really understand AE, learn and master the basics.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
Thinkck.com

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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