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Masking a Hand

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Ali Mohamed
Masking a Hand
on Nov 20, 2013 at 8:18:45 am


I'm trying to take a shot of someone working on an ipad and recreating the ipad using the pen tool and i'm giving it a stroke and fill. I was just wondering how to i go about getting the hand in the footage to be over the shape layers.

Can't for the life of me figure it out, at a mental block.haha.

If someone could point me in the right direction that would be great.

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Lou Veahman
Re: Masking a Hand
on Nov 20, 2013 at 3:45:02 pm

Assuming I am understanding this correctly, you want to apply shape layers as the content on the screen and have the hand hover over them as though they are actually on the iPad.

If you didn't use any kind of keying material like a green screen, or blue screen on the device, you will need to mask the hand by rotoscoping it frame by frame. (There may be a better way, if so, hopefully someone chimes in because we could all learn something).

- So... Create a new solid layer and disable it so it doesn't show.
- Select the solid and create a new mask around the hand.
- Key Frame the mask expansion and mask path, and go frame by frame adjusting it around the hand for the
duration of the shot.
- Pre-compose your shape layers (with tracking data if needed).
- Move your shape layers precomp under the masked solid.
- Set the shape layers precomp to be an alpha inverted matte.
- Feather mask on the solid layer as needed to blend more effectively.

At this point, the hand should move over the shape layers as if they were part of the original footage on the iPad, provided you were careful with you're mask. I don't know how long your clip is, but it can be tedious.

Hope that helps,


Lou Veahman - Filmmaker / VFX Artist

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John Cuevas
Re: Masking a Hand
on Nov 20, 2013 at 3:54:35 pm

First question, is there some really compelling reason why you can't reshoot this? That will be the simplest, most cost effective and will give you the best looking result in adding a pen tool to the shot.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor

"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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