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Covering Shadows In A Frame

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Debbie KingCovering Shadows In A Frame
by on May 16, 2014 at 5:05:36 pm

Hello Everyone:

I am in a bit of a dilemma. I have two challenges. In several shots in the film, I have a shadow that enters into the frame periodically next to the actor. I'll show a sample.

The other challenge is that I have several shots where the door the camera is facing has a window where you can see people looking in. The challenge is that the actor in front of the door moves pass the window occasionally, making it difficult to mask effectively.

I have tried to crop out the part of the wall that does not have the shadow and place it on top of the area the shadow appears. This didn't work, because the snapshot that I developed was too small and Sony Vegas automatically filled in the rest of the frame. In Photoshop, I tried to separate the actor from the part of the wall the shadow appears, and then pull the picture leaving only the wall visible. Then I snapshot it. This didn't work because although everything remained in full frame, the part where the picture was pulled which was transparent in Photoshop, became a white background in Sony. So the part of the wall that I wanted covered was covered, but also the actor. Now I am considering prekeying the entire shot, providing I can find a complete sequence without the shadow. In After Effects, cover the actor and leave the wall visible, then make that covered part clear and only leave the wall showing. This is all theory of course. I need to try it. My concern is that the prekeying will create a transparency and the shadow will show anyway.

Does anyone have any experience in this, or have had any challenges like this. Please advise.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here are some samples of what I was writing about.

The door

The Shadow

Many thanks,


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Dave LaRondeRe: Covering Shadows In A Frame
by on May 16, 2014 at 5:20:34 pm

Unless a crew member's shadow was cast on the wall, why worry about it?

And if the shadow comes & goes, you can duplicate the clip, move it in time, mask around the bits you don't need to use as a cover, and cover up the shadow, motion tracking if necessary. Time Remapping may also be a good thing to extend the non-shadow portion of the clip covering the other one.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA

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Debbie KingRe: Covering Shadows In A Frame
by on May 18, 2014 at 11:51:05 pm

Hi Dave:

You hit it on the nose. It was a crew member's shadow that appears in and out throughout certain shots in the film.

I am new to After Effects and will look into the masking idea. The wall is a wood panel with grooves, so covering up the wall with a mask may have its challenges since what I cover the wall with should match. These are medium close up shots too. Time Remapping sounds really interesting. I will look into that as well.

Thank you so much Dave.



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