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Effect needed: Person holding a poster board with an animation on it

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Tom JordanEffect needed: Person holding a poster board with an animation on it
by on Nov 18, 2014 at 7:28:34 pm

I'm looking to create an effect where my talent will be holding a poster board while speaking to the camera. I want to then replace that poster with a solid color with an after effects animation on it. What's the best way to go about this? A green board? White board? Black? Thanks!


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Graham MacfarlaneRe: Effect needed: Person holding a poster board with an animation on it
by on Nov 18, 2014 at 9:01:09 pm

Hi Tom,

Some colour spill from the boards animation would be expected to appear on the fingers/hands of the talent. Therefore, I would try to have the board the same or similar hue as the solid or dominant colour of your After Effects animation. This way you have less to do in post, managing colour spill.

This is of course assuming that the chosen board colour is not too similar to any skin (or nail varnish) colour. This would make your keying trickier and you may need to do hand roto work to isolate any hands/fingers occluding the board’s surface

In such cases it would be better to choose a different board colour you can more easily key against, even though it may give you unwanted colour spill. Cleaning up colour spill should be quicker than the extra roto work!
A green board should work fine. White may match nail/skin reflections and black may match shadows between fingers so be careful with those.

Graham Macfarlane - CGI specialist
Elyarch Ltd - London UK

3D Studio Max | Vray | Pflow | PhoenixFD | After effects | Mocha


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Tom JordanRe: Effect needed: Person holding a poster board with an animation on it
by on Nov 18, 2014 at 9:32:18 pm

Thank you for the quick reply. Is this something you would recommend using mocha for to track the motion or could it all be done in AE?


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Graham MacfarlaneRe: Effect needed: Person holding a poster board with an animation on it
by on Nov 18, 2014 at 9:52:54 pm

Yes, Mocha would certainly be the better tool.

Make sure you have some marker dots on the board surface, away from any fingers, for Mocha to track (5 should be a good number, arranged like the five on a dice).

Mocha would make short work of any roto around fingers too, since you can link your finger roto splines to the planar track of the dots. Then you are just left with adjustments for any fingers changing position on the board.

Your planar track and roto can then be exported as a corner pin data and shape data respectively, into AE.

You could do all this purely in AE, but it would take longer.

Graham Macfarlane - CGI specialist
Elyarch Ltd - London UK

3D Studio Max | Vray | Pflow | PhoenixFD | After effects | Mocha


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Tom JordanRe: Effect needed: Person holding a poster board with an animation on it
by on Nov 18, 2014 at 10:14:04 pm

Sorry if this is a stupid question, and thanks again for your speedy responses; let's say I decide to use a colored board (the color I wanted the background to be) to begin with. Should I still put the marking points on the board? How will I erase them afterwards?


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Graham MacfarlaneRe: Effect needed: Person holding a poster board with an animation on it
by on Nov 18, 2014 at 10:37:13 pm

Marker points are there to help Mocha with the planar tracking. If you only have a solid board colour, Mocha may not track it well. You could include the edges of the board in the planar track to counter this, but that might pick up moving hands or fingers, which could throw off the track, unless you roto out these elements from the tracking first.

Once you have a planar track, and get the corner pin data into AE, you simply have to link your AE animation to it. Your AE animation should include a solid background colour to cover the original board and dots.

If you want some of the original board to be visible through the AE animation (e.g. light, shadow, or sheen) then things get a little more complex and yes you would have to forgo the dots. If this is the case there is a video tutorial that might help you, but I’d need to dig it out.

Graham Macfarlane - CGI specialist
Elyarch Ltd - London UK

3D Studio Max | Vray | Pflow | PhoenixFD | After effects | Mocha


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