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Need some help creating an effect for a school project

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Brent Davis
Need some help creating an effect for a school project
on Nov 5, 2009 at 9:41:35 pm

I'm wondering if After Effects can help me do a project for school.

I'm going to record a video of me holding a set of cue cards, and going through them one by one while I speak on camera in a sort of presentation. As I go through the cue cards, I'd like to embed some YouTube videos that I've downloaded onto the face of particular cards in the set. So as I speak in the video, I show a new card, and the video is "playing" on the new card that I've exposed in my presentation. I then pull a new card out and there's a different video "playing" on the face of that card.

Can anybody help me? Is it even possible? I'm sure it's possible. But, the question is, is After Effects the right tool? If not, can you point me in the right direction?

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Todd Kopriva
Re: Need some help creating an effect for a school project
on Nov 6, 2009 at 1:23:53 am

Yes, After Effects can do this.

The gist of the job is that you will want to track the motion of the cards onto which you are placing the video and then apply that motion-tracking data to layers for each of the YouTube videos.

You'll almost certainly be doing some masking/rotoscoping, too---such as to prevent the fingers that are holding the card from being covered up by an embedded video layer. (Though you may be able to use cards of a distinctive color, like green, and use color keying to avoid most of the tedious masking/rotoscoping.)

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
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Paul McDonald
Re: Need some help creating an effect for a school project
on Nov 12, 2009 at 6:24:00 am

This has the potential to look kind of rubbish and involve lots and lots of work, so if you do go ahead with it try and shoot material to make your job as easy as possible.

I'd prep a bunch of cardboard cards with four tracking dots, and drop them out of frame quickly to move to the next card (rather than putting them to the back of the pile). You minimize your difficult tracking that way - you can get away with lots over a few heavily motion-blurred frames. I'm also guessing you're shooting on a consumer camera so stay away from any keying of colored board. Keep the board as flat as possible and stay well away from too much bending on its surface as this is pretty painful to hand track.

Keep it simple and you may get some reasonable clean results. Its a big ask to pull that off PLUS learn a new program though. After Effects can do everything you ask though.

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