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Scott Richard
New user having trouble
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:19:44 pm

I'm not sure what the terminology would be for this, but I have a video I want to add someone into and i'm not quite sure how to get this done. I basically did a stand in without a stand in and now need to add them.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: New user having trouble
on Feb 16, 2011 at 8:40:11 pm

Wow, what a day!

Three new AE users, all with no prior knowledge of AE, all who shot video for AE taking it as an article of faith that it's a Magic Wand For Video that can save their cookies, all with the same basic problem... and all within an hour of each other!

This has GOT to be some kind of record!

Okay, well, just go here and start reading, bud:
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/202/889980#889980

Follow the links, too.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Michael Szalapski
Re: New user having trouble
on Feb 16, 2011 at 10:08:31 pm

Take note of the links Dave provided to that other poor soul. After Effects is a very broad AND very deep program. It is not something you can just hop into. That's why people like me can charge $50-$200 an hour for our work. We know what we're doing and it's not as easy as it looks.

Now, I will try to help you, but please understand: without a decent knowledge of the foundational basics of After Effects, this could become frustrating for you.

Adding something into a shot is called compositing.

You will need several parts to get it to look right depending on the scene you're trying to add them in to.
You will need a background shot. (Which you already have.)
You will need your person doing the standup.
And you will (possibly) need some foreground elements. (Which you may already have.)

If you have foreground elements, you need to duplicate your video and cut your foreground elements out. If they're still, it won't be hard - just a couple of masks. However, if they're moving, you will have to rotoscope them [link]. Rotoscoping can be a very tedious process so, if you need to do it, please read the link I provided.

Now, for your person. You will have to either rotoscope them (not recommended) or video them on a solidly colored background and key them out [link]. No matter which way you do it, to make it look realistic, you're going to need to be able to match the lighting, lens, camera placement, angle, etc. of your background shot. I hope you took note of all of that when you were filming. And, if you're going the keying route, you will need to make sure to get an evenly lit (and I mean EVENLY LIT) background of a color as far away from their skin tone and clothes as possible while still making sure to make the lighting on them match what it would have been had they been on the scene.

There are many other things involved in making a realistic composite (such as light wrapping), but I fear that you've already jumped into the deep end of the ocean without taking any swimming lessons so I don't want to push you any deeper yet.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: New user having trouble
on Feb 16, 2011 at 10:42:39 pm

[Michael Szalapski] "That's why people like me can charge $50-$200 an hour for our work."

...and at Michael's rates, you just got about 60 bucks of free advice.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Scott Richard
Re: New user having trouble
on Feb 16, 2011 at 10:58:45 pm

I appreciate the help you fellows have provided. Now when I say I'm new, I mean to post-production. I went to AFI and am just playing with some of these programs myself, mostly with Vegas, but now using a bit of AE. I understand lighting, camera angle, etc. I was just trying to look for a way to do this so I don't have to roto frame by frame(even though it proably gives the most realism), and without Chroma Key since I want the subject to basically move a good 50 yards without looping the animation.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: New user having trouble
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:17:03 pm

[Scott Richard] "I was just trying to look for a way to do this so I don't have to roto frame by frame(even though it proably gives the most realism), and without Chroma Key since I want the subject to basically move a good 50 yards without looping the animation."

Ouch. that's going to be a chore; most people I know move in three dimensions, so the perspective of the person is going to change. Did you shoot the subject on a treadmill so you could get a reliable walking loop?

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Scott Richard
Re: New user having trouble
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:33:38 pm

I haven't done the footage of the person yet. Treadmill is a good idea. I also have a miniature real life model of a ship that will be flying in the scene, so I may just do some subject 3d modeling along with the ship


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Nelson Goforth
Re: New user having trouble
on Feb 18, 2011 at 5:41:44 pm

re treadmills. Look up the beautiful short "Nuit Blanche" by Arev Manoukian (it's on Vimeo and probably other places). In the behind-the-scenes video you'll see he used just this technique against a green screen.

Red Camera Production, Denver Colorado. 303.506.2456
http://www.rockymountain4k.com


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