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Static Trail Effect - Paper Mind 2D?

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Thiago Lobo
Static Trail Effect - Paper Mind 2D?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 6:05:54 pm

I have a video to make and I need to achieve this effect of painting on the wall, taking a picture, erasing it with white paint and painting another frame (as done by BLU).

I can't explain it properly, so here are the references:

Is there some expression or easy way to do so that my layer, while being animated, keeps replicating itself each frame and the replic being static? After that, I could add some colour effect to make it white.
It's like using the ECHO effect, but the trail has to be static.
I think it's something like the "My Paper Mind" effect, only that I don't need it using the 3D axis.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

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Dave LaRonde
Re: Static Trail Effect - Paper Mind 2D?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 7:33:07 pm

There's nothing simple about that video AT ALL.

First, it was exceedingly well planned-out: they knew what they were after before they shot. They probably scouted the location, took lots of pictures, and then made storyboards, which helped them solve many production problems before they even occurred.

Second, it was carefully shot in stop-motion animation: every camera move is intentional, and shot locked-down or using a camera stabilization system. Really. The jerky movement was added in post. They were able to do that because they shot huge still images -- they go way off the screen in all four directions. You're only seeing a small part of the images.

Third, they used a TON of planar motion tracking to attach images to the wall. That's why they needed a stabile camera platform.

Fourth, those drawn-on images are just that: drawings. Again, they were shot using stop-frame animation to continue the jerky look of the piece.

And then it was painstakingly composited in After Effects, giving great attention to details like creating shadows where necessary and they did a boatload of color correction.

That's how I think it was done. How do YOU think it might have been done?

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

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Kevin Camp
Re: Static Trail Effect - Paper Mind 2D?
on Aug 24, 2011 at 10:13:00 pm

i actually think that it may have been done low-tech... i think they may have painted a frame, stepped back and took a shot, whited-out the painting and then painted another frame.

they probably had floor markers for where they took the last shot.

anyway... to try and do painting out effect in after effects, i do think that echo would work if your artwork was keyed. each frame is static... it's a frame, right..? echo would build up as many frames as you wanted (well, there may be a limit to the number of echoes. but i bet it's pretty high).

then to white them out you could simply add the fill effect to fill the alpha with a solid color, or a color adjustment to wash it out a lot, or even use the echo layer as a track matte for another layer...

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer

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Thiago Lobo
Re: Static Trail Effect - Paper Mind 2D?
on Aug 25, 2011 at 3:41:42 am

Oh, if you look at the Vimeo reference, look at the boy running with the flower. I'm pretty sure that is digitally made and that's exactly what I'm trying to achieve. Note that wherever his lineart passes, it paints the area white and leaves the trail there. THAT'S the feeling! :D

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Thiago Lobo
Re: Static Trail Effect - Paper Mind 2D?
on Aug 25, 2011 at 3:38:07 am

Dave and Kevin,

Yeah, I know this video is pretty complex. I know it was done for real, lots of planning and all...but all I wanted to know is if there's some way of simulating this process in After Effects. I'm gonna be working with traditional animation (frame by frame drawings) to compose over a wall during an interview. While the actor is talking about his experiences, the drawing is going to walk and perform some actions on the wall (as the reference) behind him.

I thought about applying this little expression to the animated PNG sequence:

d = 1*thisComp.frameDuration*(index - 1);

I don't understand expressions that much and I kinda "frankensteined" this one. What it gives me is the ability of repeating each frame of the animation as another static layer. This is somewhat what I'm looking for, but not quite.
The Echo effect would give me the whole in-between frames, but it keeps moving (the echo), so it doesn't work for me. If only I could FREEZE the echo, you know what I mean? It could be generated static, in place. Or something like the frame blending feature instead of using Echo, I don't know.

Is there some way to do that?

Maybe Dan Ebberts could help me out, hahahaha...I didn't know this could be such a tricky request.

Thanks for the kind answers so far, though!

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