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hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?

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Denez McAdoo
hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:02:45 pm

I often am trying to hide quick jump cuts in interview footage, useing a few tricks, the most successful being either to speed up footage at the gap, or just straight cutting.

I've been trying a few new techniques to improve hiding these jump cuts, and noticing that a 2 frame cross dissolve actually draws more attention to the cut, I got thinking about how both AE's Frame Blending with pixel motion and third party plug in Twixtor are able to interpolate frames that don't exist in slo-mo footage by analyzing the frame before and after and creating a new one in the middle.

Something like this would be great if I could get it to work in an isolated region and create a frame (a single frame really) to bridge between minor jump cuts. I saw a tutorial the describes a plug-in build into Avid called fluid morph, that seems to do just that. Also a mention that Re:Flex from Re:Vision, can be used to do the same thing.

Any one have any tips, suggestions, or experience with this?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:09:35 pm

I recommend either cutaways to a different shot or a somewhat longer dissolve.

Sorry to hear you now find yourself with a bunch of them, but this is really more of an editing issue than an AE issue.

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


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Denez McAdoo
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Feb 15, 2013 at 4:44:49 pm

No cutaways are being used. These are promo videos with college professors talking, so they are non professionals. They can sometimes "um", "er", and stutter in the middle of what is otherwise one of the few good takes.

This is definitely an editing problem, but one that should have an AE related solution if a plug-in can work in the way I'm looking to use it.

Like I said, I just saw a tutorial for an effect in Avid that does just this called Fluid Morph (it was simply dropped on the transition). I have Avid on my machine, but I haven't touched it in over a year, and I send all the clips to After Effect anyways, so doing it there would be ideal.

If anyone has experience with Re:Flex or another morph plug-in and can vouch for it, I can just ask my company to buy it, since this is a frequent need.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Feb 15, 2013 at 6:36:29 pm

Sorry, but I've never had the occasion to use morphing software: in a situation like yours, a 6-frame dissolve usually did the trick.

Boy, I feel your pain: I hope these promos run pretty short. It's not going to be any fun watching a talking head for a minute and a half without some kind of B-Roll (aka supporting video).

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


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Todd Kopriva
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Feb 15, 2013 at 9:07:10 pm

You can use Timewarp for this, though it's a bit of a hack.

Add an adjustment layer over the problematic layer. Apply Timewarp to it. Set Speed to 100 in the effect, which means that the speed of the underlying movie isn't changed. Select the Enable Motion Blur control in the effect. Set Shutter Control to Manual. Now keyframe the Shutter Angle to a rather high level at the place where you need the "morphing" and to a rather low level in other places.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Feb 16, 2013 at 12:54:41 am

I'm with Dave on this one - soft cuts (6 frame or less dissolve) is a standard way around this problem, and one which is so commonly used as to be ignored. I feel that a morph would call more attention to the "problem" than is warranted.

Of course if there aren't too many of them, you could use the flash frame of white to make the transition, but I think that's been overused, and of course, it really calls attention to the cut.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Dave LaRonde
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Feb 16, 2013 at 7:22:20 pm

Yeah, there's a lot to be said for just asking the question, "What's the worst thing that could happen with our interview subjects on this shoot?"

The notion of an inarticulate subject matter expert would have arisen. Strategies to overcome the situation would also have arisen.

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


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Stephan Walsch
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Feb 21, 2013 at 1:50:34 am

I actually do this morphing a lot and it works well in certain situations. make a subcomp 2 frames in length. the first frame is from the first clip 2 frames before the cut, the second frame from the second clip 2 frames after the cut. you can experiment with this distance. so you now have a sequence 2 frames long that really should be 4 frames long. stretch this using AE timewarp or twixtor and it will morph over your cut. of course quick movement or too great a difference between cuts will break this.
Cheers!
Stephan

-------
Freelance
Motion Graphics / Grading
Berlin - Germany


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Alex Elkins
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Nov 12, 2014 at 8:18:54 pm

[Stephan Walsch] "make a subcomp 2 frames in length. the first frame is from the first clip 2 frames before the cut, the second frame from the second clip 2 frames after the cut. you can experiment with this distance. so you now have a sequence 2 frames long that really should be 4 frames long. stretch this using AE timewarp or twixtor and it will morph over your cut. of course quick movement or too great a difference between cuts will break this."

Thanks for sharing this. I still haven't quite got my head around HOW it works, but it does work and I love it.

Alex Elkins // Freelance Editor & Colourist
alexelkins.co.uk
@elkstwit


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Stu Hunt
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on May 15, 2015 at 12:25:40 pm

I've also done this in premiere in the same general way: you have to enable time warp via the hidden/experimental features hack. Then create a nested comp with 2 clips, each consisting of 2 frames of your cut points as mentioned above. Then time warp the nested clip to get the same morphing effect. Worked nearly seamlessly for me, and there was actually "half a head's worth" of movement between cuts. Motion blur helps too.


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Alex Elkins
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on May 15, 2015 at 12:48:14 pm

Woah, there's a hidden features hack that includes Timewarp!? Are there instructions anywhere on how to do this?

Alex Elkins // Freelance Editor & Colourist
alexelkins.co.uk
@elkstwit


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Stu Hunt
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on May 15, 2015 at 1:07:24 pm

Crazy, right? I enabled it a year ago and haven't had any stability issues. However I discovered that you have to export in Premiere, as the Timewarp effect doesn't get sent over to Media Encoder.

To see the hidden options, press CMD + F12 on Mac or Ctrl + F12 on PC.
When the console window opens, click the dropdown box in the top right corner and select "Debug Database View".

The list of options will be there, including Timewarp.

I originally heard about this from this post: http://www.digitalrebellion.com/blog/posts/5_hidden_features_in_adobe_premi...


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Alex Elkins
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on May 15, 2015 at 1:37:10 pm

Awesome, thanks!

Sounds like this tip will soon be superseded with the next release of Premiere but great to have access to timewarp for the time being.

Alex Elkins // Freelance Editor & Colourist
alexelkins.co.uk
@elkstwit


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Zach Fine
Re: hiding jump cuts in AE...morphing maybe?
on Jul 12, 2014 at 6:37:23 am

The fact that there's even debate over whether this technique should be used, and where one draws the line between pure editing and vfx, oh this brings me backā€¦

A similar question popped up one of my first times in editorial on a "big" feature. The director and editor were watching a two shot with locked camera, and the director thought one actor's reaction to the other's line was a few frames slower than his liking. He asked if it might be possible to split the shot down the middle and pull up the late reaction on the right side by a few frames. I had some compositing experience, and in my mind I saw this as a very simple task, but since I was the low man on the totem pole and was still learning both the politics of the editing room and the degree to which editorial needed to be risk-averse in order to keep things sane, I kept my mouth shut. The editor and first assistant editor quickly disabused the director of his idea, explaining to him that such an invisible (as opposed to stylized Woodstock-ish) split-screen would turn the shot into a VFX shot and add a ton of complication and expense. The clip played in the film with the late reaction, as shot.

Fast-forward less than a year and I was brought in on a different big feature whose director's cut was nearly complete. I took one look at the timeline and saw a very different level of creative flexibility at work. Split-screen edits were everywhere, well over a hundred in all. Nearly every locked-off two-shot had had one side's timing adjusted, or featured one side from a completely different take. The effect was seamless, perfect.

Which brings me to morphing. Within the past few months I've worked on films in which morphing has been one of many techniques used to transparently adjust the timing of a take, hiding jump cuts in a performance. In the case of one editor, s/he used a simple and quick cross-dissolve transition to bridge the time jump, along with a reposition of the clips so that they'd perfectly line up through the transition. In the case of another editor, Avid FluidMorph transitions were scattered throughout the timeline to bridge these time gaps. In all cases the editor had a hunch that the effect might be possible, tried it, and if there was visible artifacting s/he would remove the effect and give up on the idea or pass it along to me to try more involved solutions. All would eventually become VFX shots for finishing since these projects were to be conformed as DPX sequences, though if we were working on television programs that were to be onlined in Media Composer many of the effects would have worked just fine as-is.

I think it's worth asking whether to use such techniques in a feature given that in a sense they're changing the actors' performances (a counterargument would be that we change the nature of performances all the time just by cutting and that this isn't so different), and I'd definitely be very wary of using this technique for a news piece as I wouldn't want to give the interviewee fodder for accusing me of having altered their words, and in any case it's worth skipping the effect if the result happens to look distracting, but there's no question that morphs and other invisible time cuts have definitely become part of the modern editorial toolkit.

------
FWIW, I found my way to this thread because I was looking to see if After Effects had a simple and automatic equivalent to the Avid FluidMorph effect. That timewarp on adjustment layer trick sounds like it's worth a try.


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