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How is this effect done!?

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John PerusoHow is this effect done!?
by on Apr 30, 2013 at 10:22:05 pm

Been racking my brain ever since I saw this commercial trying to figure out how they achieve this effect of the start line rolling over stuff, as well as underneath items, sort of like the first down line they superimpose in football.

Any ideas?


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Dave LaRondeRe: How is this effect done!?
by on May 1, 2013 at 2:48:15 pm

Here's my idea, based on the the following facts: this is national spot, created by a big-time ad agency, and airs in prime time on major TV networks.

Highly-regarded effects houses don't only work on Hollywood movies: their bread and butter is TV commercial work, and they use the same sophisticated tools for both. It shows in this spot.

I see a LOT of work done in a 3D application in this spot: the 3D motion tracking, the 3D distortion maps, the rotoscoping... heck, even the birds that get in the way of the guy in his pursuit of the line.

So what about the specific techniques? That would depend on the effects house and the photography choices made by the visual effects director. That would how they made this spot. Not much help, huh?

Such a look can be emulated in AE if you're willing to make some concessions: lock down your shots, use distortion maps that fake the 3D bumps, painstakingly position, adjust and animate the line and get really good at various rotoscoping techniques to isolate elements of the shot that appear in the way of the animated line...

...and then plan, plan, plan, shoot and run tests, see what works and what doesn't, alter your techniques, shoot run confirmation tests, and when it all works, shoot it and do the effects work for real.

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

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Stephen SmithRe: How is this effect done!?
by on May 1, 2013 at 3:58:36 pm

Locked down shots will be easier, but if you want to/have to move the camera be sure to watch this tutorial on Motion Tracking:
Best of luck.

Stephen Smith - Follow me on Behance

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page

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John PerusoRe: How is this effect done!?
by on May 7, 2013 at 1:31:54 pm


Thanks for the tutorial. I'll check it out now! Any other places I can check for some 3D motion tracking training?


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John PerusoRe: How is this effect done!?
by on May 7, 2013 at 1:30:27 pm


First of all, you have replied and helped me on countless posts on these forums in many different categories. I just wanted to show my appreciate for your time and willingness to help. So I'd like to say thank you!

Second - your answer is unfortunately what I was afraid you would say! big budgeted sophisticated tools. I think if I spend enough time I can emulate something close enough for the project I have in mind. I'm new to 3D motion tracking. Where would you recommend I go for training on it? I'm a fairly quick learner.

Thank You,

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