I'm looking for some advice on how to approach the workflow for a project I'm working on. I'm shooting a scene with a stationary camera, where someone flips through the pages of a newspaper, folding it in various ways.
In post, I want to composite a video onto the newspaper, inserting it as if it was the content of the paper, adhering to the page turns, folds, etc. Some of the video would be obscured as the page turns.
My instinct is that by using a grid (or some other marker system), as the actual image on the paper in the shoot, I could facilitate a workflow that would allow for the 3D mapping / distortion to occur without too much trouble, but this is out of my normal comfort zone with AE.
Is this something I could do with Mocha? Some specialized plugin? C4D? Is there a certain approach I should take with the shoot?
You could use mocha for this type of shot, but keep in mind that mocha is a 2D planar tracker. When the paper folds, it becomes 2 planes moving in different directions and could need a separate track for the fold layer if that is to be have video inserted as well.
We have seen many customers use mocha for this type of project. Focus your search layer on the bottom plane. You can also mask out the fold on a layer above the track layer, which will allow the bottom layer to track through obscured paper fold.
Your issue will be doing the fold/bend. This could be accomplished in a few ways: using a 3D mesh deformer (like Mettle Freeform) Or using 2D or 3D deform techniques within AE. You might want to look at mochaImport+ script which uses a stabilize pre-comp and would allow you to focus on the distortion aspect of the shot.
Beyond this, you would need to explore a 3D object tracking application like PFTrack or SynthEyes, but depending on the duration of the shot, might be overkill.