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After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...

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Harry Snell
After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 13, 2018 at 9:19:46 am

I'm trying to remove some acne in an after effects video...

What I've done so far is
- Make an image from the video.
- Correct it in photoshop and cut it out.
- Save an import to AE.
- Created a mask and tracked it.

Now I'm trying to apply the touched up image that I did in Photoshop to the tracked path...

I can imagine that this is a very simple thing to do, but I'm not very experienced with AE.

Does anyone know how to do it? OR have a better way to smooth the skin?

Here is the image for reference (the second one has the photoshop layer in it:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9wo8yxqv6kv3qi8/skin.jpg?dl=0


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Michael Szalapski
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 13, 2018 at 4:45:09 pm

There are some beauty things in Red Giant's Magic Bullet suite.
There's also Beauty Box.

- 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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John Cuevas
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 13, 2018 at 5:00:29 pm

In cases like this, I wouldn't take the image out to photoshop because unless you plan to clean up every frame that the subject is in, if he moves or talks it will be pretty apparent the skin isn't matching right. Also, even if you do clean up every frame in photoshop, they need to look 100% identical or it will be spotted pretty quickly.

What I've done in the past is to use an adjustment layer in AE, add a gaussian blur to it , mask the adjustment layer and then add feathering to the mask. From there you can keyframe & adjust the mask shape as needed, do some motion tracking, apply the result to a null and then parent the adjustment layer to the null. Or most likely a combination of the two.

Here's my result just applying a mask and blur to your image.



Johnny Cuevas, Editor
ThinkCK

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Spencer Tweed
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 3:11:25 am

If you do the gaussian blur technique make sure to add some grain back in or else it looks totally fake.

- Spencer


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 9:35:13 am

Thanks! Noted, and done :)


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 9:34:52 am

Thanks, that helps a lot!

So far, I've got the adjustment layer + the blur.

The next bits I didn't understand so well...

I want to be able to track the footage and apply the effect so it moves with the video motion.

Is that possible?
When I click the adjustment layer, there isn't an option to track...

A couple of questions also:

- Why would I need to apply the effect to a null?
- How would I do that?

https://www.dropbox.com/s/58873f8tn88idue/AE.jpg?dl=0


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 9:44:22 am

Actually, I think I may have worked it out...

- I tracked the main footage.
- I copied the tracked bit and pasted it onto a null.
- I then attached the adjustment layer to the null.

Does that sound right?


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 10:26:51 am

...but actually the tracking data doesn't seem to be doing anything.

So the bit I'm stuck on now is getting the adjustment layer masked blur to track...


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Spencer Tweed
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 10:34:02 am

That is one way of doing it, but not recommended for faces. You'll notice a null only has position, rotation and scale. You're missing skew and perspective, which are going to be essential. Check out my post below and do a bunch of Mocha tutorials - that's the way to do this professionally!

If you dig around I'm certain there's a mocha "beauty" tutorial out there which goes over this exact step. It's done all the time in the industry with just Mocha and AE. The process is a bit confusing for a beginner, but there are certainly some pretty detailed videos out there.

- Spencer


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John Cuevas
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 2:46:11 pm

You shouldn't copy the tracked bit, after you track the footage you would "apply" the tracking data to the selected layer, in this case the null.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
ThinkCK

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Spencer Tweed
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 3:10:34 am

There's a tutorial on Imagineer's website to use Mocha. If I remember correctly it is for the short film "UF Oh Yeah". She touches up some prosthetics, but it's the exact same technique.


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 9:35:43 am

I found it, but it wasn't in AE, unfortunately. :s


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Spencer Tweed
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 10:30:50 am

Guess it was a while ago that I watched that... Anyway the technique is the same.
1) grab a still frame in photoshop and paint it up!
2) save it out without the background (You just want the paint strokes)
3) import this into AE and put it over your footage.
4) track with mocha. It's great at faces and skin!
5) apply the "corner pin" data to your paintstrokes layer from PS.

Look up basic Mocha tutorials if you don't know how to use it. It's the best tracker out there, and I've used a ton of them. And it comes free with AE!

As a suggestion - if you use this technique break your track/paint layers up into as many patches as you need. You're definitely not going to get it in one layer, particularly if the face is moving. And Mocha works on FLAT PLANES. Unfortunately faces are not generally flat, but if the motion isn't too great it should still work - just break it down as much as you have to (right cheek, left cheek, nose, forehead, chin, upper lip, etc.)

- Spencer


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 11:11:12 am

Thank you. Is this the effect you are referring to?

https://borisfx.com/downloads/?&product=Mocha%20Pro


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Ross Shain
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 10:16:04 pm

There are lots of ways to accomplish "skin smoothing". Both Boris FX plug-in products (Continuum and Sapphire) have skin smoothing with integrated Mocha masking to isolate the face tracking:

This video covers Continuum Beauty Studio (inside Premiere): https://borisfx.com/videos/retouching-faces-in-adobe-premiere-pro/

And Sapphire Beauty also now has integrated Mocha masking: https://borisfx.com/effects/sapphire-beauty/

Or if you have AE, you can use the integrated Mocha AE for tracking face masks to isolate blurs & grain. etc

Lastly - this video shows how extreme you can get with 2D digital beauty & touch up techniques:
https://borisfx.com/videos/digital-makeup-age-techniques-with-boris-fx-moch...

Hope this helps.

Ross Shain
Boris FX / Imagineer Systems
https://borisfx.com/products/mocha/


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Spencer Tweed
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 14, 2018 at 10:31:28 pm

Yes, but that's the pro version. There is a free version with AE that does everything you need.

- Spencer


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 17, 2018 at 12:26:22 pm

Thanks for all the replies guys - I appreciate it.

I've not had any success with Mocha as it crashes in CS6 due to an "Open GL error".

I've tried this tut and it worked pretty well on one clip that I'm using it with:



However, when the face comes closer to the screen, it doesn't work anymore.

- Any ideas to get around this?


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Spencer Tweed
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 17, 2018 at 8:32:31 pm

I ran into that error before. I'm sorry I don't remember the exact fix, but there was something I turned off in the preferences which handled it. I had just googled it, so the solution is out there (it didn't take too long to find).

- Spencer


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 19, 2018 at 3:39:40 pm

I did have a look around on Google, but none of the threads seemed to have an answer unfortunately.


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Spencer Tweed
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 19, 2018 at 7:58:21 pm

I think it might have been under Output Settings > Rendering > Use Hardware Rendering. (turn that off)

- Spencer


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Harry Snell
Re: After Effects skin smoothing - best way to do it...
on Feb 19, 2018 at 9:08:05 pm

Thanks, I'll check that out :)


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