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How to recreate Pantomation (1977-1979) technique in after effects ?

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Mike Potter
How to recreate Pantomation (1977-1979) technique in after effects ?
on Apr 24, 2019 at 4:51:08 pm

In after effects this would translate into
1 color keying a constant color object and obtaining it's 255 alpha silhouette moving on a zero alpha background.
2 obtaining the position data from the geometric center of the 255 alpha silhouette
3 linking a video or static image sprite/layer to that position data.

How can I achieve goal number 2 please ?


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Walter Soyka
Re: How to recreate Pantomation (1977-1979) technique in after effects ?
on Apr 24, 2019 at 7:36:29 pm

You could use the point tracker [link] on the keyer's output.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Mike Potter
Re: How to recreate Pantomation (1977-1979) technique in after effects ?
on Apr 25, 2019 at 3:53:18 am

Using the point tracker is a computationally expensive method if there are a few thousand points to track.
I need to use the exact computationally non expensive aproach they used in the Pantomation device in 1977-1979.
That methot worked in realtime on 8 mhz range cpus because it didn't use the tracking form modern days.

Their method simply reduced the chroma keyd object to a pixel cluster on the screen and then computed its geometric center in realtime and the was the position data


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Walter Soyka
Re: How to recreate Pantomation (1977-1979) technique in after effects ?
on Apr 25, 2019 at 12:13:14 pm

I looked up the Pantomation system. It seems they used some custom circuits to generate the data points and a computer to validate them.

I don't think Ae is the best system to accomplish your goal. I'd suggest you look into a realtime, interactive, programmable system like Notch, Processing, or TouchDesigner.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Mike Potter
Re: How to recreate Pantomation (1977-1979) technique in after effects ?
on Apr 26, 2019 at 1:32:55 pm

I actually had a tutorial and a link to a script to do this in after effects.

The tutorial had an semi pro skateboarder sportsman on a green screen .

The after effects artist keyed the silhouette of the man and used a script to crop the layer to the silhouette across all frames and also center the pivot point of the layer to the geometric center of the silhouette across frames.

And then he attached a null object to that moving center point to show us it has true position data across the frames without tracking.

I always disliked that tutorial but I need it now and cannot find it.


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