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Virtual Background - Like Zoom

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Christopher Stewart
Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 17, 2020 at 6:16:14 pm

Are there any plug-ins that mimic what Zoom does with the virtual background? I have someone asking for this on footage without any Green screen. There is definitely rough roto to get it done, but was hoping someone has created a plug-in that mimics zoom.


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 17, 2020 at 7:40:49 pm

what is zoom?


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Eric Santiago
Re: Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 17, 2020 at 10:32:25 pm

Multi-user video chat.


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 17, 2020 at 10:34:17 pm

do we have to do this one word at a time? what does it do the virtual background?


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Andy Ford
Re: Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 17, 2020 at 10:38:34 pm

Short answer is I don't think so. There are lots of programs that support virtual backgrounds without the need for greenscreen when using your webcam, but these are being processed real-time between camera and software. After Effects, of course, comes afterwards.

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Blaise Douros
Re: Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 18, 2020 at 5:07:38 pm

If the camera is locked off, and you get a REALLY clean background plate, you can do a Difference Matte. That's basically what Zoom is doing in real time, with a few algorithms to help out.

The problem is that Difference Mattes are VERY touchy, so minor changes in lighting, a plant moving in the background, can all cause it to break down. It's a good solution for short shots where you're in a big pinch, but for longer shots, it's not very feasible.


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Graham Quince
Re: Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 21, 2020 at 9:12:40 am

A difference matteā€™s glitches would actually render a pretty similar result to Zoom. I have to have a lot of meetings using it and the virtual backgrounds are always distracting :D

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - After Effects Tutorials


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Alden Ford
Re: Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 22, 2020 at 2:09:09 pm

I'm actually working on a project that is supposed to be a zoom call and I've experimented with a couple different things.

If I'm not mistaken, what Zoom and other software does is (in combination with some sort of difference matte) use the depth data from the camera to create a mask that removes anything that isn't in focus - the camera can parse this out because it knows more or less what it's focusing on. After it's shot, of course, AE can't tell what the camera was doing, so it's harder to reverse engineer. I suspect what you'd need is some way for the camera to record focus info in the metadata which AE would then interpret, but I'm not sure that's a thing either software can do.

The tough part is that for the vast majority of footage, unless you have raw, locked off footage with zero grain or compression, a difference matte is essentially worthless.

Fortunately, if you're actually going for a zoom look, then the roto brush (don't forget to extend the span so you don't have to keep messing with it), or a track matte set to position/scale/rotation/skew with adjustments as needed should get you about as close as Zoom would (which is to say, not close at all, but it will have a similar look). If it needs to look good, then you probably need to do a more precise roto with the brush or Mocha.


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Graham Quince
Re: Virtual Background - Like Zoom
on Jun 22, 2020 at 5:06:04 pm

The rotobrush! Of course, I knew I recognised the Zoom look. Nice catch

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - After Effects Tutorials


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