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Combining fake shadows with real. How?

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Reuben Fink
Combining fake shadows with real. How?
on Dec 11, 2009 at 9:07:27 pm

There's a shot I'm working on where a hand starts to stretch out of a shadow on the wall. The hand is supposed to look like an extension of the shadow that already exists on the background plate. We shot the hand on green and keyed it out. I've got the color and opacity to match but wherever the two shadows overlap they get darker of course. And if I make a mask for the hand there's a slightly perceptible border. I can't seem to get it perfect. Any ideas?

OSX 10.5.8
Equipment: 2.8 ghz 8 core Intal Mac Pro, 20 gig of ram
Aps: CS3 Production Bundle, FCP Suite 2, Avid Media Composer


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Combining fake shadows with real. How?
on Dec 11, 2009 at 9:21:11 pm

It could be as simple as putting a feathered mask on the spot where the hand shadow meets the wall shadow. It's certainly easy to try.....

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


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Combining fake shadows with real. How?
on Dec 11, 2009 at 10:29:35 pm

You may also have to tweak the darkness of the hand shadow, and perhaps go with a heavily-feathered mask.

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


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Reuben Fink
Re: Combining fake shadows with real. How?
on Dec 12, 2009 at 6:02:45 pm

I've tried this and there's always a perceptible difference either where the shadows overlap just slightly. Or if I try to match the feathering it never looks quite seamless. After trying many tests I think the only way to do it right is clone out the original shadows so I have a clean wall then generate the shadows back in along with my hand shadow all at 100% black. From there I could control the overall opacity and it all looks like one solid piece.

OSX 10.5.8
Equipment: 2.8 ghz 8 core Intal Mac Pro, 20 gig of ram
Aps: CS3 Production Bundle, FCP Suite 2, Avid Media Composer


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Christopher Wright
Re: Combining fake shadows with real. How?
on Dec 13, 2009 at 4:23:30 am

What happened to the "-elStein!" ;>)
I was wondering if you were still working on "labor of love" productions after all these years!

Dual 2.5 G5, IO, Kona LH, IO, Medea Raid, UL4D, NVidia 6800, 4Gig RAM
Nehalem Octocore 12 GB Ram, Nvidia card, MBP, MXO, MXO2 mini, Windows Vista Adobe Studio CS4, Vegas 9.0, Lightwave 9.6, Sound Forge 9, Acid Pro 7, Continuum 6, Boris Red 4, Combustion 2008, Sapphire Effects


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Oliver Truswell
Re: Combining fake shadows with real. How?
on Dec 14, 2009 at 12:36:22 am

Have you tried creating a matte of your plate and then using a track matte method? If it were me I'd probably create a garbage mask around the shadow edge, apply something like colorama to get my matte and then use that data as a track matte for my CG shadow.

If there is any falloff on the original shadow then the matte should pick this up and blend it really well. Hope this helps!


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