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Need help making a person disappear.

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Sean Davison
Need help making a person disappear.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:39:52 am

Hello all. I need a little help on something. I am trying to make an object, actually a person in a video clip disappear. Just to clarify a little, I am working on a Football video, and in one clip a player gets hit pretty good, and I wanted to make him disappear, or even shatter as soon as he hits the ground after the shot... yeah, I know sounds a little morbid, but still.

Is this possible at all, and if so PLEASE tell me how to do it.

Thank you.

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Michael Szalapski
Re: Need help making a person disappear.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:24:20 pm

Have you already shot this? (mistaaaaaake)
Is the camera moving? (MISTAAAAAAKE)

If these things are true, it's going to make it very difficult to make it look good.

There are some tutorials that will help with the shattering of the person.
This one, this one part one and part two, this one and (while I'm at it) this one wouldn't hurt for the rest of your project.
Although, you might just play with the shatter effect; depending on what you're going for.
A quick After Effects Community Help Search turns up these and more! You will probably want to use this search feature a lot; it's great.

However, no matter how good your shattering-person skills are, if your camera is moving and you don't have a clean background plate, it's going to get more difficult. You will have to create a clean background plate (grass on a football field, I'm guessing), and motion track it to the scene. You will also probably need to do some rotoscoping to put your guy into your new grass before he shatters/explodes/disintegrates.

- 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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Dave LaRonde
Re: Need help making a person disappear.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:25:48 pm

Michael gives you the proper procedure for doing this. The guy is VERY good at this kind of thing. You need to read what he writes carefully.

In order to do special effects, you can't simply shoot something and then think to yourself, "Great! Now I can make a special effect!"

It doesn't work that way. You have to PLAN your effects. That's how the Big Boys do it.

Remember this: Big Boys have access to Big Toys, they know how to use them, and they still plan everything.

Little guys like us, who don't have access to the very best hardware and custom-written software, who can't hire the best people for the job, and who rely on off-the-shelf software and hardware had darned well better do likewise.

If you think that's just too much hassle for one shot, then perhaps you ought to consider using your computer for something else. Playing games is always a good diversion.

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

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Sean Davison
Re: Need help making a person disappear.
on Dec 28, 2009 at 8:43:15 pm

Thank you both VERY much. I was pretty sure it wouldn't work the way(s) I wanted it to, but I just had to ask. I will take a look at the links posted to see if they will work at all.

Once again, thanks for the help.

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