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Blur Tracking

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Drew JensenBlur Tracking
by on Jan 5, 2010 at 7:11:22 pm

I've got a problem with a video that was shot of a female speaker. Her shirt is somewhat transparent, enough to see some clothing underneath, which I think we all understand what that is. It's a darker color, so you can see the outline and the difference of color than the rest of the shirt. I was wondering if there was a way to (1) blur the outline so that it isn't so obvious, and (2) to color correct that area of the shirt to match the rest of her shirt. I know it's possible in photoshop, but with this being a video clip, I'm not sure how to (1) make the alterations in AE and (2) have the alterations "track" her movement. Thanks in advance for the help.

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david bogieRe: Blur Tracking
by on Jan 5, 2010 at 7:25:29 pm

Why are you imposing your narrow-minded morality on her performance or attempting to censor her self image as a human being? Better check your attitude and editorial lattitude and double check her model release before you go making unilateral alterations to someone else's intellectual property.

You've seen t-shirt logos taken out on various shows? That's what your best efforts will look like.



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Drew JensenRe: Blur Tracking
by on Jan 5, 2010 at 7:34:19 pm

The reason I'm having to do this is because it is for a professional website. It has nothing to do with modeling. She's a type of insurance agent, and I know that the corporate headquarters of her agency would not be pleased with the way the video currently looks. I'm not trying to start an argument about morality, that has nothing to do with it. I'm just trying to make sure both she and I don't get chewed out by her cooperate headquarters and by my employer.

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Dave LaRondeRe: Blur Tracking
by on Jan 5, 2010 at 8:30:57 pm

You may not agree with Bogie's take on the situation, but he's right about what it will look like. The option of choice is to re-shoot. If you have no other choice but to blur or change colors or something like that, you're in for a lot of work.

You might -- repeat, MIGHT -- be able to make the task easier by animating a garbage matte around the blouse, then using either the Change Color or Change To Color effects... possibly combined with a tiny bit of blur.

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

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david bogieRe: Blur Tracking, real advice
by on Jan 6, 2010 at 12:22:42 am

Uh-oh, somebody's feathers get ruffled? C'mon, buddy, you've got to have thick skin in this business.

Since we don't have your images in front of us, only your lurid description, it's easy to inform you it can't be done. However, many Boris effects offer a cool feature known as Pixel Chooser. With it, you can get highly selective in what pixels are passed on to any particular filter.
If the blouse, or bra or negligé, falls within a narrow range of colors, you can key out that range by using garbage masks, selective keyers, and multiple copies of the keyers on stacks of the footage. You want to pull the best possible matte and pass the matte on to your blur filter. You'll process the matte using chokers and edge treatments so it remains fluid and soft. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to suit your sensibilities.
The issue you need to resolve is what you'd replace the keyed out footage with. You can blur an underlying copy of the blouse but it will not track realistically since by blurring the pixels, you alter their scale, even if it's just by a percentage or two. and the edges present their own issues.

Why not just put a black bar up in front of her?

I'd still recommend you check with the speaker's agent to be sure you have any rights to do this to her. You could end up being sued for several things.


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Stuart ElithRe: Blur Tracking, real advice
by on Jan 6, 2010 at 12:37:52 am

It will depend on the length of video (as in, if it's really long the amount of work needed will take a long time and perhaps be unrealistic) and also how detailed/clear the undergarments are, but you may be able to achieve a much less obvious result using the methods you have proposed. If the difference in luminance is the main issue, it may even work to make a loose mask around the area (so that the whole image isn't affected) and simply use levels or other CC effects to bring it closer to the shirt color/luminance. You will need to animate the mask a bit if she moves a lot but it may not be too bad.

I have had a similar situation before where a nipple was showing through a shirt, and in that case I needed to track it quite accurately since the shirt was detailed and unforgiving to simple blurring.

With whatever respect necessary, I think Bogie made a pretty quick jump to some big assumptions from your OP to suggest that you is narrow-minded and restricting her human rights! But I would agree with his suggestion to check with the appropriate people - you may not even need to do it if they are happy with her dress code.

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