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Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd

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Sascha ReisüberFreestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 2:39:03 pm

Hi,

I have this video http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-video-5481942-time-lapse-shoppers.php and I want to place a free-standig man (with an alpha-channel) in the middle of the moving crowd so that you get the illusion the crowd is also moving in front of the man.
Has anybody an idea to solve this problem?

I hope the problem is clear and my English is good enough.

Greeting,
Sascha


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Joey ForemanRe: Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 3:11:41 pm

Then you have to Rotoscope every person that you want appear in front of him.
Post your results this summer.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 3:14:42 pm

[Joey Foreman] "Rotoscope...post your results this summer."
*giggle*

- 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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Joey ForemanRe: Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 3:16:48 pm

Since those figures are surrounded by so much white space you might be able to speed up the process by keying out the white or using transfer modes to isolate certain areas.


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 3:12:40 pm

Shoot it yourself.
Or
Lots of rotoscoping.

- 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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Joey ForemanRe: Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 3:34:28 pm

I wonder if you could make a high contrast luma matte out of this.
Duplicate the layer of the crowd footage. Add a levels effect and push the left and rightmost pointers in until the image is hi contrast black and white.
Maybe add a bit of Smart blur. Although the footage is already pretty blurry.
Set the matte for the lower layer to Luma Matte.
That should key out the white areas, hopefully.
Precompose those two layers, moving all attributes to the new comp.
Put your keyed guy below this precomp, and white solid under that.
That should give you a starting point. You'll probably need to tweak those levels sliders.
Now all of the people will be in front of your guy, but the ones to the sides may still appear to be farther back.
Just see what you get.



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Joey ForemanRe: Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:05:12 pm

Oh yeah. On the top layer used for your Luma Matte, you should also add a Shift Channels effect. Set Take Alpha from Full On.
Set the Take Red, Green, and Blue from whichever channel has the highest contrast already. I think you could also set them all to Luminance for a similar result.

It also just occurred to me that you'll either need to set your track matte for the lower layer to Luma Matte Inverted, or add an Invert effect to the top layer.


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Sascha ReisüberRe: Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 22, 2010 at 8:21:27 am

Thanks for all the responses. You´ve helped me a lot. The idea from Joey was great.
The effect which I get, if I work with Luma Matte, is precisely what I need.

Further I am testing some effects with lights out, so that the guy doesn´t look like someone who is glued in the scene.

@Dave: I want to set the guy in a medium close-up, so that you only see upper part of the body.
You are right if you say that the situation can´t work in the real world. But to quote Richard Willams (Who framed Roger Rabbit), the situation don´t need be realistic, it must be believable.

Thanks for help everyone!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Freestanding man in the middle of a moving crowd
by on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:34:00 pm

The other posts in this thread describe the techniques you can use. I have a different concern.

I looked at the stock footage, and I don't see any good place to put the free-standing man. To me, it looks like you can't avoid a situation where one, two or more people will appear to walk straight through the free-standing man. Obviously, this can't happen in the real world.

This is why such effects are always planned out, and the designer of the shot has confirmed that people will know how to avoid a certain spot on the floor: the spot where the free-standing man will be later.

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


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