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Hair Color Change

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gautam pandey
Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 7:03:03 am

Hi.. So my client walks in and the script has changed. The man with the black bear now needs to have a completely white beard!

To add to it there are all kinds of shots with the bearded man. including a few shot through a glass window!

Has anyone had any experience with a shot like this?

Can it be done in AE or would doing a complete replacement with CG hair be the only convincing way ( i cant even imagine the amount of tracking and compositing to match the lighting!! )

Thanks!


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 2:35:57 pm

Your client believes in miracles, eh?

Reshoot. For the love of God, reshoot.

I don't care how many extras are in these shots, or how many shots there are, it will be cheaper to reshoot than to spend all the tracking and compositing required for a realistic CG replacement. Which, by the way, would be nearly impossible.

Rather than CG replacement I think it would be better to recolor it in AE. However, even with a still image in Photoshop it's very difficult to convincingly change something that's black into something that's white, much less in motion.
How thick is his beard? If you don't see any skin beneath it you might be able to pull this off. But please tell me you're going to charge them properly for fixing this monumental goof on their part.

It's going to take you a lot of rotoscoping hours on that beard.

An excerpt from Dave LaRonde's Stock Answer #2:

Since post typically costs three times the cost of production, fixing something in post is not a way to save money, but rather a way to spend more of it.


Okay, here's my thought. On a duplicate layer, work out a color correction recipe that tends to work on the beard (don't worry about surrounding colors, just the beard). Now turn that layer off.
On another duplicate roughly rotoscope the beard, then (if it's black enough and the man is white enough) you could use that as an inverse luma matte for the color corrected layer.

If it doesn't work, you'll just have to do a tight rotoscope on the beard.

Dear, sweet baby Jesus, I do not envy you at all right now. Wait, you're getting paid for this! Hello big bucks!

- 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: Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 3:36:47 pm

[gautam pandey] "Can it be done in AE or would doing a complete replacement with CG hair be the only convincing way "

No matter how this change is made, your client will pay dearly for this very late change.

To answer you question directly, I vote for the second option, complete replacement with CG hair. We are talking about Lord of the Rings or Avatar CG, you realize. Lots of time to do it, lots of people working on it, and lots of money spent.

Oh, your client has a budget?

Then I vote for Option Three: re-shoot all the scenes with the actor. It will be FAR less expensive and take FAR less time. I am completely in accord with Michael on this.

I hope you have good diplomatic skills. You'll have to explain to your client that magic wands exist only in books and movies. A good starting point is to explain how this bit of whimsy will eviscerate the budget and completely wreck the production schedule.

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


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 5:13:53 pm

There's an old saying among post-production people:

"You can have it good, you can have it fast, you can have it cheap. Pick any two."

That's the situation your producer is now in. And cheap may not even be an option... nor fast, come to think of it.

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


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Dave Johnson
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 9:58:55 pm

Sorry, but I just couldn't help myself when I read this ... no offense if the person happens to be a friend of yours or something, but whoever is responsible for this "change" is not a "Producer" or "Director" ... they're a hack ... period. Even if your project is a Hollywood film or funded by someone for whom money/time is no object, something like this should've been worked out way before any cameras were rolling ... in talent selection or, at the very latest, in makeup ... professional-quality temporary spray-on hair dye costs about $10!!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 10:09:35 pm

[Dave Johnson] "...whoever is responsible for this "change" is not a "Producer" or "Director" ... they're a hack ... period... something like this should've been worked out way before any cameras were rolling..."

AMEN, BROTHER! I heartily agree with the "hack" reference. "Myopic Artiste" ain't bad, either.

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


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Dave Johnson
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 10:33:10 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "I heartily agree with the "hack" reference. "Myopic Artiste" ain't bad, either."

Myopic, yes ... artiste, doubtful, but possible I suppose.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 11:00:45 pm

[Dave Johnson] "... artiste, doubtful, but possible..."

Fair enough. I'll substitute "artsy-fartsy dilettante with delusions of competence" for "myopic artiste"

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


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gautam pandey
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 27, 2010 at 8:07:14 am

:) Thanks Michael, Dave and Dave.. I agree.. Bad bad BAD planning and Direction!! I doubt he's going to pay 'Dearly', he wanted me to churn it out in 3 days!! Needless to say ...doesnt have a clue!

Did give it a shot with an adjustment layer and some CC on it.. doesnt look too good..

So going to wear the best diplomatic hat i have and lay out to him.

Thanks again!! :)


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gautam pandey
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 27, 2010 at 8:14:11 am

Wow! and Michael just quoted you! :)

Grateful for all the advice and help at the Cow!


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Bill Kelly
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 26, 2010 at 9:48:30 pm

You could try animating a mask around his head and then using Effect>Color Correction>Replace Color. There's a very, very good chance this will look like complete crap, but it's worth a shot testing it out on a few frames to see what it looks like. Also, I agree with what was said, charge DEARLY for this. Let them learn their lesson.
Otherwise, like everyone else has mentioned, it's probably cheaper to reshoot.




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gautam pandey
Re: Hair Color Change
on Feb 27, 2010 at 8:10:36 am

Thanks Bill!! did give it a shot with an adjustment layer and some CC, the Replace colour is worth a shot too! :)

I'm sure all of you are right and a reshoot is the best option.

Thanks again!


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