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Radiofilms spline animation

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Nicolas Durupt
Radiofilms spline animation
on Jul 21, 2010 at 2:22:26 pm

Hi
I'm quite a newbie in after effects so i apologize if anything i say sounds stupid and for my basic english also.
I'm working in a laboratory and I need to do the following.
We have radiofilms (animated Xray shots) of a talking head (profile) and we need to draw lines around the lips to study their movements. We want to avoid a frame by frame animation. I think that the contrast beetween lips and background is enough for shape detection.
Could you give me advises for the method i should follow (contrast detection, morphing ???) and maybe links to tutorials that could help. I seach the cow but nothing evident for me.
Thank you so much guys.
Nicolas




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Dave LaRonde
Re: Radiofilms spline animation
on Jul 21, 2010 at 3:56:25 pm

Don't worry about your basic English. There are native English speakers on this forum who can't write as well as you do.

I hope you enjoy learning new software, because that's what you'll have to do.

In After Effects, it's extremely difficult to learn one or two specific techniques for use in a project. Some people would say it's impossible to do it. You must know the After Effects basics before you can use After Effects well. Fortunately, a gentleman from Adobe, Todd Kopriva, has gathered a lot of basic information in one place:
http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/01/getting-started-with-after-eff.h...

There is a great deal of information in that link, and you should look at all of it. Once you know the basic terms and basic principles, you can then more to more complicated things.

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


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Radiofilms spline animation
on Jul 21, 2010 at 5:05:26 pm

[Nicolas Durupt] "We have radiofilms (animated Xray shots) of a talking head (profile) and we need to draw lines around the lips to study their movements. We want to avoid a frame by frame animation. I think that the contrast beetween lips and background is enough for shape detection."

As a demonstration of the importance of knowing the basics, here is how I would approach this project:
  • Import the x-rays as an image sequence, and assign a frame rate in the Interpret Footage settings.
  • Drag the clip onto the Make Comp icon. Duplicate the comp leaving the duplicate closed in the project window for later use
  • In the open comp, create a black solid, and animate a mask (or masks) to create a garbage matte around the unwanted portions of the image. Feather as necessary. If you have multiple masks, you'll probably want to adjust the Mask Modes to get the proper matte.
  • Using the Levels or Curves effect, increase the contrast between lips and background
  • Precomp the two layers.
  • Use Shift Channels or Luma Key to create an alpha channel
  • Apply Auto Trace to create a mask around the lips.
  • Use Stroke to create the line.
  • Open the duplicated comp you made at the beginning, and add the comp containing the line.

You now have an animated x-ray with an animated line around the lips. If you didn't understand many of the After Effects terms, effects and procedures used above, you now see the value of learning the basics.


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


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Nicolas Durupt
Re: Radiofilms spline animation
on Jul 21, 2010 at 6:21:01 pm

Thank you sooooo much Dave.
I'm going to experiment in the next days and i let you know the results.

Nic



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