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Pouring water transition guidance

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brian keith
Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 1:05:46 am

Hello all...I am in need of some help. I have a video of water pouring into a tank. I would like to use it as a mask to reveal an image. Basically, I want to do a transition of the frame filling up with an image based on a video I have of water filling up a tank. Could anyone point me in the right direction on how to make this work? Thank you.


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Olin Padilla
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 1:56:06 am

So, if I'm following right, you shot a transparent tank filling with water, and you want the rising water/surface waves to act as a wipe, right?

Normally, a quick way to make something like this into a matte is to de-saturate it, and play with the levels until you have the areas you want isolated into either black or white. Use it as a luma matte and you're done.

The problem I see here is that you used water. If you try to use filters to isolate it, you are going to end up with a mess of reflective and transparent sections.

Either way, the trick to this type of effect is to use filters to isolate the part of the footage you want as a matte, and to avoid manual rotoscoping.

Good luck.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 2:34:20 pm

If you have CS5 Roto Brush may help you create the matte Olin was talking about

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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brian keith
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 3:11:13 pm

Thank you gentleman. I see what I am now up against. I do have cs5. I will give it a try.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 3:21:12 pm

You might be able to find a pre-keyed water element on a stock video site like Artbeats, iStockphoto, or Pond5.

Using the Caustics effect [link] during your transition would help make it look more watery.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 3:33:04 pm

[brian keith] "I have a video of water pouring into a tank. I would like to use it as a mask to reveal an image. "

The other people have made wise suggestions on using what you have. You've already recognized the task at hand.

Here's an alternative: is it possible to re-shoot this video, perhaps pouring water mixed with white paint into a clear tank against a black background? You task then becomes MUCH easier.

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


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brian keith
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 3:46:40 pm

Agreed Dave! I am about to fire up my Panasonic HMC 40P and do it the correct way. Thank you!



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brian keith
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 10:12:56 pm

To Dave or anyone. Would anyone have any advice on how to light this? Thanks!



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 10:20:57 pm

What do you have in terms of lighting equipment?

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


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brian keith
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 10:31:34 pm

Nada. Nothing. Trying to make do with a few halogen lamps that I got at walmart.



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Dave LaRonde
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 10:53:29 pm

[brian keith] "Trying to make do with a few halogen lamps that I got at walmart"

...and you're seeing the lights reflect in the glass. The trick: use reflectors and build a light tent.

Rubber cement the SHINY side of aluminum foil to a big ol' piece of cardboard, about 2 feet square. Make one for each light. Aim the reflector at the subject. Aim the light at the reflector. Position this light/reflector equally in a 180 degree arc around the subject.

Steal one of Mom's big white bedsheets. Or two. Suspend it between the subject and the reflectors. Curve it if necessary.

It really cuts down on harsh reflections.

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


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Olin Padilla
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 26, 2011 at 11:03:41 pm

The main thing to remember when you are lighting it is that you are making a matte. You want as much contrast as possible, and you want to isolate the water from the background.

Assuming you are shooting with dyed water in an aquarium, I would try to do this:

Make some kind of white backdrop (a plain white wall will work fine), and get a bunch of light on it. The more even the better, but it doesn't matter that much. Turn off your overhead likes too.

Now setup the aquarium far enough away from the backdrop that the light does not hit it. Set your camera up perpendicular to the wall and the aquarium, and play with the exposure until you have very dark water and a very bright white wall.

Make sure when you pour the water that you don't cast any shadows on the wall or the water. And beware that if you use the wrong kind of light you will get an ugly strobing effect. It will be visible on the monitor.

Good luck.


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brian keith
Re: Pouring water transition guidance
on Jan 27, 2011 at 7:32:10 am

Thank you all so much for your help. I am almost there. BUt I am having an issue. I ended up working with the water video. I animated a black matte that followed the pour. Anyway, I am noticing that the image I am using to fill the screen with is showing where the water is pouring. I have a link to it so you can see for yourself. Not sure what I am doing wrong. I have the orange image under the matte video. The orange image is set to Luma Inverted Matte. Thanks!

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n219/motionman0/Screenshot2011-01-27at12...



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