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cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?

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Trev Chee
cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:53:31 am

I'm trying to edit a title intro sequence where I introduce characters. I want to show a clip a each character then have their name animate in right as the clip freezes and a foreground outline of the character's head (like a paper cut out) changes to a different color than the background of the same shot. This is nothing new it's been done so many times but I don't know the best to do it.

Should i take a snap shot of the frame I want to "cut out". then use the lasso tool to in Photoshop to trace around the character's head. Then bring the image in as a layer over top the original freeze frame?

Use rotoscope?

THis should be an easy one for you pros out there...Any suggestions?
thx


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Victor Nguyen
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 28, 2011 at 2:01:08 am

Well Im not a pro but I usually export the freeze frame to photoshop and trace out the head with lasso tool, pen tool ect. then just import it back into after effect and have it on a different layer.


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Trev Chee
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 28, 2011 at 5:19:15 am

which way do you export the freeze frame to maintain the high quality image?


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Michael Szalapski
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 28, 2011 at 1:52:31 pm

Why not use Time Remapping to make a freeze frame? Then you can draw whatever you need drawn as a shape layer or a mask on a solid. There's no need to go to Photoshop at all.

- 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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Victor Nguyen
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 28, 2011 at 5:21:14 pm

Michael is right. what you can do is right click the layer, go to time and click on freeze frame. then you can use pen tool to mask it out. However, there are sometime it is much easier to export to photoshop because of the wide arrange of selection tool (magic wand tool). To do that there are two ways. one is just to go to composition-save frame as-photoshop layer. the other way is to have a print screen capture of your desktop.

as a side note there is a product call crazy talk which I found very helpful. Just google it and it might come helpful for you in this project. http://www.reallusion.com/purchase_ct.asp
And no I'm not trying to advertise for them


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Trev Chee
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 29, 2011 at 7:30:47 am

As you can see I'm just learning this program, and by my self too...so bear with me please guys. Thanks for your advice so far.

Ok so I freeze create a mask of the pen selection? how do i cut it out?

Sorry if this is a basic question. I've gone through hours of AE video tutorials but can't seem to learn this simple technique.

thanks guys...remember, we were all beginners at some point :)


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Victor Nguyen
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 29, 2011 at 11:53:35 am

haha yeah I'm actually kind of a beginner myself. Anyway masking is really basic but very important. It is hard for me to explain to you online. Just practice with it(try to create a square or something).The most important thing about a mask is that you need to close it.The default setting of the mask let it reveal all that is within the mask.Really, you'll get it when you just keep playing around with it.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 29, 2011 at 1:29:27 pm

I agree with Victor Nguyen that explaining masking through a text-based medium like a forum can be a bit tricky. Lucky for you (and us) there are many good resources online.

For people like you that are just starting out in AE, I highly recommend this page [link]. Go through ALL of the resources it links to and you'll have a much better understanding of how thing in AE work.

- 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: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on Apr 29, 2011 at 3:09:05 pm

[Trev Chee] "Ok so I freeze create a mask of the pen selection? how do i cut it out? "

First you freeze the video using time remapping. On the frozen layer, you make a mask around the subject using the pen tool. When you connect the last mask vertex to the first one, the background disappears, Get it looking right, feather as necessary.

Make a Mask Path Keyframe. Use the Toggle Hold Keyframe command on it. Go back to where the footage is still in motion. Move your mask off screen.

And for Heaven's sake, take fifteen stinkin' minutes to look at the documentation on masks and masking!
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS37445DB7-352A-42e9-BACB...

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


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Trev Chee
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on May 2, 2011 at 3:22:41 am

Thanks LaRonde for your quick reply and solutions, you're the man!

I've read your suggested help link and some others attached to it. I've also looked at some utube videos on masking. I'm trying to follow your previous procedure...but still a bit confused. I'm sure if someone showed me first hand I'd get it in a snap, but reading text to do it is a bit tougher.

Steps completed:
-freeze frame
-masked around face, connected vertex and background disappeared

I created a "new mask" but I don't see a new layer for it in the timeline. should there be one? Should i create a solid on the layer above of the video clip?

I read (from your link) to make a mask path one must copy the position keyframes and paste to the "Mask Path" of the clip. As soon as I do this the background "reappears" and the mask seems to be gone. where did it go? Also if I try to "Go back to where the footage is still in motion" it seems the layer is still frozen. Do i need to unfreeze it to see the clip playing again?

thanks for your patience


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Trev Chee
Re: cutting out forground from background...rotoscope the best?
on May 4, 2011 at 5:27:37 am

Ok I think I got it. I did freeze frame and used pen tool to cut it out. Then I re-added the clip again without freeze frame on another layer below. I changed the opacity on the cutout layer to appear at the exact moment meeting the bottom layer.

I don't see what purpose the "toggle hold" is doing on the keyframe though.


Thanks LaRonde for your quick reply and solutions, you're the man!

I've read your suggested help link and some others attached to it. I've also looked at some utube videos on masking. I'm trying to follow your previous procedure...but still a bit confused. I'm sure if someone showed me first hand I'd get it in a snap, but reading text to do it is a bit tougher.

Steps completed:
-freeze frame
-masked around face, connected vertex and background disappeared

I created a "new mask" but I don't see a new layer for it in the timeline. should there be one? Should i create a solid on the layer above of the video clip?

I read (from your link) to make a mask path one must copy the position keyframes and paste to the "Mask Path" of the clip. As soon as I do this the background "reappears" and the mask seems to be gone. where did it go? Also if I try to "Go back to where the footage is still in motion" it seems the layer is still frozen. Do i need to unfreeze it to see the clip playing again?

thanks for your patience


Return to posts index

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