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Is this compositing scenario possible in FCP?

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Scott Fields
Is this compositing scenario possible in FCP?
on Aug 20, 2012 at 8:56:53 pm

I have an interview with a fairly motionless seated person.

I would like to fly a graphic in but have it go BEHIND the person as it moves from the left side of the frame to the right-- total duration of the move: 15 frames.

I didn't shoot the person against a green screen, so I'm looking for some other way to do this short of hiring an After Effects artist.

Is it possible? If so, how?

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Shane Ross
Re: Is this compositing scenario possible in FCP?
on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:14:52 pm

Yes. You need to either matte it out (using the 32 or 64 point garbage mattes from Paul them)...and do this frame by frame. Or rotoscope this in Motion. Can you do this? Yes, if you have the patience required to do it.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Is this compositing scenario possible in FCP?
on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:29:55 pm

This is pretty easy in final cut, no AE artist needed.

First, you download the free Paul Crisp multipoint masking tool, either the 12 or 16-point one should work for a standing-still person.

Make a duplicate video track on your timeline, and between these two tracks, you make a video track with the text or whatever you want to fly past the guy.

The top video track of your guy gets the mutipoint masking tool applied to him, using the Effects>mattes>masking dialog. What this does is give you little numbered points you just drag around with your mouse to outline the guy. Adjust the softness of the tool, and bam, it's like you spent a lot of time rotoscoping, without needing to rotoscope. These points are keyframeable over time so should the guy move a little to much in one spot, you can adjust for this.

Can't find the tool, or are intimidated by it?

Okay, export one typical frame of the guy into photoshop, full rez. Use photoshop to trace around the man's form with the selection tool. Eliminate the outer area or make it white, and fill the inner area with black, or save out to a TGA file with alpha channel. This is now a "hold-out mask" you put in a layer by itself above the flying text layer, but below the actor's layer. Play with the blending modes and scale the mask a little, maybe apply some blur to it, to help it wrap around the outline of your actor a little bit.

Alternate full-on roto method:
Export the section of video as a sequence of stills into a folder. Take that folder into photoshop, and use the "extract" tool to very quickly and roughly trace the outline of the man's body. This extract tool is miraculous: it examines the edge area where two things cross, and it knows to delete what's on the outer edge of that boundary, creating a nice fast roto effect. Anyway, treat all the frames in your folder this way, (why yes, that IS a large number of frames, were you planning on going somewhere?) export them back to final cut and lay them back in their exact place in the timeline on a new track, now you have a virtual greenscreen effect.

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