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LiamR
05-12-2012, 03:41 AM
Im fairly new to all of this and I'd say in photoshop I would be able to achieve it, but as it's footage and I am probably going to need After Effects, I've got no idea.

I do realise Green Screen is obviously the answer here but I didn't have one.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7075/7181106580_8d212f0747_c.jpg

I just want to make the whole background black to give the object (the person) more notice, rather than have that blotchy, bad lighting in the background.

Anyone here know the steps I need to take to achieve this?

j1clark@ucsd.edu
05-12-2012, 09:05 AM
Im fairly new to all of this and I'd say in photoshop I would be able to achieve it, but as it's footage and I am probably going to need After Effects, I've got no idea.

I do realise Green Screen is obviously the answer here but I didn't have one.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7075/7181106580_8d212f0747_c.jpg

I just want to make the whole background black to give the object (the person) more notice, rather than have that blotchy, bad lighting in the background.

Anyone here know the steps I need to take to achieve this?

The process you are 'looking' for is called Rotoscope. One creates masks for each frame, which cover the object of interest, and then 'drop out' the background, or unwanted portions of the image.

It is tedious... but for live action, with no greenscreen or continous tone background that's about the only choice.

Your subject was poorly lit so it will be even more tedious...

Here's a tutorial for CS5 After Effects. The significant item to notice is the example has a 'well lit' subject, and so the more automated tool, can 'work'... otherwise it's tedium...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYgfDUnA1Ys

bgodoy
05-12-2012, 02:03 PM
First off, I agree with j1clark. The best way to completely isolate your subject is definitely by rotoscoping. As j1clark mentioned, you might have to spend a little more time than necessary getting 'the key' just right, due to the lighting in your scene. The roto tool might have trouble calculating the frames properly. That is why, if you do decide to eliminate the background 100%, I suggest masking as opposed to letting the roto brush do it for you. Masking will make for a cleaner result and will probably save you some time (realistically), if you do it right.

On the other hand, if for what ever reason you are restricted by time or simply want an easier, quicker solution to hide the wall in the background (due to lighting), you could always just add a regular vignette to your footage but I honestly wouldn't overdo it too much. Personally, I don't use vignettes for interview type material but in this case it could save you a good amount of time if your okay with the look.


-B

LiamR
05-12-2012, 04:31 PM
Thanks guys! I was trying to blacken out half of the subjects face but never realized the spot's where it was shining onto the wall, I am not sure how I could of lit it better, but I know their would be a way too. I will definitely have a look in After Effects using the Rotoscoping, thanks for that tutorial.

KurtF
05-12-2012, 08:02 PM
Does it have to be totally black? A very soft elliptical mask can be used to darken the corners, giving it a post processed vignette.

LiamR
05-13-2012, 03:29 AM
it would the overall look and tone if it was all black, yes, I am going to give rotoscoping a go!

LiamR
05-13-2012, 05:57 AM
I've had a quick go at the rotoscoping, here is a quick result.

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5279/7188048482_6e8babacd5_z.jpg

I'll have to watch the tutorial again as it looks good and plays back fine but once I've rendered and exported it, it turns nasty and doesn't look anything like it does in AE...

@bgodoy, could you explain more about the masking?

maranfilms
05-13-2012, 07:47 AM
yes rotoscoping is tough work, I'm working on a project as we speak. The trick to making it look good is in the feathering of the edges around the object, you really have to spend some time getting that aspect right, or you get the nasty edges that look god awful.

Gord.T
05-13-2012, 10:59 AM
Also maybe avoid using pure black as the background. Maybe sample a piece of the darkest color you can see in the image like around the persons left ear area (right image side) and set your black to that color. Might help with blending also.

An old line I remember hearing was that pure black doesn't exist in the real world.

bgodoy
05-14-2012, 06:28 AM
I went ahead and put something together quickly since I thought it would be more useful. Most likely it will help you better understand how someone might approach this particular shot in AE, given that masking is not too difficult a concept to grasp; I think its better to show you rather than explain even though its only a still image. (All masking does is essentially cut things out or leave things in - think of it as a cookie cutter.)

Here's what I came up with and I made sure I used only effects that ship with AE originally. Took no more than a few minutes and though it may or may not be the look your going for, you have to keep in mind, like with everything (live footage or even CGI), lighting is key.

http://i1252.photobucket.com/albums/hh578/bgodoy/dvxuser/mask_00000.png

A few things:

- You will need to have CS 5.5, I just realized you won't be able to open the file unless you did (haha).
- You will also have to relink the image within AE (mask.jpg). Hopefully getting you to jump into AE to enable and disable each effect will at least make you a bit more comfortable with the software.

Here's a link to the file (select free download).

mask.aep (http://uploading.com/files/37555b92/mask.aep/)

Hope this helps.

-B

LiamR
05-14-2012, 08:23 PM
Ah wicked, thanks a lot for doing that mate! appreciate it! I am definitely going to apply that to the footage and see what I come up with!

To give you an idea of what I really wanted when lighting, here is another screenshot from a shoot I did about 2 weeks after that first one I showed.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7076/7200705996_0253079147_c.jpg

I got better at it, but still only 90% there.

Gord.T
05-14-2012, 11:22 PM
I think the right picture side of her face should be 50% lighting.
And then you have back lighting. Not sure what your after. 3 point lighting?

bgodoy
05-15-2012, 04:13 AM
Glad you liked the result and I think this second shot really is better; less noise haha. Nonetheless, I still have to agree with Gord. T. I'm assuming you are going for the 'one side of the face in shadows look' (for lack of a better term). A nice hair light to separate the subject from the background would probably bring it all together.
-B

LiamR
05-15-2012, 05:36 AM
That is the effect I was going for, half of the face completely blacked out. I didn't really have any idea how to achieve this and I have absolutely no experience with lighting scene's at all.

bgodoy
05-15-2012, 08:35 AM
If I were you I would simply google 3 point lighting, watch some videos and go from there. That way, after you understand the basic set up of a key light, fill light and hair light you will be better equipped to light your scene just how you want it.

-B

LiamR
05-15-2012, 06:14 PM
If I were you I would simply google 3 point lighting, watch some videos and go from there. That way, after you understand the basic set up of a key light, fill light and hair light you will be better equipped to light your scene just how you want it.

-B

I have watched a couple of those, I think my downfall with all these lighting set-up's is that they were all lit with a lamp (shutter) and they all had ghetto stands, one was on a slab of beer, one was on like a surfboard and the other one we hanged from the roof. I'll definitely know next time how important that lighting setup is going to be though.

bgodoy
05-15-2012, 09:11 PM
I have watched a couple of those, I think my downfall with all these lighting set-up's is that they were all lit with a lamp (shutter) and they all had ghetto stands, one was on a slab of beer, one was on like a surfboard and the other one we hanged from the roof. I'll definitely know next time how important that lighting setup is going to be though.

haha great use of lights. I like the creativity. It's funny but that's how you start falling in love with a proper lighting set up. Once you get a nice lighting package going, trust me, you will appreciate it dearly.
Good luck with future shoots.

-B