View Full Version : Remove actor from video and place them into a new video?

10-12-2012, 05:46 PM
I have a video where I need to put the actor into a different location, so I basiclly need to cut the person out of the video and paste them into a new video. I'm figuring I probably need photoshop and after effects, but if I get those programs how do I then go about doing it?

Amr Rahmy
10-12-2012, 06:42 PM
you would need Photoshop or after effects, 1 or 2 years of experience, 20-60 hours of work, and the result would look like a comedy sketch on a late tv show. you could watch some tutorials and decide if you want to spend the time and practice needed.

10-13-2012, 01:41 AM
It will be cheaper and quicker to just reshoot the scene.

10-13-2012, 05:21 AM
The concept is rather simple, but the process can be painfully tedious. You create a mask around your actor in EACH frame of the video. This can be done using the pen tool (or other tools) in After Effects or Photoshop, and makes the background "see through" so that you can now take the video of the actor and place it over the video of the other location. But I stress that you must create a new mask for each frame, so the job can be very time-consuming. One way to simplify the process is to shoot the actor against a green-screen background, then use chroma-keying software to drop out the color of the background. Even shots where the actor is aginst a green- or blue-screen background usually require some manual clean up.

If you need a final shot that looks convincing, it is unlikely you can use two different pieces of existing footage to create it. As alluded to in the other answers, the lighting and camera angles for the background shot and for the actor shot need to closely match to avoid an obvious cut-and-paste look.

Reshooting will be more cost-effective than trying to get the existing scenes to work together. If either the actor or the other scene is no longer available, you'll need to reshoot at least one of the scenes to match the other and then go through the process (called rotoscoping) to merge the scenes. Googling 'keying,' 'green screen,' 'chroma key,' or 'rotoscoping' will yield hundreds of hits to learn more specific details of the process.

Colorburst Video

10-13-2012, 09:43 AM
The features in CS5 onwards to try to make this tedious process quicker by tracking objects frame apart is certainly an advantage over the old frame by frame system - but it's got to be the most dull, boring and annoying process invented!

10-13-2012, 11:18 AM
the rotobrush makes the process relatively quick and easy but you'd be hard press to get an adequate result from any method unless you are a roto master. Most roto pro's use lots of masks, tracked and keyframed to their individual body parts instead of one big mask. That combined with a bunch of hi-con mattes extracted from the footage for further edge refinements makes this one hell of a technical, and long process. just reshoot the scene on a greenscreen.

Chris Adler
10-13-2012, 01:19 PM
Lots of assumptions here. Depending on the original scene the difficulty level can be anywhere from easy to ridiculously tedious, depending on a lot of factors. Your best bet it to consult with someone with the skills required to do that and share your footage with them so you can an accurate estimate.