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    How do you create an Edge Blur?
    #1
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    I'm compositing a 3d image sequence in AE that I imported alongside of my video footage and trying to get it to blend it. The edges of the 3d object is too sharp and I want to use something to blur the edges without blurring the entire image sequence. Any suggestions?




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    #2
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    At least one of the 3rd party plug-in packages (Sapphire, I think) has an "Edge Blur" plugin... rather pricey if I remember correctly. Your next choice would be to used AE's built-in "find edges" on a separate layer, then use that as a mask or key for a separate blurred layer.

    Jim


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    #3
    Senior Member El Director's Avatar
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    Are you sure the 3D image won't look too sharp even with the edges blured? It's usually standard procedure to do like a 1 or half pixel blur on any CG assests when comping with live action


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    I only have experience with Hitfilm, besides a bit of blur to everything, in Hitfilm there is a "light wrap" effect that is quite helpful to integrated images with the background. If there is anything like that in AE, give it a try.


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    #5
    Member Agafilm's Avatar
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    I don't know your workflow on this, but if you have the sequence as you want it it seems to me you should be able to flatten the 3D portion with an alpha layer, then use that alpha layer as a mask, which gets rid of your need for edge detection. You can then expand and feather that mask. That said, I'm willing to bet that matching the light is going to be more important than the sharp edges. You also have to consider that your composited object has perfect resolution, and your camera probably doesn't; so you'd need to de-sharpen the entire thing to match your scene, not than just the edges.
    Last edited by Agafilm; 04-07-2016 at 09:41 PM.


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    #6
    Senior Member Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Why not just use one of the matte plugins - refine matte, etc? That's the simplest way.

    If you want more visual control, the two factors are softness, and spread vs. choke. Spread opens the matte and choke shrinks it. If you soften a mask, it's often good to choke it a pixel or two.

    So duplicate the sequence in your comp, and precompose it. Make sure the duped sequence comp is ABOVE the original. In the precomp, add tint to the footage to turn it black, and then add a white solid as a background. You should have a solid black object on a white BG, Now go back to the main comp.

    Apply fast blur to the new precomp, and add about twice what you think you need. (you may only need a pixel or two, double that to start). Apply levels, and drag the top slider (input) from right to left - you'll see the blur tighten up and shrink (because you are compressing the gray values that make up the soft, blurred edge). To understand this more, return the right slider to the original position and pull the left slider to the right (to darken). You'll see the area get less soft, and wider - again, compressing the grays that are the blurred edge, but making the grays darker so the shape seems to spread out. You can push the levels far enough to make the blur disappear with a different size - you can tweak both sides of levels to get a perfect size and softness.

    Anyway, pull the input so that the black blurred area shrinks a bit and gets the softness you want - you may have to tweak the blur amount. Now select the original footage layer (under the new precomp) and choose track-matte, luma matte reversed (or whatever the wording is) (using the luminance values of your new precomp as a matte). Now your original footage will appear, but with a soft edge that's a little choked.

    Now play with the blur and levels controls In the new precomp, while watching the original footage) until it's just right. Thiy was you can move the sliders until you get what you want. We may be talking very slight amounts of blur and very small levels adjustments, don't go nuts.

    Sounds complicated but when you grasp the concept it's very simple, and I like the control vs. "refine matte" which is a mess of stuff.

    This is often a good way to remove a sky - but on the precomp, apply channel mixer, and switch all channels to "blue", and then use blur and levels to tweak the matte.
    Last edited by Michael Carter; 04-10-2016 at 09:27 PM.


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    #7
    Senior Member Michael Carter's Avatar
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    It's a good idea - when you post something that's only 4 seconds and you want critiques - to loop it several times.

    What I saw in 4 seconds - metallic-looking bug isn't reflecting any of its environment… maybe needs some motion blur… shadow is a bit of a mess and should be more delicate closer to the legs, kind of a big moving blob right now? (But nice work overall, I don't have the patience to learn 3d like that).


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