Masking/Compositing in AE

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Postby CHAMELEON_D_H » Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:55 pm

gepetto wrote:Well, faulty software is the least of my worries. I'm sure this is plain stupid, but my masks in AE only have four edges that I can move. So I can only select rectangles, trapeziums and the like with masks. How do I add dots to the goddamned thing?

Please give answers in the most simplistic, step-by-step and overall moronic way. It's my first shot at AE and the whole interface still makes me dizzy (not to mention my <10second limit for RAM previews).

Thanks in advance


-gepetto


Use the "pen tool".
First select it be pressing "G". note that there are 4 shapes :
the "Normal" that looks like a pen.
the "Add point" that looks like a pen and a little +
the "subtruct point" same as above only -
the "change point" pen that looks like a small arrow head. It turns angles to curves.

just point and cilck using the "normal pen tool" to start a new mask and creat as many point as you need. Kipping the mouse pressed and dragging it will create a curve, while just pressing creates an angle.

Remember 2 things -
1) Make sute the mask is closed
2) While you can allways add more points, removing them is a big no no, cause you will lose it not in that current frame but in thhe entire maks.

Happy masking...
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Postby AMV_4000 » Fri Mar 10, 2006 4:50 am

Ok, i just purchased 2 older versions of Ulead Media Studio, Version 5 and Version 6.5 (directors cut)... I installed both, and UMS 5 Has the video paint option that I was looking for... UMS 6.5 (DC) Does NOT! I think the directors cut cut out the awsomness that is Video Paint.. You can find UMS 5 for cheap on ebay (i got mine for $20 and it came with a dazzle capture card). ALWAYS research before you buy! (check up on websites to see if the certain versions of the products have what you need) Hope that helps... If anyone wants me to write a guide up for how to greenscreen in video paint let me know.. its simple, dosnt always look that great... but hey... Im not know for making things look great now am I?
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Postby Gizzi » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:45 pm

how does a person achieve this technique without photoshop or ae without having to go frame by frame in microsoft paint? i'm really new to this (as you can tell) but i'm really interested in learning. i just dont want to drop the money on it before i can tell if i'll ever be any good at it. i have premiere 6 LE, which is a huge step up for me from windows movie maker, but i'm still kind of limited it seems :( any advice is much appriciated. i'll keep trying to learn the software, but the hints and tips always help ^_^ tyvm!!!
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Postby CHAMELEON_D_H » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:18 am

As for photoshop substitute, there's The GIMP
It's free, but you will still have to do the masking frame by frame.
[ur=http://www.animemusicvideos.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=65601&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15l]This thread [/url] offers a difrent technique, but uses Adobe Ilustrator.
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Postby CHAMELEON_D_H » Sat Apr 01, 2006 4:19 am

CHAMELEON_D_H wrote:As for photoshop substitute, there's The GIMP
It's free, but you will still have to do the masking frame by frame.
This thread offers a difrent technique, but uses Adobe Ilustrator.


Fixed.
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Postby Gizzi » Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:41 am

thank you very much ^_^ i'll start experimenting right away =D
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Postby Gepetto » Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:53 pm

but what if i want to mask out moving objects?


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Postby CHAMELEON_D_H » Fri Apr 07, 2006 4:21 am

Either frame by frame in image editing program, such as photoshop, nearly frame by frame, but only changing masks when needed in After Effects, or look in this thread.
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Postby Kira_Douji » Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:08 pm

If anyone is still watching this thread T_T... I used E-ko's method to clean up one frame of about 4 seconds of footage which I am extracting only a character (sans background) from. (For those interested, this is Arika's materialize sequence in ep 17 of Mai Otome).

Anyway, at the bottom of E-ko's directions, he said that you could take this finished image and use it in After Effects. I assume he meant as a mask. So I imported both the image and the sequence it's from to After Effects, placed the image on a layer above the actual footage and told After Effects "auto trace". It did a very good job of creating a mask (well, four actually) from the image, which I then copy and pasted to the actual footage. The results can be seen here.


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So here's my question... now what? --; Is this just a fancy way of making masks for each frame of animation, or is there somewhere I can tell After Effects. "Okay, that's your basis... now guess where the points go"? I'm thinking what I want is "Motion Tracking" but I'm not entirely sure how to use it and the After Effects Help isn't, well, helpful in that regard.

Thanks in advance,
Kira
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Postby CHAMELEON_D_H » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:11 pm

I don't have lots of experience with morion tracking, but I think that it won't do you any good. Motion tracking is "motion tracking" literaly. it can spot a moving object and follow it around, but using it for rotoscoping will be lots of work.

A much simpler way, in my opinon will be selecting the mask, and change it frame by frame, when needed. It will take some time, but the results will be better than motion tracking.

Remember to set a keyframe for every frame you change to make sure shape changes occure whan you want them and not when AE decides to interpolate from one frame to the forth.
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Postby DriftRoot » Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:46 pm

CHAMELEON_D_H wrote:Remember to set a keyframe for every frame you change to make sure shape changes occure whan you want them and not when AE decides to interpolate from one frame to the forth.


What you're starting to get into, at this stage with AE, is still rotoscoping in a sense. For fine, detailed work, editing frame by frame is the best method, but you can do masking/rotoscoping with a junk mask level of simplicity and get decent results without too much effort (depending on what kind of footage you're working with and what you're doing with it.) Try combining masks into comps for best results. And remember, the pen tool is your friend.
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Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Vivaldi » Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:55 pm

Yay, two year bump.

Just a little inquiry, When masking, is there any way to "start the mask over" for each new frame? For instance, lets say I have a key frame with a massive amount of points in it. The next frame over, the object has moved quite a bit, so it'd be a much bigger pain to move all my points around 1 by 1, delete the excess, add more, and generally do alot more fiddling than is necessary when I could just, say, Trace it over again from scratch in half the time.

If I delete all but two keyframes, instead of a line, it automatically forms a half circle to complete the loop. If I delete all but one, there's no way to continue the mask, as clicking anywhere else will form a new mask.

Basically, is there any way to break the loop of a mask, and is there any way to continue drawing the mask?

Many thanks.
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Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby mirkosp » Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:42 pm

Vivaldi wrote:Yay, two year bump.

Just a little inquiry, When masking, is there any way to "start the mask over" for each new frame? For instance, lets say I have a key frame with a massive amount of points in it. The next frame over, the object has moved quite a bit, so it'd be a much bigger pain to move all my points around 1 by 1, delete the excess, add more, and generally do alot more fiddling than is necessary when I could just, say, Trace it over again from scratch in half the time.

If I delete all but two keyframes, instead of a line, it automatically forms a half circle to complete the loop. If I delete all but one, there's no way to continue the mask, as clicking anywhere else will form a new mask.

Basically, is there any way to break the loop of a mask, and is there any way to continue drawing the mask?

Many thanks.


Simply put: no. There's no way to break a mask and re-create it from start on a subsequent keyframe. You can just move/delete/add vertexes. The easiest way out is just splitting the layer where needed, deleting the mask in the new layer and doing it from start.
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Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby blabbler » Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:07 pm

that is absolutely not how you do roto :(

you should break down what you're rotoing into a small number of very simple shapes. for example an open hand might have one mask for the palm area, and 1-3 masks on each finger, depending on the detail visible, and the type of movement. if the fingers are closed for a period of time, one mask covering them all for the duration of that movement might be sufficient. if you fuck up an animation track, it's much easier to fix it for one shape than for the entire outline.

you never, ever add or remove vertices from a mask path, it completely destroys your roto with crawling edges. that's what the handy-dandy "preserve vertex count" option in ae is for, and why it's on by default.

you can double click any point on the mask path and it will change to transform mode, so you can reposition the entire mask.

you can resume drawing an open path by selecting the last point you drew (with the pointer, or ctrl-click with the pen tool) then continue drawing. i dunno if you can break an existing path open, that'd be useful. you can change the first vertex, so i assume you can open them up somehow :S
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Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Vivaldi » Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:32 pm

blabbler wrote:that is absolutely not how you do roto :(

you should break down what you're rotoing into a small number of very simple shapes. for example an open hand might have one mask for the palm area, and 1-3 masks on each finger, depending on the detail visible, and the type of movement. if the fingers are closed for a period of time, one mask covering them all for the duration of that movement might be sufficient. if you fuck up an animation track, it's much easier to fix it for one shape than for the entire outline.

you never, ever add or remove vertices from a mask path, it completely destroys your roto with crawling edges. that's what the handy-dandy "preserve vertex count" option in ae is for, and why it's on by default.

you can double click any point on the mask path and it will change to transform mode, so you can reposition the entire mask.

you can resume drawing an open path by selecting the last point you drew (with the pointer, or ctrl-click with the pen tool) then continue drawing. i dunno if you can break an existing path open, that'd be useful. you can change the first vertex, so i assume you can open them up somehow :S


:? that seems like a very needlessly complicated method. I'm not having AE interpolate any frames, and what I'm masking is little more complicated than a silhouette. It seems as though havening 20+ different masks would make quality control harder. And I must admit that I've never seen "crawling edges" before. Could you provide and example? It have to be pretty drastic to warrant such a cost\benefit ratio.
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