Masking/Compositing in AE

Discussion and help related to Adobe video software goes here. e.x. Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, etc.

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby blabbler » Sat Jul 04, 2009 5:34 am

however close you mange to follow the edges of the shape you're trying to roto, you will find that on each frame you are cutting into the subject a little more or a little less. when the series of images are moving, these slight changes really grab your attention, as on fine details it looks like there are jittery 3d transforms going on, and on large shapes it looks like the edge of the subject is kind of undulating.
this looks even worse when your vertices are in a different place on each frame, or if vertices are popping in and out of existence.
using simple shapes pretty much eliminates edge crawl, because you are using less points on each mask. in a good matte, you'll find that the vertices are at the same point on the subject on every frame. also your brain will tolerate the cutting into the subject far more when shapes within the object remain consistent.

also, it's far quicker to roto with separate masks. you'll be dealing with fewer points. the masks can all be on the same layer if you like, just slap them on top of each other and use the relevant blend modes.
Image
User avatar
blabbler
 
Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Location: Copycat_Revolver's fetid imagination

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Kaitrono » Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:36 pm

Hmm... I would have to disagree with you blabbler. I don't think making 20+ masks could possibly make the process faster. Especially since you would have to adjust each one for the different frames. Although I will take your word for it that the results are slightly better, it seems like a lot of unnecessary extra work and could even get confusing with so many shapes on one screen.
Kaitrono
 
Joined: 10 Jan 2009

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby blabbler » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:14 am

it takes a bit of practice to see the subject in terms of simple shapes, but it's a hands down better, faster and more elegant method. t's not 'slightly better', it's night and day ;)
Image
User avatar
blabbler
 
Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Location: Copycat_Revolver's fetid imagination

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Nya-chan Production » Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:02 pm

I have to agree with blabbs here. I have seen his work (remember, blabbs? :> )and I am currently trying to change my customs because it really IS easier AND way safer.

Say, you have a mask, 120 vertexes around the silhouette, and then you fuck up somewhere. And have to redo it whole.

The keyframing is actually simmilarly simple. It doesn't matter whether you have 1 x 120 vertexes mask or 20 x 7 vertexes masks. You always move just the parts/vertexes that move anyways.

It all comes to what one is accustomed to in the end anyways, though.
ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage
User avatar
Nya-chan Production
The :< point of view
 
Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Location: Ward 7F
Status: White bracelet

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Anicsi » Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:47 am

Guys, I am so lost again xD I really don't know what I do wrong, it just WON'T WORK lol

Okay, this is the case: I watched a tutorial about cool titles in After Effects. I am still a noob in using it but the title I want to create is very simple, I just need to get the preset to work xD

Basically I use the Sure Target Animation Preset. It sounds like really simple and I believe it is, but the camera just won't move in my case.
Here's a screenshot:
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e72/A ... ild5-1.png

I have three titles and I want the camera, which is linked to a Null Object, to move from one title to another. The keyframes mark my objects of the "Slide" effect. I hope you got me xD
So, do you have ANY idea why the camera won't move when I type in 2,00 for the second title? I am 100 % sure that my settings are according to the tutorial. I am working on a Mac, could it be that the preset won't work because of that? I can't imagine as it does appear in AE after installing. Please help, this is like the most basic thing but I don't get my wrong.
User avatar
Anicsi
 
Joined: 18 Jun 2007

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby blabbler » Sat Sep 26, 2009 12:28 pm

isn't suretarget a videocopilot plugin? i'd ask on the forums over there.

you can just animate the camera manually, it's pretty easy once you get your head round viewports in ae. gimme a shout on aim if you want a hand doing it the old fashioned way >.>
Image
User avatar
blabbler
 
Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Location: Copycat_Revolver's fetid imagination

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Anicsi » Tue Sep 29, 2009 6:12 am

blabbler wrote:isn't suretarget a videocopilot plugin? i'd ask on the forums over there.

you can just animate the camera manually, it's pretty easy once you get your head round viewports in ae. gimme a shout on aim if you want a hand doing it the old fashioned way >.>


Yeah right, videopilot ^^ I think I will ask there if I can't solve the problem.
For now I asked a friend who also edits with a Mac to see if the plugin works for her, so we can see if it is really a Mac-based issue.

Well, the sure target tool is really cool because you can add some random movement which makes everything look a lot livelier.
But thank you for your nice offer, I will come back to this if I can't make it with the tool ^^ (Actually I am impatient, I finished my video and all that remains are the credits, arghhh lol)
Thanks again ^^
User avatar
Anicsi
 
Joined: 18 Jun 2007

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Anicsi » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:59 am

Well, I haven't found a solution for my other problem yet but there's something more important right now xD

Some questions on masking in AE:
1. When I mask in AE everything works quite smoothly. Only that when I mask in a path and jump back to correct a keypoint when I haven't closed the mask yet, once I want to go on with my mask, AE creates a new mask instead of adding a new keypoint to my first mask/path.
What can I do to avoid that? How can I force AE to go back where I was before I interrupted to correct the mask?

2. Once I have closed my mask it seems that I can't change the path/keypoints, f.e. when jumping to a new frame and the image changed a bit. I only can move the mask as a WHOLE. The only way to edit the mask seems to be adding a new keypoint. After that it works just was always.
Is there a key I need to press or something? I tried the 'Apple', Alt, ctrl and shift. Nothing works.

3. In the case as I explained above, when I add or remove a keyframe, let's say in frame 3 of my mask. What effect does it have on the mask of the previous frames 1 and 2? Do the keyframes appear/disappear? I wondered cause one time my mask was all messed up because I added/removed some keyframes somewhere in the end of my mask and I had to start all over again.
What would be the best solution for this problem? Cutting the clip?

I would be very grateful for a fast answer. I need to finish a MEP part and there's still this masking scene...
User avatar
Anicsi
 
Joined: 18 Jun 2007

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby rook2pawn » Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:37 pm

Anicsi wrote:Well, I haven't found a solution for my other problem yet but there's something more important right now xD

Some questions on masking in AE:
1. When I mask in AE everything works quite smoothly. Only that when I mask in a path and jump back to correct a keypoint when I haven't closed the mask yet, once I want to go on with my mask, AE creates a new mask instead of adding a new keypoint to my first mask/path.
What can I do to avoid that? How can I force AE to go back where I was before I interrupted to correct the mask?


When a mask is not yet "closed", (i.e. all points connected), and the current frame is changed, to correctly add a new vertice instead of creating a new separate mask,
select the layer with this unfinished mask, then select the mask from the timeline, click somewhere on the comp, but not on the mask, then use the mask tool and hit control .. Sorry, its a strange combination here, my advice is to remember to finish your mask before you change your current frame, but a little fudging around works.

Anicsi wrote:2. Once I have closed my mask it seems that I can't change the path/keypoints, f.e. when jumping to a new frame and the image changed a bit. I only can move the mask as a WHOLE. The only way to edit the mask seems to be adding a new keypoint. After that it works just was always.
Is there a key I need to press or something? I tried the 'Apple', Alt, ctrl and shift. Nothing works.


To add new vertices to an existing closed mask, select the layer (from the timeline window), then select the mask (again from the timeline window), then using the select tool, click anywhere outside the mask to make sure you unselect all points, then you can use control to alter the mask tool to add vertice mode.

The main mechanic is this: whenever all points are selected, you have to click outside the mask to unselect everything. You can even click drag to select a group of vertices, to adjust a mask.

All masking mechanics are basically a combination of knowing when to use the select tool to select/unselect vertice(s), the mask tool to adjust node types (bezier/linear), and the mask tool to add or delete vertices, and how selecting a layer in the timeline tells After effects to basically reset what the select tool is grabbing.

Anicsi wrote:3. In the case as I explained above, when I add or remove a keyframe, let's say in frame 3 of my mask. What effect does it have on the mask of the previous frames 1 and 2? Do the keyframes appear/disappear? I wondered cause one time my mask was all messed up because I added/removed some keyframes somewhere in the end of my mask and I had to start all over again.
What would be the best solution for this problem? Cutting the clip?

I would be very grateful for a fast answer. I need to finish a MEP part and there's still this masking scene...



Suppose you have a mask at frame 100. Now, you turn on mask shape keyframes, and move forward 3 frames and edit your mask. A new mask keyframe will appear.
If both keyframes (one at 100, and one at 103) are linear keyframes, then the mask will change shape at frames 101, and 102 to morph into the new shape.

What I do is make all my keyframes for masking, hold keyframes, so whenever i create a new keyframe, it abrutply moves to my new keyframe with no interpolation in between. You do not want interpolation for your mask when masking characters, in general. You can make hold keyframes out of linear ones by control clicking the keyframe to make it go from diamond to square/halfdiamond-halfsquare.
User avatar
rook2pawn
 
Joined: 29 Jan 2008

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Anicsi » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:19 pm

I am very sorry I didn't reply earlier, somehow I thought I already had ^^"
First of all thanks for the quick and solid answer, it really helped me out. Only it seems that there has been a misunderstanding for I did not know the correct english expression for what you seem to call 'vertice' (?) I believe. I referred to those points as keyframes, even though I know very well that keypoints are actually the ones you set in the timeline when you change the mask in a new frame.
Anyway, if I correct my question (I'll pass on the second one, it is not important anymore) then it would be:

3. In the case as I explained above, when I add or remove a vertice, let's say in frame 3 of my mask. What effect does it have on the mask of the previous frames 1 and 2? Do the vertices appear/disappear? I wondered cause one time my mask was all messed up because I added/removed some vertices somewhere in the end of my mask and I had to start all over again.
What would be the best solution for this problem? Cutting the clip?


So, yeah, I experimenced a bit and the vertices DO indeed vanish, even if you have a keyframe (yes, a real keyframe) set on every new frame. The only way I discovered to avoid the mask getting messed up is indeed cutting the clip when the picture changes so much that you need to add or remove some more vertices.
I also think there could be a way of combining two or more masks but sadly I haven't been able to get through to that ;)

However, your answers have been very helpful. Thank you ^^
User avatar
Anicsi
 
Joined: 18 Jun 2007

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Anicsi » Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:26 pm

*sigh* I always manage to have some stupid typos, I mean one thing and write another (Keyframes/keypoints/vertices). Also now I am confused to the extend that I don't know the difference between keypoints or keyframes. Do even both exist? My brain is a mess right now, so sorry xD Anyway, I hope you get what I mean x.x
User avatar
Anicsi
 
Joined: 18 Jun 2007

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby blabbler » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:34 pm

a vertex is a point on the mask, a keyframe is a value at a given time set in the timeline for the purpose of animating something.

if you delete a vertex on one frame, you delete it on all frames. if you add a vertex on one frame, you are adding a vertex to every frame (although they all appear in the same position, which most likely will not be what you want)

there is an option in general preferences "preserve vertex count" if you turn it off you can animate the adding and removing of vertices, however this is really bad practice since it makes a hell of a mess.

the trick is to use several simple masks on your subject. e.g for a moving arm you might want to have a mask for the upper arm, one for the lower arm, and one for the hand. if you find your masks can't cover everything, you add another mask, keeping it as simple as possible.

and as you say, you can break the clip up into several smaller clips to keep things simple.
Image
User avatar
blabbler
 
Joined: 09 Nov 2007
Location: Copycat_Revolver's fetid imagination

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Anicsi » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:40 am

oh okay, vertices = plural of vertex, I get it now xD Thanks a lot, I might try using several masks maybe when I have something to mask again ^^
User avatar
Anicsi
 
Joined: 18 Jun 2007

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Anicsi » Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:09 pm

I have a serious problem. Again >_<

Facts: I masked a scene in AE since I cannot in Final Cut.
--> The BG is gone.
Everything fine so far.

Usually I export the masked scenes as uncompressed but this time it is a fun video, so I don't really need the quality and, what's more important, I couldn't do it even if I wanted to because I have exactly 700 MB on my external HD left lol

So, I chose exporting via x264 encoder (oh yeah, I am on a mac) but suddenly the clip loses transparancy. Meaning... the BG is black instead of transparent. Which is a real problem of course.

OKay, I absolutely KNOW for sure I exported a mask the same way once and it was transparent, I even have it here on my computer.
So what's going on? Any settings I accidentally forgot?
Please help guys, I have to send it in tomorrow and... geez, this is just troublesome...
User avatar
Anicsi
 
Joined: 18 Jun 2007

Re: Masking/Compositing in AE

Postby Bauzi » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:45 am

@Anicsi:

Have a look at this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=98097

I explain it in one of the last posts.

Clean your harddisc. You will need the additional space for sure! I don't know any distribution codec such as x264 or XviD that actually saves the alpha channel (-> transparency).
Image
Image
User avatar
Bauzi
 
Joined: 21 May 2004
Location: Austria (uhm the other country without kangaroos^^)
Status: Under High Voltage

PreviousNext

Return to Adobe Software

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron