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Old April 24th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #1
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Matching/blending tips

Hi folks.
I've been mucking around lately animating layers and transparencies in AE. More and more they're photos or other sorts of stills brought straight in from photoshop and I thought try and put them over some HDV footage and things like that (flying leaves, butterflies etc).
The trouble is, of course, the elements are often too crisp compared to the video, even with motionblur and particularly if the sources are large and being scaled down (AEs resizing is just too damn good).
I realise this is an entire area of artistry in itself and I'm not attempting anything too fancy; mostly very dark stuff and sillhouettes. I was just wondering if anyone had any basic tips they dare to share which combat that crispening.
There's grain of course; gaussian blurring the whole layer/group is a little crude at times; careful feathering of the layers is good but fairly scale dependant. What do you do?
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Old May 5th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #2
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Hmm, ok. Perhaps some illustration
http://members.iinet.net.au/~ragtag/manimtest2Xv.avi
It's only about 400k of a crappy little animation and lighting test I was mucking about with. It might not be too clear but you can see how sharp the edges are on that moth from time to time.
Its made up of transparent 3d layers and the edges have been feathered, but the elements are quite big, for use in closer shots, and the further away I move it from the camera the sharper it gets. Thats obviously just a still in the background, but the sharpness is more pronounced, I find, when putting it over video.
I was planning on including those sort of thing in a short; is there good blending method people might recommend, or would it be better to scale the elements on a shot by shot basis? Or anything really. "You suck" perhaps.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 10:10 AM   #3
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That video looked fine the way it is, but I did notice the moth was a bit too sharp when it wasn't moving as much.
I do this stuff a lot and I really think adding a gaussian blur to anything that is too sharp works fine. Also, this stuff can be less noticeable when it's on a DVD or something because the quality is lowered and the sharpness will go down a bit. I'm sure that would look real if the moth was blurred (just the body I mean).
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #4
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Its been a while since I've actively composited stuff but just based on what I used to know.

Couldn't you export that moth as a .rla file. I think thats the one which retains the z axis info. Then set up a camera in AE and with 3d layers on you should be able to set the depth of field so the moth blurs in and out slightly as it flies towards and away from the camera.

Dont get me wrong, it looks very convincing as it is, just a thought.

Edit: Just on a re-read of your post i see you are getting these elements from a still, not generating them in a 3d package. Nevertheless, its still do-able. Might not be worth while though. Then again?
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Old May 7th, 2008, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ger Griffin View Post
Its been a while since I've actively composited stuff but just based on what I used to know.

Couldn't you export that moth as a .rla file. I think thats the one which retains the z axis info. Then set up a camera in AE and with 3d layers on you should be able to set the depth of field so the moth blurs in and out slightly as it flies towards and away from the camera.

Dont get me wrong, it looks very convincing as it is, just a thought.

Edit: Just on a re-read of your post i see you are getting these elements from a still, not generating them in a 3d package. Nevertheless, its still do-able. Might not be worth while though. Then again?
This is a good thing to do when your animation drastically moves towards or away from you. But still give the moth a blur because it should never be perfectly sharp, if you want to match it to video.
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Old May 22nd, 2008, 12:12 AM   #6
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Cheers guys. Glad it looks half decent as is (actually I've been trying a few other flying bugs and that one has a bit of beginners luck to it I think :) )

I haven't actually played with using camera depth of field in AE before. Mostly I tend to put on a lens blur and animate it to my liking (which obviously won't work all the time and is basically me wussing out on trying to set up new things). So I'll have to try that.
And I guess gaussian blur is probably pretty good, particularly for that sort of lighting (since everything is mostly pretty dark).
Do folks find grain to be a problem and/or have any favorite practice there? or is it usually just a case of pick a film preset you like and do everything?
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