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Old February 18th, 2003, 12:56 PM   #1
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Dumb "Cops" effects question

I am looking to add an effect that will blank/block out a perosn's face as they move around. You know the "Cops" effect. I am shooting some stuff where some of the peopel must not be identifiable and It looks liek Adobe After Effects 5.5 Productions Bundle does that, but I don't want to spend $1500 jsut for that, especially since I find Adobe products to be somewhat problematic and quirky. Any one else have any suggestions? I prefer to NOT do this frame by frame.

Thanks!
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Old February 18th, 2003, 01:24 PM   #2
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Keith, you don't say what editing software you are using, but this effect can easily be done in Premiere without having to use AE. There is a good tutorial at http://www.wrigleyvideo.com/videotutorial/tutorials.htm on this, but it appears that the site is down at the moment. Hopefully it will be back up soon.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 02:01 PM   #3
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It's also easily done in Vegas using two video tracks and a "cookie cutter" with blur.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 04:01 PM   #4
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I have both Premiere and Vegas 3 (soon Vegas 4). I want to make sure that the effect will follow the person's face, I want to say drop soem anchor referecnes that the effect follows frame by frame (I apologize if my terms are wrong, newbie here) with out me having to edit each frame to move the effect. I will check out the tutorial referenced as I have been to Wrigley's site a while back. I will also look into the Vegas way as well. Thanks!
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Old February 18th, 2003, 04:38 PM   #5
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Keith, the tutorial outlines pretty much the same method as described by Edward. It involves placing a duplicate clip on the video track above the original clip, creating a track matt of whatever size and shape necessary to mask the intended area, applying a blur effect to the video clip copy and finally using the transform filter to move the track matt so that it follows the subject. Sounds complicated but once you do it a time or two, it's really very easy. Someone correct me if I screwed up the steps. It's easier to do than explain how to do it!
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Old February 18th, 2003, 06:53 PM   #6
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Greatm Thanks! I'll give it a try. As usual this is a great forum to exchange ideas, many thanks!
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Old February 18th, 2003, 08:29 PM   #7
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You simply need to add multiple keyframes to the effect in order to make it follow the face. It will definitely take to manual labor to get it to follow correctly.
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Old February 18th, 2003, 10:35 PM   #8
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Identity Keyframing

Below are a few examples of the effect that you are wanting to achieve. These were done in Premiere 5.1c RT and as Ed said it will take you a while if done with these methods. It will not take you as long if you use the motion filter because you can use keyframes as I did with the black oval (an opaque graphic). If you go the route I did with the blurred circle (circle wipe) you will have to literally reposition and resize it every one, two or three frames for accuracy. If you notice the black oval sample does not jerk when it moves, because of keyframing. However, the blurs do because there is not interpolation between frames. I called a high end post house to find out how they did this and you don't want to spend that kind of money. Their software can follow a pixel and calculate all the moves from then on and you pay for that convenience. When I produced this program 10 years ago, I was doing all of the masking manually with a Grass 110 switcher using a circle wipe with a mosaic pattern and when I missed the target, you guessed it, I had to start all over again. Thank goodness for NLE! You can see this clip with him unmasked and all the other episodes at the "Task Force" link below. This clearly demonstrates that Premiere can perform this operation.

www.taskforce.tv


Test 1
http://161.58.78.36/asx/test/masks/softmask500k.asx

Test 2
http://161.58.78.36/asx/test/masks/hardmask500k.asx

Test 3
http://161.58.78.36/asx/test/masks/solidmask500k.asx
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Old February 19th, 2003, 12:34 PM   #9
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James,

Thanks!! I see you're in my neck of the woods, I am in Marietta. The examples were great so now I know it can be done with what I have either Vegas or Premiere!

I thought I was going to have to get After Effects 5.5 Production bundle, it does have somehitng simlar to what you mention the productiuon houses use, you can identify points on the image and it will follow it. Pinnacle Edition seems to have the feature as well. But now that I can do it wihtout spending any more $$$ then I thinks that is great.

Thanks to all that provided info!!!
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Old February 19th, 2003, 12:44 PM   #10
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Which Software?

Ed Frazier, which software performs the method that you mentioned?
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Old February 19th, 2003, 02:18 PM   #11
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James, the method I described can be done entirely in Premiere. The procedure is fully explained and demonstrated in the tutorial link to www.wrigleyvideo.com, but it seems that the site is being moved to a new host. It should be back up this weekend or early next week. I've learned a lot of neat tricks that can be done in Premiere from that site and the author is adding new stuff all the time.

It is not necessary to keyframe every frame of the clip. Depending on the amount of movement and duration of the clip, you may only need two or three keyframes. Put one at the beginning of the clip and one at the end then preview to see if any additional keyframes are needed. The final result is quite smooth and easily tweaked.

Just a minor correction to my previous post: I said that the "transform effect" is used, but that should have read "transform filter". I'll make the correction to the original post.
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