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Old April 18th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #1
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Moving picture in a picture frame

Hi all,

This isn't a forum I usually spend much time in, so forgive my lack of detailed compositing / FX knowledge.

I'm directing (and producing etc) a music promo in about 6 weeks time. We're shooting on a Z1 with 35mm converter, cutting on FCP. I've got after effects / photoshop, but am only beginning to teach myself the former.

There is one shot I want causing me headaches.

Lead character in music promo will look at a picture frame on the mantlepiece. There will be a still image - photograph - of a woman and child in it. He looks closer, and then the image in the frame becomes a 'moving photograph' and the woman and child 'sing along' to the track lyrics.
(I know this has been done before, but in the context of our vid we feel it's the right choice for this moment).

Easy option to an ignoramis like me - shoot the frame on legs locked off. Shoot the woman and child seperately. Drop the women and child footage onto a timeline layer in FCP above the main shot of the picture frame on the mantlepiece. Resize and crop the woman and child image, then rotate 3d until it sits in the frame. Problem? Will look crappy. Principally because it will be above the glass of the frame.

So not having green / blue screened anything before, do I have a second option of shooting the frame with a distinct colour card behind the glass. If I then key this colour out, will I be able to retain the glass and its qualities or will it dissapear with the colour below it? How would you suggest I then bring the 'moving photograph' into the main image?

Any advice much appreciated.

Many thanks,
Marco
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Old April 18th, 2007, 12:16 PM   #2
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I personally would use AE and use the 4-point motion tracker. Use the inside of the frames 4 corners as your ... well, 4 corners. It'll create the necessary 3D movement you need. There are other ways, but that's my vote.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #3
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I second the AE. It's really easy to use After Effects to do what you are suggesting.

Jon
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Old April 18th, 2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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Thanks

Thanks to you both - I'll start experimenting with AE tonight.

But are you referring simply to the compositing of the two images together - or are you also referring to overcoming the problem of loosing the glass over the photograph? IE: the idea I put forward of keying out a colour from behind the glass

If so, can you explain further how to do this please?

Thanks again,
Marco
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Old April 18th, 2007, 04:29 PM   #5
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I'd shoot it with black paper in the frame. Then use some opacity less than 100% when you add in the moving video. This should keep some of the reflection while also allowing the moving video to be visible.

Bill
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Old April 18th, 2007, 04:35 PM   #6
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I would put a blank color behind the picture frame glass, but to make the motion tracker more reliable, not to key it out or capture the glass texture. Play with some filters to get the glass texture you are looking for, but don't spend the time trying to capture it unless you are really worried about accurate reflections.

For making the picture video look realistic, it will be more noticeable to match the color curve of the rest of the scene than apply a texture to the glass. Viewer perception will rely on the framing and depth of field as well, so you could use those to your advantage in suspending disbelief.

Subtle VFX are my favorite :)
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Old April 18th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Gardner View Post
I'd shoot it with black paper in the frame. Then use some opacity less than 100% when you add in the moving video. This should keep some of the reflection while also allowing the moving video to be visible.
That's also a good idea. Do use some keying, but only a partial multiply blend and you may pick up the highlights/shadows from the scene. I actually like this better than my suggestion of not keying.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 10:13 AM   #8
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If you want to take it the extra mile, here's another thought:

duplicate the layer of the room, mirror it (as it's a reflection), turn the opacity down to like 5 or 10 (barely noticable), and use the same motion tracking values over that. It'll give it just enough of a glass feel reflecting your source. Just a thought.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 12:20 PM   #9
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Shoot having a good reflection on the glass and a flat colour behind it.
cut the glass in AE using a mask.
Drop this layer over the composite (the take and the video into the frame).
Use blending modes (which one will depend on the flat colour and densityof the reflection) and the opacity of the top layer to control how much reflection you want.
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Old April 20th, 2007, 02:10 PM   #10
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What Martin said. I did this just last week. It works best if you put a black photograph behind the glass, and then use the 'lighten' blending mode. Wherever you just see the black picture it will disappear, and the reflection will stay on.
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Old April 21st, 2007, 11:43 AM   #11
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Thanks

Thanks to everybody who has posted on this. I've done some high-reflection camera tests this morning and everthing seems to be coming to gether perfectly.
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