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Old June 19th, 2016, 03:26 AM   #1
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How to make yourself invisible


When you shoot a ceremony with multiple camera's and you work alone it's often difficult to keep yourself out of the frame on a unmanned camera. One way to deal with this is to shoot with a 4K camera, edit in a 1080p project and crop in post to re-frame to get yourself out of the frame.

If you shoot in 1080p however cropping is not much of an option as you will loose image quality or even when you shoot in 4K there is not always the option to crop you out.

there is one way however that I managed to get myself out of the frame but it only works on a static camera and if there are no changes in exposure, much also depends what other objects move in the frame that might make it difficult to do this disappearing trick but most of the time it does work well.

Above video to demonstrate how it works, there are 2 clips on the timeline; one with the part that has me in the frame, a second clip recorded on another time but where I was not in the frame, this second clip I am going to use to hide myself by masking the area where I am standing.

How to create this effect:

First I create a mask in Edius on the first clip where I am visible, I"m just selecting the part around me but I also select the head of a person where a part of my legs disappear behind, if that person has not moved much in the second clip then it's usable.

Then I lower the opacity to zero on the outside of that mask I just drawn and I feather the edges of the mask so the transition will not be visible.

I then copy that mask to the second clip where I am not visible and I delete the mask from the first clip where I was visible.

Then I only have to drag the second clip where I was not visible on top of the first clip and the mask will overlay the part where I am standing making making myself invisible.

If necessary I could keyframe the position of the mask and even change it's shape if I would move outside the mask.

So this is a very fast and easy way for those moments you don't have any other camera to cut to and you don't want to see yourself in the frame, it might not always work well but it has often served me well.

Not sure if anyone else have ever tried this?
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Old June 19th, 2016, 08:55 AM   #2
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

very well done, I've never tried masking but it does seem effective ok. I have blocked my own cameras in the past,
Usually i'll have enough clips of the congregation to cover me or the photographer if this arises.
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Old June 19th, 2016, 10:19 AM   #3
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

I was standing there for about 5 minutes to get guest reactions and I thought I was just outside the frame so using another camera angle is not a solution, at least not for that amount of time, taking myself out of that frame enables me to choose a camera angle that is best for a particular moment. A photog I never take out but I don't like seeing myself :)
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Old June 19th, 2016, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

I've used this technique myself on a few occasions. I tend to frame grab a moment where the area where I or a tripod is standing and then import into Photoshop. Select the area, feather the selection and then import the partial frame and place it above the video. As long as Not says there is no movement or lighting change, I found it worked well. I used it mostly to mask tripods back when I was less skilled in placing them.

In 1 case where a tripod was badly placed during a lighting a candle moment, I frame grabbed each frame of the 3 second scene and used Photoshop's clone tool to delete the tripod in every frame. Not something I recommend as it was long and tedious. Still I learnt a valuable lesson about camera placement.
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Old June 19th, 2016, 12:06 PM   #5
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

double post

Last edited by Noa Put; June 19th, 2016 at 04:24 PM.
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Old June 19th, 2016, 12:08 PM   #6
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

Photoshop framegrabs can be used but I find them very limiting in use, I am adding a masked videoframe and in my example I had to add that persons head in the lower right corner as well, with a videoframe that head will move but with a photoframe it freezes and would notice.

I am actually using this technique quite often, no matter how perfect you think you framed your unmanned camera's, there is always a moment where you will move into the frame by accident. Having several unmanned camera's available isn't always a solution as you might be standing too long in the "wrong" position and with this technique you are not limited in camera angle choices. The fact that I don't have to leave Edius to apply this disappearing trick and because it's so easy to apply is something gladly use to my advantage.

I too have used this technique to make tripods disappear :)
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Old June 19th, 2016, 12:09 PM   #7
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

double post
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Old June 19th, 2016, 12:50 PM   #8
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

This is a nice technique! But do you have a solution for removing a large bouquet of flowers from in front of a groom giving a speech?! Kicking myself for that one!
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Old June 19th, 2016, 01:01 PM   #9
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

You only would be able to do that if you have the same frame without the flowers, do you have a framegrab of that situation?
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Old June 19th, 2016, 01:44 PM   #10
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

The curse of table decorations. Been working around these large candle sticks only today. Many a time I've started filming only to curse myself for not anticipating a blocked shot I could have removed quite easily. Of course parents being given large bouquet of flowers has had me tearing my hair out when they leave it on the table. Many a quick dash before the Best Man speech to remove them.
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Old June 19th, 2016, 04:13 PM   #11
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

Actually that's a good idea. However, only obstacle I see is when live people are in the shot, sitting, motioning etc. Could create a bit of a jump cut if they suddenly move a bit. Jarring.

I wouldn't 'rely' on it, but yes it sure gets you out of a pinch.
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Old June 19th, 2016, 04:36 PM   #12
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

During a ceremony people almost don't move so the risk is minimal and you just need to secure that whoever moves stays within the mask, if I cannot secure that then I don't use this trick but I have to say for the times I had to use it it worked out fine.

Here another one from last years wedding, first you see a wide static shot and a kid speaking at a lectern, next shot you see is me handholding a camera and standing right next to the kid and last shot it's a wide shot again, do you see me anywhere :) ? I was leaning against that pillar to the left of the lectern so I was in full view of my static camera yet I cut myself out using the exact same technique as described above.

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Old June 19th, 2016, 05:29 PM   #13
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

lol, dude that's pretty tricky! Nice fallback.
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Old June 20th, 2016, 12:29 AM   #14
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

I've used this technique from time to time. The first time though, I used it to "correct" a couple of kids that were goofing around during the first dance.

I had a static camera rolling for a while before the first dance had started and these two kids were behaving like angels. As soon as the couple began dancing, the kids started jumping around. I inserted the footage of them behaving well into the first dance shot and ended up with a nice sequence.
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Old June 20th, 2016, 01:27 AM   #15
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Re: How to make yourself invisible

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Barnett View Post
lol, dude that's pretty tricky! Nice fallback.
It was not my intention to stand there as I had a camera on a tripod pointed towards the lectern for reader closeups but the kid was too small and I had to move in close and shoot handheld to get a view of him, no matter how well you prepare, there always will be moments where you have to cheat :)
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