Week #6: Match Motion I: After Effects


I enjoyed this week's assignment because knowing that I needed an outdoor scene, I was on the lookout throughout the week for "good locations". This made me actively look at my surroundings in a different angle. I found a cool spot behind 370 Jay St, which I ended up using, but upon trying to track it in After Effects, I realized it wasn't really a good spot due to the lack of tracking marks on the ground. But I decided to go with it, and see how it turned out. It didn't come out as bad as I expected, but its definitely not perfect. With the greenscreen tracking, I was able to utilize Advanced Spill Suppressor. I added two different portals (I found a lot of cool portal gifs) for the greenscreen, and a mask for the lady and the pillar on the right. 

Outdoor Tracking

Not many tracking marks on the ground of the footage, which made for a ground that might not have been perfectly flat.

Creating the masks for the yellow traffic poles was simple and did not give much issues because the color was significantly different from the background. However for the stone pillar, there were more issues due to it being similar in color to the background. It caused a lot of the mask bleeding out onto the background. To fix this I scrubbed through the footage and updated the mask at points where it bled out.

For the 2D element, I wanted to add a portal that was animated. So I created a Solid on the door, and found a portal GIF on Google. When I replaced the solid with the gif, it only lasted for a short while (I think 5 seconds) and then it disappeared. I found a solution to this online, which was to right-click on the gif file, Interpret Footage, and Main. This allowed the gif's duration to be extended to match the outdoor scene footage time. 

I also had to reposition the mask layers so that they would go over the portal, but not other masks.

Final Timeline

When I rendered out the video, the stone pillar still caused a lot of issues. The portal seemed to ignore the mask at certain areas. Even though there was a mask on the yellow pole in front of the stone pillar mask, the portal would go over the yellow pole as well in certain areas. My guess is that the stone pillar being the same color as the wall creates some weird changes in the masking AI every frame, which could be causing the mask to go through the mask. Also the final video took up 2.6GB for a 13 second video. (WHAT?)

Greenscreen Tracking

For the greenscreen tracking, I used the example footage from the folder provided. Again, I added Camera Tracking, and placed the ground on the floor. Then I added two solids on the walls and replaced them with two different portals. This was done by selecting the layer, holding alt and dragging the replacement file onto the layer. Then I masked out the lady with Roto Brush and updated the mask every time it bled, which mostly occurred between the arms. After that, I added an Advanced Spill Suppressor on the mask layer of the lady and set the method to Ultra. After this I also added a mask to the pillar on the right towards the end of the footage.

Final Timeline

Final Thoughts:

I find it strange that while in After Effects the final render seems to run smooth with minute hiccups in the masks. However after the render, the final video has issues that weren't in After Effects. For example, in the greenscreen video, at the very end of the footage, both the Advanced Spill Suppressor and the mask on the pillar seem to just disappear. On the outdoor video, the portal clips through the last pillar almost as though the mask is missing in certain areas despite the mask being there in After Effects.