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  • Adding some FX shots to a short film

  • Alex Shapcott

    July 23, 2021 at 3:31 am

    Hi all, I’d like to polish up a few shots from an old short film I made. I have several shots that I am looking for advice on in this post. I’m using Premiere and After Effects 2018 for this as my system is older and cannot go beyond it. Thank you in advance!


    Shot 1) Envelope replacement

    Can anyone advise as to the best way I can replace the paper tucked under the woman’s elbow (which is actually supposed to be an envelope) with the actual envelope on the right hand shot. To add to the complication, the woman moves around in the shot, which results in the envelope falling to the ground – so I’d need to track the object, add in the envelope, and somehow also track the woman’s arm so I can place the envelope behind it.

    Shot 2) Adding ambient light from TV to a shot

    Another thing I’d like to accomplish is adding the glare from the TV static in the right hand shot, to the left hand shot. I’d like to make it appear the ambient light from the TV is lighting up the woman and the room. Would anyone know how this could possibly be done in a realistic manner?

    Shot 3) Adding text to a notepad

    The thing I’d like to do is add some numbers to a notepad. I’ve already added some via AE in the right hand shot. I think it turned out ok, the problem is that given the notepad page changes skew, perspective, and angle as the woman rights, the tracking appears off to my eye. I used the built in AE motion tracker, not Mocha as I was unable to figure it out.

    Any help and suggestions is appreciated! Thank you!

  • Graham Quince

    July 23, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    In all three cases I think the mochaAE tool is the best option here as it’s a planar tracking tool which should get you tracking data you can use with the corner pin effect. I know you’ve tried Mocha, but it’s worth sticking with it. I made a basics tutorial about how to use it, which might help: https://youtu.be/c3TybpIQ_ik

    (Maybe the mask tracking for shot 1, but I’d try MochaAE first)

    For the glow, you probably want to use the glow effect twice. Once with a large radius, but very faint, and then again with a tiny radius, but stronger. Don’t have either effect at full opacity.

    For the woman to be partially lit, I’d suggest use a heavily feathered mask to cut her out, and then adding a glow effect to that to highlight the areas you want lit.

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  • Alex Shapcott

    August 4, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Graham, thanks for your reply. I’ve been trying to use Mocha but have been struggling still. I looked at your tutorial and others but my tracks don’t seem to be working. Any additional help/tips you can suggest.

    I was able to add a TV glow effect using the strobe light effect, so happy about that.

    Thanks again!

  • Eric Santiago

    August 5, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    The envelope part judging from your shot explanation I would have done in Maya (any decent 3D) app.

    I’ve done a few funky VFX shots using Mocha and it’s been a great ride but unless your character is stable it’s a lot of hair-pulling.

    With 3D I can also control the lighting if the frame moves a lot.

  • Alex Shapcott

    August 8, 2021 at 2:38 am

    Hi all, I’ve uploaded sample clips of the two shots I was hoping to clean up. I’m hoping the sample clips gives folks a better idea of the challenges.

    Clip 1: envelope shot.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbmuEpLAve4&ab_channel=Filmpost101

    I’m looking to replace the envelope that moves and falls under the woman’s arm with the envelope in the second shot. As mentioned, i’ve had challenges tracking the movement of the envelope under the arm, as it changes angles and folds.

    Clip 2: notepad shot

    link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q2YHxztabM&ab_channel=Filmpost101

    I’m looking to add numbers to the notepad in a realistic manner. Give that the notepad bends when written on, tracking is challenging. The first shot is the original (without numbers added). The second shot is my attempt to add the additional numbers and text on the pad (using AE built in tracker).

    Thanks for your advice!


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