June 17, 2021 at 12:43 am
Hi there, I am fairly new to editing, but am going to edit a music video this month, and want to replicate the effect in this PJ Harvey video from a decade or so ago (linked below). I have found tutorials on cloning and ghosting but not for this exact look – would this be achieved through multiple video layers, masking, and adjusting the opacity? Any help appreciated, thanks in advance! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m2NyS3IDjESome contents or functionalities here are not available due to your cookie preferences!
June 17, 2021 at 1:17 pm
Some pre-planning would help this.
Are the scenes done already?
You are right about the techniques used but you will need to lock down your shots to avoid crazy masking.
June 17, 2021 at 1:37 pm
Yeah, should be fairly straightforward in After Effects if you have good footage (read: black BG or green screen; the high key lighting also helps). Play with offsetting the video clips (yes, in layers) and opacity first. Then see if you like changing the transfer modes a bit for different looks in the ghosting. She has some color effects thrown in there, too, so you could mess with that. Just get in there and play… playing is a GREAT way to learn 🙂 This could be hard without good footage. If you are not using AE, you can still do it in PP but it’ll be a bit more cumbersome, IMO.
June 17, 2021 at 2:07 pm
This effect starts with shooting multiple takes with the camera locked down as much as possible, if your budget can’t afford a motion-controlled camera. Each time she performs, it’s a little bit off on the timing of her movements. Your task is to sandwich all the takes, synched to the audio, and control the opacity and transfer or “blend” mode of each take in the stack. AfterEffects would give you more control options for this, but it’s not impossible to do in Premiere. How I might go about it is, each new layer is going to be made in its own compound clip with the source footage and a layer of a gray solid. You’re going to change the blend mode of the footage so that the gray solid has an effect on how much of the track is going to get affected by the opacity and keying changes to come. So, you’re making a sandwich of sandwiches, and what’s why I suggested AE might make the job easier. But if you’re only going two or three levels deep, Premiere should work.
The footage is easier to work with if as in the original example, the person is lit and the background is limbo black.
June 17, 2021 at 8:13 pm
Thanks Eric and we don’t shoot until Sunday (I’m directing it as well) so definitely pre-planning so I don’t make it too hard for myself. We’ll do locked off shots. The cinematographer thought they may have added some of the pan and zoom in the PJ Harvey clip in post also…?
June 17, 2021 at 8:16 pm
Thanks Jonathan – we’re going to have a lighting set up similar to how you’ve described – except with dark green velvet curtains – but pretty dark with high key lighting. Hopefully that helps me in the edit. I have used After effects VERY lightly – in terms of workflow would you recommend building my rough cut first before moving into AE?
June 17, 2021 at 8:27 pm
Thanks Mark – am I correct that with this technique and the other advice from Eric and Jonathan, I might not need to mask the performer in each layer? If I have locked off shots and and similar lighting set up to the PJ Harvey clip? Or am I dreaming?! I played around last night with some poorly lit test footage and just two layers where I masked the performer on the top layer, changed the opacity over time and mucked around with some blending modes so I started to get the general idea…
June 21, 2021 at 2:01 pm
Was the shoot last weekend?
I am curious as to how it turned out.
Since you asked this question in Premiere, I held back on suggesting AE (my choice).
It is possible in any NLE but as long as you plan all your shots as everyone here suggested.
Now if you do lose the camera frame then that’s where AE comes to play.
You can warp to match backgrounds then mask as needed.
So many options and very inspired that you are taking an PJ vid to match 🙂
June 22, 2021 at 11:58 am
Hi Eric, thanks for checking in! Yes we shot it on Sunday and after reading the replies I feel like I should use AE. I’m desperate to jump in and edit but I’m now working my way through an After Effects tutorial. I’m going to play around with some of the footage in both AE and Premiere to get a feel for it. But we locked off the shots for the wide, and did multiple runs with the singer in two different looks, so I’ve got plenty of options. We went handheld for the close up but kept the movement minimal. It will probably be the wide where I’m going for the PJ effect. I had an awesome cinematographer so it looked beautiful – fingers crossed I can pull off the edit!
June 22, 2021 at 1:37 pm
It is possible in Premiere using masks and a slight feather (if needed).
It’s just that nothing is perfect in a live shoot and sometimes things move.
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