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  • Removing Specks from (Lit) Headlights

     Ed Hecht updated 5 months ago 5 Members · 9 Posts
  • Ed Hecht

    April 17, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Fellow FX/Compositors,
    I need some basic advice/suggestions on how to tackle this shot:

    I need to remove the specks (which are likely internal dust or external hard water stains) from this shot. The car is stationary. But the shot has a slow pan/perspective change.
    I have some experience with Mocha Pro. But I am open to suggestions for other tools that may be better suited to the task. TIA!

  • Graham Quince

    April 18, 2020 at 1:22 pm
  • Ed Hecht

    April 18, 2020 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks, Graham. I appreciate you posting that link. Alas, this shot is much too complex for Content-Aware Fill. I have posted it here:
    There are likely hundreds of these small specks that need to be cleaned up. I am taking a shot at it with Mocha Pro, thought not sure what I can do really do with it. I was wondering if any experience with Boris Silhouette Paint for such tasks?

  • Ross Shain

    April 24, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    It is a tricky one because the spots are so visible.
    Mocha Pro can help with the tracking, but when the clean frames do not exist in the shot, you need to provide the Remove Module with at least 1 clean plate. Content-Aware Fill is similar, but Mocha’s clean plate has more function to control the rendering options with illumination and interpolate between frames.

    I think the Silhouette Paint plug-in might be the most appropriate tool with the Clone tool or the Blemish tool with tracked masks. The ability to mix from tracked to manual paint is key here.

    More training is found here:

    Ross Shain
    Boris FX / Imagineer Systems

  • Darby Edelen

    April 27, 2020 at 6:17 am

    You might be able to get away with doing a Channel > Minimax in the ‘Minimum Then Maximum’ mode. This will reduce some detail in the shot, but you might be able to do this to a duplicate of the layer and selectively blend it back on top.

    Darby Edelen

  • Blaise Douros

    April 27, 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Might have to do the old-school way:

    Take a frame grab where the majority of the back of the headlight is most visible. Bring this into Photoshop, and clone out the spots to create a clean plate. Track that clean plate into the scene–the 3D Camera Tracker is probably the best tool. Then mask around the highlights at the outside of the headlight so that the parallax is preserved.

    Or, go back to the location and reshoot, with a bunch of Windex ☺

  • Ed Hecht

    April 28, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks, Ross. Though (much to my surprise) my boss allowed me to use the good old Median (Legacy) effect to do the job, I am definitely curious to see what Silhouette can do. I plan to play with it today. Thanks for the tutorial links!

  • Ed Hecht

    April 28, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    This was actually a great compromise, Darby. Thanks! Definitely works but with better detail retention than using Median (which is what ended up being approved, unbelievably). I think I will resubmit with this suggestion. Thanks again!

  • Ed Hecht

    April 28, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    LOl. Still scratching my head over the “showroom” vehicle that was provided. 🙂

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