Rotoscoping with Green Screen


Adobe® After Effects®


Lesson Info

Rotoscoping with Green Screen

The scene was from the movie the courier that came out a few years ago, and I worked on this actually, I started working on this with cs five point five that's when I I think the road a brush was first introduced them because that's, the first time I used it was on this movie. Um it was supposed to be a give you a little backstory, there's a somebody's held hostage by these bad guys, they take a woman, they put her up on top of the tire hands and put her on top of a roller coaster, and they're sending pictures to this guy who says you bring the money or we're going to dump her off, and so he rushes up the roller coaster and gives them throws him a bag of money, they let go of the rope, she falls off and this is him grabbing the other end of the rope and jumping off the edge of the roller coaster to counterbalance her hitting the ground. So there was about eighty five shots in this scene that needed this type of treatment to it because obviously they're not going to film actors up one h...

undred fifty feet in the air on top of a roller coaster, so they did their b roll shots around there, but they did all their other shots on the lowest curve of the roller coaster and the intention here you at least give them credit for wanting to do the right thing but in this shot is sad because let me bring it down to the screen here they have green down here I call that greenish because it's not the right green material to start with it's obviously all rank lee it looks like a bed that's been slept in this has probably take five or whatever of this shot and whoever dressed the set didn't plan for this whoever shooting it didn't plan for it because look what happens to our hero as he jumps over his head goes way his whole upper body goes way beyond the green screen and he goes off and then he hits it and it creates more wrinkles and that's what happened so that's the shot that we had to work with there's very little green screen keen that's done in this shot because there's just so many things wrong with it so obviously this whole thing needs to be road to death so going to back up a bit here and um show you some of those steps. So using um some of the rodeo techniques that uh we had done before since this was a locked off shots that really helped a lot in ro doing some of the foreground stuff and you see, I've got a mask around the frame of the uh roller coaster base and that mask I don't know that it moves at all a lot of them had to move this one doesn't have any key frames so that locked off shot really worked there's a few shots in this scene that uh I had to track the mat because there's a hand held camera and that's always the worst of course they're all wanting to be really hip nowadays and everything's hand hill nobody uses paris sticks and so it's always it's always ah ah hassle for the poor roto guys because they have to track everything that's moving and that includes motion blur and everything. So anyway, this one this one is a pretty easy one because there's all locked off so the only things that are moving our him the rope in the board that he kind of breaks through to jump off the edge of the roller coaster okay, so that's my very first pass is this um this this mask right here that's it if you want to see what I just did there this is a uh, solo button right down here in the timeline that little button there lets you solo just that particular, uh, layer so that if you just want to see how well you're doing with just that layer quips wrong button um then that's that's how you solo it and you just see the transparent background there but they're a little tip those a little tips you learn along the way in these classes because you can't just sit down and learn what every single button and switch does right at once without seeing it actually being applied. So with that being the case, let me do so that again and then click office so I can see my edges and I notice I've got a little bit of feathering their smoothed it out and it's pretty tight. I really did do a lot of detail in this scene because this was again the whole thing. The original scene was all shot in four k, so I'm dealing with four thousand some odd pixels wide and it's it's a big file so you've got a lot of data that's the one thing I don't mind working in four k just because it gives us so much data to work with. So even in at trying to get used to this mouse here we go. Um even if we get into a hundred percent you see these edges really easy to get those edges just right, okay, and you probably saw this little blue line in here. What I had to do is copy the rope that was in there as well, because the rope is moving and you see it's real blurry there there's no way to just ke that out with the green screen it's whipping around it's doing all this stuff I had no idea where it was going I could only see on the frames that were uh you know still enough to capture its motion and its shape so I had to guess a little bit and knowing that that most of that was going to disappear when I rode him out didn't really matter if it was exact I just wanted to make sure that the rope somewhat mimicked what uh he's doing there so that's where I bring in the shape tool and my shape is just a stroke notice if I look up here my shape layer the pen tool I have no phil so I wasn't making a closed ended shape of any kind it was just a stroke with the pen tool so that shaped layer click on it here and my contents there's the shape so the path of the shape has key frames and its key framed on every single frame here this is all done by hand and um what I've got theirs I tried to trace the path of the rope with this shape as close as possible I was the only way I could figure out how to do this and make it work so you see it's off a little bit but I'm kind of tween ing a few things here and there and then when I look at how I create that shape uh it isthe just a let's see how many we see the stroke here the stroke is seven pixels wide and it's this kind of ah almost a well it's rope colored I went for realism I went for rope color so it's kind of a hamper rope color even though it looks black and here and this is why because on that rope I started with that color but then I also went with a layer style and this is what I love about cheating it with layer styles I didn't have to really make it three d to get my lighting and shading on this I just had to set a light source and then I created a bevel and in boss on it and since the light source stays in one place the rope can whip all around all at once but the light is going to stay in the shadows going to stay so it's going to give me a realistic rope shape so if I click off the rope layer here uh if I could do it out here there we go and zoom in a little bit we'll see that there's the rope in there of course I've got my I don't have him road yet that's that's later on down the line but there's my rope being see there's a little highlight on the edge of the rope and there's the shadow and uh that's giving us that three d definition of it so that gives us gives us an idea of how the rope moves around in there now later on I add motion blur to the rope because again it's a physical thing moving I can use the motion blur that's built in so that's going to blur and it's going to look just like the rope that's in the original scene I had to do that on several shots because the ropes air flying around all over the place they're throwing stuff at each other and that's all flying around and so motion blur is a big part of this project I also used a real smart motion blur are smb on here and of course those effects are missing right now because I uh I don't have that installed but what I would do is go in and replace wherever that project wherever the project calls for that motion blur plug in I would use thie pixel motion blur plug in and see if that would work on here I haven't tried it yet it should work though so let me hide the parenting column because I'm not using them and I need more of my time line here so one more thing that I've got on this part of the production is the board that flies off so I'm asked that separately as well with uh a map with a travelling mass and again that's moving in time but because I'm asked I have that masked I can't use pixel motion blur because it's not really moving it's just the mask is just kind of following the static video so each one of these instances here each one of these is just a duplicate of the original video layer so that it's a duplicated version of that is a duplicated version of this is a duplicated version of that no that's our background so we're gonna see that in a minute so this this file here was duplicated three times for this particular shot it's the it's the background that I've got here that I'm working against so I use that as a reference so when I'm looking at here is my actual background plate and I use this for reference when I'm tracing and finding what I need to copy so at this point I would turn on my motion blur I'd be able to see the rope whipping around and right now it's just the rope and the board and the roller coaster moving around and since I don't have actually let's go ahead and try that plug in on this effect so I did use a little key light to pull the green out of the edges out of the surface of the board because it was let's see there's a little green cast to this board so I used the green uh one hundred percent green from key light to pull that out. So this file this is missing here rs and be the missing plug in so let me try too see if this will work will go down to pixel motion blur not sure if it'll work with the map ask and it doesn't look like it is so I'd have to render that or apply it to another um apply it at the very end and see if it would work there so there are some issues with with pixel motion blur that just don't quite work the same iss aar smb so I'd again that's one plug in I've been telling people for years if there's one plug in that I would buy for after effects and that would be real smart motion blur so plug out for those guys just because it works it just works so here we've got the rope moving in time it's kind of funny because it's like our guy disappeared you know you see it a little bit of him on the board there but um that's gone you see a shadow see his foot is he launches off so now we have tio start rode away in the guy he's our hero so I'm gonna get rid of this parent column here and start looking to see what we've got here okay so this is just straight road oh here this is where the refined edge tool would have really helped me a lot I know so luckily I renamed all of my layers appropriately and this one looks like I probably rendered it out so there's no road oh info on this at this point so I have to kind of go back and look and see what happened there but um he's on ly been road owed hopes not in the cop open the cop there we go so what I did here I believe I went ahead and rendered him out rhododendron because then I was going to key it with um yeah I was going to then key it after that point I did all these shots so differently I'm sorry by memory I'm not remembering my whole process because it's insane some places I just let the roto brushwork I had to clean enough edge that then I could go in two key light then use key light to pull out whatever green screen was showing in there and then took that out rendered it as a illuminates mass basically I rendered it with uh I think that maybe in this point let me see if it's in this point here here's my rodeo matt and let me turn off key light here yeah, I'm pulling it out of here so this is a great example of was trying to tell you earlier with noise and why I do this stacking process with the uh key light extraction so if I turn off the light here not showing oh I'm on the wrong layer let me get on the right layer here we go turn off the light there we go so that's just with the straight road oh, there we go so when I turn on key light and I've got this set to just get the green out that is showing the key leo the roto did a decent enough job I let it go loose around the edges I knew there was some green I could use key light to pull the green out that's all the green screen I could do but notice how the noises introduced here into his jacket and in the dark areas we have totally unacceptable that would look horrible that be rejected, you know, affect shot big time. So what I did is I just used that layer duplicated it like I did before with the girl in the green screen. I used it as a track matt alfa mat. And then here I just did my trick with the key light at one hundred percent and that got rid of any residual green that was spill or caste but all of these other natural band of colors all remained on his jacket, so typically when I'm doing green screen work and it's supposed to have natural lighting or anything like that, I almost always do the stacked method of green screen compositing as a result so again another thing that I will do is I may just render out uh that or I may choose to uh render just a uh say just the screen matt so I've got white on black and then what I'll do is I'll render that out bring it back in as an m o v file and then use that as a luminous matt for my final and what that allows me to dio is if I don't have a way of handling motion blur or things that have some subtlety a lot of hair flipping or something in a far distant shot nothing really up close it lets me go in with my walk him penn tool and just paint right on that layer frame by frame where I could uh retouch up those areas just with a little white or black and that lets me fix that little ej in there and again that's where you have to be painting on one layer looking at the composite in the other layer just like we do at the rodeo brush so again that's more advanced compositing techniques not going to get into that today but just to tell you that is another process that is used a lot um for that type of work so uh let's get on to our final scene here so yeah, this is what I did here I believe that maybe not uh, I probably just rendered him out a lot of times when I've got rodeo like that I'll render out my uh my mat and bring it in so that special if there's a lot of road oh roto brush information even though the rodeo brush is frozen that data's in there, it still has to process all the edge information that we have, especially we're using the refined edge tool I would love to have the refined edge tool when I did this shot because I probably would have used that more and it would have to paint a lot less, but that being said, I still I still took my my rodeo piece, I rendered it out with an alfa channel brought it back in and then I still did my double stack on here just to make sure that my my green screen was clean, so in that case, I've got all of these layers and of course I don't have pixel motion blur on anything but what we could try here, I'm going to add a an adjustment layer and then see if we can add pixel motion blur to that and see if this freaks it out big time or if it will look at everything correctly and add the motion blur where it needs it I'm going to see when he starts busting it looks like it might be working it might be overdoing some of it, but it looks like right in here I'm looking at the board maybe not might not be doing it justus much as I'd like it too so don't have quite as much control no that should be blurred out pretty good cause that board's moving good I had to paint some of that and they're on his leg the motion blur so um so anyway, let me let me just render do a ram preview here for you and get rid of the adjustment layer so it's not taking up time um oh, I know actually I was going to do one more adjustment layer just to give a little bit of color snap to this because again, this project was probably a good note to if you do get handed off work in a workflow like this don't do color correction unless they ask you because special if you're dealing with like red cam workflow or something, you can do it to a process just to get edges that you need but then turn it off. But you always deliver everything in the same color space the same color density and everything as was handed to you because they'll go through and do a global color at the end so unless they do their color and pre and then they hand it to you color corrected you never wanna shift color the only thing I did do is remove green a green cast and they said now that was okay I gave them a test they authorized yes because there was a green cast to this wood isn't louisiana everything's green is all mossy so that with that kind of fought with the green of the the green screen and everything so I took the green cast out by didn't do anything else, so let me just go in here and do a uh just, uh we'll just stay with levels for now since we'll be handing this project off for you guys to play with I'm going first I'm going to come in and crush it just a little bit and I know they went a little dirty with a little darker and they over contrast, did it in the end um they d saturated it a bit so probably went a little bit dirty that way. So you kind of sometimes you have to screw up the color. I don't have the tools that I typically used sometimes all you speed grade or I'll use color restart something like that so actually let me come up here and another one that I know I use a lot for doing just quick dirty uh d saturation is hugh saturation all right there and I could just come in here and pull my master saturation down and just kind of dead in it, a bit so it's muted. So that gives me my color. Um, quick colorizing capabilities there, just on an adjustment layer, and it works on the whole thing, and we'll just do a ram preview and this one previous really quick, so that's already rendered to that point. Let me see if I can make this, um, uh, full screen, then we can watch it a little easier in ran preview again, this gets edited in with yo eighty some other shots that were all effects shots because there were no live action shots that didn't have effects done to them. But you can see that that the end result was pretty effective were missing motion blur, so it looks a little cartoony. That board should kind of spend a little more, you know, softer. He has more motion blur on him, things like that. But without that plug in, it doesn't really function that way.

Class Description

Adobe® After Effects® Creative Cloud® is a hallmark broadcast video and film production program — but it has so many functions, it’s hard to know where to start. In this essential video-editing class, renowned video producer and Adobe® Certified Expert Jeff Foster will walk you through how to use the many functions of Adobe® After Effects® to enhance your projects with visual effects and motion graphics.

You’ll learn the basics for controlling movement, animating simple objects and 3D space, create interesting text and title animations, composite videos with and without green screen. Using real-world production examples, Jeff will guide you through this complex program and unpack the tools and terminology so that you can apply your skills right away and with confidence.

Software Used: Adobe After Effects CC (12.0)



Jeff Foster seems like a great, knowledgeable guy. But this course is so disappointing. The classes are disorganized, convoluted yet shallow, and waste an awful lot of time. And they’re just lectures — you’re just watching him do stuff — no lessons where you can work along with him to really absorb what’s going on. My biggest complaints are 1) It seems like he didn’t prepare very much, so we end up watching him go through features one by one, sometimes just to try to find the thing that’s going to illustrate the point he’s trying to make; and 2) he’s unnecessarily confusing. Here’s an easy example. In the “parenting” class, which hinges on one layer’s relationship to another, he created identical layers and named them identically. So he’s explaining that “blue solid” is the parent to “blue solid.” And then he proceeds to discuss the layers, which are numbered #1, #2, #3, by calling them “the first layer” (#3), “the second layer” (#2), and “the third layer” (#1.) After Effects is complicated enough! Maybe I’m spoiled by having learned Illustrator with a wonderful Creative Live course. This is not that.