Beginner advice needed for editing project

simondg

Standard Member
Hi

I've got a specific video project in mind but being new to this don't even know where to start in terms of the feature set needed for the software to do the job.

Mostly I need to edit existing footage to change a persons position in the scene (or object) while the rest of the content obviously needs to remain, so a bit of background editing needs to happen.

I've been a long time user of Adobe PS and the print range of products -- but moving to video don't even know the technical terms for what I'm wanting to do, so any advice or points in the right direction would be most appreciated.

Thanks, Simon
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Hi

Mostly I need to edit existing footage to change a persons position in the scene (or object) while the rest of the content obviously needs to remain, so a bit of background editing needs to happen.

Thanks, Simon

Are you suggesting cutting a person out of an existing scene and then replacing that person in another position in the existing scene?

First by making a mask and removing that mask from the scene would leave a hole in the background that you would need to fill with part of the existing scenery. Then you would need to repeat with every frame.

The only way I can think of is by using chroma key. Film the background and then film the person against a neutral background (black would do) The using chroma key insert the figure against your filmed background.

I will be watching this thread with interest.
 

DocJackal

Well-known Member
Film the background and then film the person against a neutral background (black would do)

Good call, though don't film in front of a black background. Black has no 'chroma' as such, & you'll end up key'ing out any dark areas in the character - like shadows, dark hair etc.

Instead use something like a bright green background. Just make sure the actor isn't wearing bright green!
 

rogs

Well-known Member
Like Terfyn, i shall be watching this thread with interest.

It'll be quite challenge to edit 'existing footage' in this way...

Not sure that 'beginner advice' really applies here.....:)
 

simondg

Standard Member
Thanks for the input so far, looks like it might be a bit much for a starting project :) Anyway, a little more detail that might help clarify things.

Most editing will be done on existing footage, some could be re-shot but not all.

One scene that I hope might be simple to start with is adjusting the height of two people talking, side profile, face to face, so I want to get these at eye level so my guess is I would lower the higher person and then re-crop the scene to get the position right. Could almost split the footage down the middle and then just adjust the position. The background is just a blur so hopefully limited lighting and background issues to deal with.

Similar process with two people walking towards camera, shot showing from about waist up, want to adjust scene to show both at the same height, again "lower" taller person?

Thanks, Simon
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
FWIW, I think OP is very brave accepting any challenge, before knowing how it might be done.

It's best to tell yr friend(s) there may be a significant delay. (allow a few months, is my guess)

Then chose yr Editor - many here like Sony Vegas (=Movie Studio) currently at v12 -but pay the extra for the Production "Suite" (about £50 Amazon...DYOR.). This will give you more features than you'll ever need.
Follow their Show Me How tutorials (which force you to move about the screeen, so no cheating) - when you know the basics and some "Editing terms" - you can venture onto You Tube - but these Tutorials can be of variable Quality. Look on Sony Creative website - plenty of advice and Tutorials - but they are hardly suited to a raw beginner, IMHO. So get yr head round the basics.
You can get a 30-day free trial from Sony - but it's woefully too short to complete your learning - but should get you started and this may help you form the bare-bones of yr project - only by understanding the processes can you create the ideal project.... er, IMHO.
You will need a fast modern PC to do this . . . aim for Quad-core and dedicated Graphics card (Sony website give mimumum specs, but I think they are rather weak).

Good Luck . . . do keep us informed as to how you get on.


Unfortunately I don't follow OPs details given . . . but it is possible to create backgrounds in graphic progs like Photoshop, based on Photos or drawn graphics - these can be inserted as stills - but if you are likley to do this profssionally then maybe start with Adobe software - but you are looking at close to £1000 for a full set.
 
Last edited:

stormchaser

Active Member
hi
to work on your exiting footage you are really going to have to use after effects.

in after effects you will have to "roto" out the person , from here you can re-composite them back into the scene.

if you also wish to film some sequences for chromakeying choose a green screen for dark haired subjects or a bluescreen for blonde haired subjects.

could you post a wee bit of your footage as that would help greatly in advising you further.

after effects can currently be downloaded on a free fully functional 30 day trial from adobes website
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
I really think (with no other Information available) that OP is out of his league on this - learning AE is no-doubt pleasurable, but unless you have lots of time on yr hands - it's DAUNTING - and expensive since you need the mother-program suit in the first place. Furthermore OP doesn't appear to knpw the basics - which IMHO would be to "Steer-Clear" of such a project . . . as no doubt others (who have been asked) have done already.

+ + + + I fear a headache coming on.
 

stormchaser

Active Member
Harry.........I do agree he has dived in at the deep end and set himself big challenge .

just to clear up , after effects can be bought separately , no need to purchase the full suite.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Hi


I've been a long time user of Adobe PS and the print range of products -- but moving to video don't even know the technical terms for what I'm wanting to do, so any advice or points in the right direction would be most appreciated.

Thanks, Simon

Later versions of Photoshop have the capability to import video and edit each frame separately. Google editing video with photoshop.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Post#9 - are you saying I can apply AE to stuff I've Editied in Vegas, then?
i.e. Will AE handle .m2ts stuff?
Can it "output" m2ts - as this wouod be my pref. format . . .

I thought AE required the underlying Final Cut Editing Prog in order to use.

Post #10, frame-by-frame is a bit harsh, OK if its just adding a flash of lightning, gun-fire but OP's Project looks like half a year in a darkened Edit-room, and another recovering.
Ho-ho.
 

stormchaser

Active Member
after effects can import m2ts files ,currently it cant export back to a m2ts file but it has other high quality export options equally as good

see this table

Supported file formats | After Effects CS4

and yes you can import all your edited vegas clips to work on them

and I'm afraid if the editing is done in photoshop it will be frame by frame ...........very tedious indeed lol
 
Last edited:

rogs

Well-known Member
Re-reading post #5 again, is it really possible to actually move the position of a single walking (or talking) person within an existing video sequence, while retaining all the motion subtlety of the subject, and reintroduce it into the remainder of the frame, which needs to remain unchanged?
I would have thought even After Effects would struggle with that one.

And I can't think how you would do it 'frame by frame' in Photoshop either-- even with the patience of Job and year to spare....:)

Seems like trying to do an electronic version of standing a 'vertically challenged' star -- like Alan Ladd for example -- on a box out of shot, to make him seem taller than his leading lady.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like a virtually impossible task to do that to a video clip, electronically?.....
 

stormchaser

Active Member
rogs...............at the moment its all supposition and guesswork until we can get a look at a clip or two of the op's footage


so its over to you........................simondg
 

DocJackal

Well-known Member
I thought AE required the underlying Final Cut Editing Prog in order to use.

After Effects and FCP are totally separate, neither requiring the other to work. The only thing having FCP installed on your system gives you in After Effects is the ProRes export option.

Also, AE can run on PCs (or I should say 'in Windows' before anyone mentions Hackintosh's), whereas FCP can't :)

After Effects and Premiere however are designed to work closely with one another, but again neither actually requires the other.
 
Last edited:

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Re-reading post #5 again, is it really possible to actually move the position of a single walking (or talking) person within an existing video sequence, while retaining all the motion subtlety of the subject, and reintroduce it into the remainder of the frame, which needs to remain unchanged?
I would have thought even After Effects would struggle with that one.

And I can't think how you would do it 'frame by frame' in Photoshop either-- even with the patience of Job and year to spare....:)

Seems like trying to do an electronic version of standing a 'vertically challenged' star -- like Alan Ladd for example -- on a box out of shot, to make him seem taller than his leading lady.

Maybe I'm missing something, but it seems like a virtually impossible task to do that to a video clip, electronically?.....

In both cases you create an animated Bezier mask, in AE you simply use adjust the mask over several frames, hopefully the program will correctly interpret the movement. If not simply add additional keyframes. in PS the normal way of working is to have each separate frame as a layer copying the mask from the previous layer and adjusting as required. A small feather applied to the mask will help to disguise the joins.

Thinking about it before hand is the easiest way, filming the background as a separate take and superimposing the moving figure on the now continuous background. Filming the person to be superimposed using a chroma key background is clearly the easiest way, it is possible though to work as above with existing footage.

You could use a still frame from the background, enlarge it and apply a degree of blur. Pan the background to give the appearance of the camera tracking the superimposed moving object.

Apart from being a bit laborious, once you have a good mask on the first frame it's not that difficult to use the Bezier tools to adjust it to follow the action. AE has some particulary clever motion tracking auto masking capabilities.

Google "Masking a moving object in After Effects"

Example

 
Last edited:

Bob++

Active Member
I have been editing some old family photographs to remove unwanted people and objects from the scene. I can confirm that it is VERY labour intensive, and to do it on existing video would be very time consuming.

However; if you could isolate the object (person) that you wanted to move, as per the method above, then use a shot of something suitable for the background, I guess you could do it. What looked fairly simple with an oval face would be much harder with an irregularly shaped body though.
 

rogs

Well-known Member
These comments from our expert observers rather confirm the point that this is not really a 'beginners' project....

If our OP does stick with it, and manages to achieve what he needs to do, then I feel confident he'll no longer be described as a 'beginner'...:)
 

DocJackal

Well-known Member
Just to chime in, it has taken me upwards of a day before now to roto round a moving person... and that's before trying to then re-create the background...

I guess the best place for OP to start is with learning masking & rotoscoping in AE, then putting his Photoshop skills to use to re-create a background and finally dropping it in. As mentioned above you'll have to take each shot as it comes, but some may be easier than others.

For somewhere to start with learning the program, try following along with some of the more basic VideoCoPilot tutorials - VIDEO COPILOT | After Effects Tutorials, Plug-ins and Stock Footage for Post Production Professionals
 

simondg

Standard Member
Thanks for all the advice -- I think I'll need to rethink my project and maybe look for a easier first project :)

Thanks, SImon
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Excellent Idea my friend .
Now, can Posters suggest a simple project?

As you ask, I'd suggest something like "Buying a sack of potatoes". You need to story-board it, so you have all the shots under similar lighting and importantly don't MISS anything out. Indeed it's better to have shots you DON'T need, just in case! (I'm thinking tiny "Cutaways" like putting a key in a lock).

Alternatively, if the weather is bad; a story about putting up a shelf. Remember do include lots of cutaways . . . sharpening the pencil, close-up of the "instructions" fitting the screwdriver to the screw . . . if done with care you can use these cutaways in other projects (some hope!).
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
Good advice from 12Harry. Some years ago I filmed a critical piece of work for my Company. Took it to the Photographic Dept. to be put together and, later, was summoned back. How are we supposed to put this together without cutaways? I returned to the engineering site to film fields,trees in fact anything to link the important bits together.
I think "cutaways" is a misnoma and these shots should be called "links" as they link the main story together, give the passing of time and divert the audience.
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
Good point Terfyn: 'cept it's the word used over here . . . I wonder if Americans have a different term, as so often?
I forgot classic cutaways: one of the spirit-level "wrong" and one "right" . (that's done at the same time . . what I meant by taking some shots you won't use . . . it being easy to take slightly different angles, whilst the camera/lights are set.
+ A shot of OP's dog/cat saying, "you have to be joking" would allow a comic-element that can brighten an audience being fed a diet of dreary stuff. (-but obviously not Movies from any well-informed Posters, here!). Almost certain to win "most promising newcomer" at any Film-making club . . . which OP should seek-out and join. If prepared to make tea, shift Lights, etc., he'll soon be learning valuable lessons.....
 
Last edited:

Terfyn

Well-known Member
It's also the word used over here (North Wales). Not sure of the Welsh for cutaways. I refer to them a links as they link the story together but are, normally, irrelevant to the main plot. People forget the passing of time in a narative and link shot after shot together without informing the audience of the change in the time frame. The most obvious cutaways usually come in cookery programmes following an item being put in the oven to it being removed. (Delia has some great ones!)
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

HiFi Rose announces all-in-one RS520 audio streamer
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
LG Display set to launch its own 27 and 32-inch OLED panels in 2023?
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
What's new on Netflix (UK) for October 2022
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Starzplay streaming service rebrands as Lionsgate+
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
JVC adds Filmmaker Mode to latest D-ILA projector firmware
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom