Roto Sequences: Getting In and

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In order to edit frames of running footage, you need to capture the individual frames and put them back when you've finished working on them. ImageReady will automatically divide a movie into sequenced frames and layers so they can be edited and exported again as a lossless QuickTime movie. Being able to edit the frames as layers allows you to work with transparency, so you can see the details in this section. Another way to divide a movie file into sequenced frame files is to use QuickTime Pro to export them and then open the entire folder in ImageReady as animation frames and layers. The layers can then be edited in Photoshop and exported as a QuickTime movie from ImageReady.

Open the QuickTime movie file, LoungeGuy_MED.MOV, located on the DVD in the Chapter 7 folder, with ImageReady, and import the entire movie sequence (Figure 7.1). The sequence will be imported as individual frames and layers, ready to jump to Photoshop for editing.

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Figure 7.1 Open the movie file in ImageReady as an Image Sequence and layers.

Simple Roto Removal

As we continue with this project, we'll remove the jacket the guy tosses on the arm of the sofa before he plops down. This is an easy video clip in which to do this because it's a locked-off camera shot and we have excellent resource material from Frame 1, before he enters the scene.

Jump to Photoshop and select Layer 1 (Frame 1 of the video sequence). Using the Clone Stamp tool and a 5-pixel hard-edge brush, clone out the tip of the jacket that is coming into the frame in the lower right (Figure 7.2). Be sure that the stripes on the sofa line up correctly as you apply the tool.

Figure 7.2 Clone out the small portion of the jacket against the bottom right edge of the sofa.

Note: When rotoscoping details,zoom into the area you're working on so you can be sure that each layer (or frame) lines up perfectly. If you don't carefully pay attention to detail,you will create a pattern that will skip and jump frantically when the video is played back.

Select All and copy Layer 1 to the clipboard. Go to Layer 2 and paste. Link Layer 2 and the pasted Layer 1 together, and choose Merge Linked from the Layers palette menu, or you can choose Layer > Merge Down (F/Ctrl+E). Continue until you reach Layer 10. At this point, the guy's foot and leg start to show and will need to be revealed in the frame. Set the pasted Layer 1 Opacity to 35% so you see a ghosted image over the sofa pattern, and then use the Eraser tool with a 5-pixel hard-edge brush to remove only the area where the leg and foot are visible (Figure 7.3). Set the pasted Layer 1 Opacity to 100%, and make sure you have a clean edge on the pant leg, without any of the jacket showing.

Figure 7.3

Use the Eraser tool to remove only the areas where the guy's leg and foot are visible.

Figure 7.3

Use the Eraser tool to remove only the areas where the guy's leg and foot are visible.

Since the guy is coming into frame in the room, his body will begin to cast shadows on the surrounding furniture, starting with the coffee table. Click the Layer Visibility icon on and off to see where the shadows lie. Use the Eraser tool with a large soft-edge brush (at least 65 pixels in diameter) to remove material on the pasted Layer 1 to expose those shadows (Figure 7.4).

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Figure 7.4

Use a large soft-edge brush with the Eraser tool to remove the areas covering the shadows in the foreground.

Figure 7.4

Use a large soft-edge brush with the Eraser tool to remove the areas covering the shadows in the foreground.

Once you are satisfied with the edited layer, link it with the layer below and choose Merge Linked. Repeat this process for a few more layers until the guy is completely into frame and has already tossed the jacket onto the sofa.

Note: When merging the linked layers,be sure to select the original named layer—not the pasted Layer 1—so it will retain the original layer name.When merging layers, Photoshop will always rename the merged group to whichever layer is selected at the time the merge is applied.

We are now at a place where we no longer need to paste such a large area, because our edits will be concentrated around the jacket and the guy as he moves in front of it. Use a large 65-pixel soft-edge brush with the Eraser tool to remove all but a general area around the jacket (Figure 7.5). This will leave a soft area that will cover the jacket without affecting the rest of the image—requiring only smaller edits around the guy's legs and feet through the end of the video clip.

Figure 7.5 o

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Before continuing to edit this layer, we want to copy it to use in additional layer edits, but, if we just copy and paste it, the pasted layers will now center the small amount of material in the frame instead of placing it exactly in the proper location. To remedy this, we will replace a very small portion of the layer in all four corners, using the History Brush.

In the History palette, go back to the point where you pasted Layer 1, and click the check box next to it, identifying this as the reference point for the History Brush to get its information from. Return to the current state in the History palette and hide the subsequent layer, leaving the background transparent. Use a 9-pixel soft-edge brush to replace a small portion of the pasted Layer 1 image into the four corners (Figure 7.6). Select All and copy this layer to the clipboard. This will allow proper placement of the copied layer, aligned correctly from this point forward.

Figure 7.6 Use the History Brush to replace the four corners of the pasted layer to assure proper alignment.

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Figure 7.6 Use the History Brush to replace the four corners of the pasted layer to assure proper alignment.

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Continue editing the pasted layers with the Eraser tool brushes and merging the remaining layers accordingly. Once you have completed the entire sequence, start from the first layer and duplicate it (F/Ctrl+J). Repeat for all remaining layers until each layer has a duplicate above it in the Layers palette, save the file, and then jump to ImageReady.

From the Animation palette menu, choose Delete Animation and then Make Frames From Layers. This will give us the correct playback rate from the duplicated frames, giving us 30 fps from the original 15 fps video clip (Figure 7.7).

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Figure 7.7 Duplicate each layer and create a new animation from the layers to produce a full 30 fps video clip.

Save your work, and then export the movie (Export > Original Document) and choose QuickTime Movie from the Format selector (Figure 7.8). Save the movie uncompressed for the best possible quality, and play it back in QuickTime Pro for review.

Figure 7.8

Export the roto-scoped sequence as a QuickTime movie from ImageReady.

Figure 7.8

Export the roto-scoped sequence as a QuickTime movie from ImageReady.

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