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View Full Version : Creating a keyframed mosaic circle



JReble
05-04-2004, 02:10 PM
So I want to find a better way to add the typical mosiac or blur overlay ontop of some video that will need to be keyframed to follow the particular face or whatever I need to obscure. I've been playin with Aura and I know I can do it there, but it seems to be incredibly tedious using a stencil layer and trying to apply a mosiac filter and move the stencil layer then start again on each frame. Performing multiple steps for each frame is for the birds.

What do I need to do to create an overlay element that can simply be placed onto a video track and then positioned, preferrably with the mouse, at the correct spot on each frame? I can't see a logical method in AURA and I can't see any way to crop the blur tool into a circle for use in VTEdit. I can easily keyframe smoke, clouds, rain and explosions onto video in this fashion using something like particle illusion, so I'm hopeful it's not so tedious to do this fairly basic effect with VT3. What I would expect is some method where, after it's initially setup, will let me right arrow through the frames while I make minor adjustments to the mosiac effect or layer using the mouse and not having to keep toggling layers and filters etc.. Anybody have a better way?

Jim Capillo
05-04-2004, 02:23 PM
Hey Jeff,

While this isn't really a true circle, it may work for your application.

Make a copy of the clip, blur it to the desired effect, crop the video down to the desired area/size and then de-focus the edges completely out. Enable overlay and align and drop it below the original clip.

You should now be able to easily track the object/face from beginning to end using the positioning keyframing on the bottom clip.

Once you tweak it for position/movement, you can render it out as a new clip...... :cool:

SBowie
05-04-2004, 03:12 PM
I think what you're missing here is that in Aura you don't need to manually re-position the circle (or other Stencil shape) for each frame. Use the Pixel Tracker (or sometimes, the Keyframer) to
animate the oval covering whatever area of the image you wish.

Then turn on Stencil, and select some frames in the video layer, and apply the Mosaic filter.

(Apologies if I've misunerstood your intent here somehow.)

JReble
05-05-2004, 09:43 AM
Thanks guys but both of those methods are a little more complicated than they need to be from where I'm sitting. Is there no method of creating an overlay object that distorts the video below? The Blur effect does this to the entire video frame, but I don't see any method of cropping the effect. I don't even see any method to create a fixed size circle wipe that can be positioned throughout the video using keyframes. Jim's method is the closest thing possible.

I even tried creating a fuzzy circle object with alpha in photoshop and overlaying that on my video clip. While that seems the easiest method it doesn't really creeate the distortion effect on the video like I'm looking for. It seems to me there needs to be some more work done on the effects and/or filters to give us some more flexibility in this area. I guess I could bring it into Premiere for this effect, but I hate doing that. :confused:

mgrusin
05-05-2004, 11:27 AM
I know what you mean, I'm currently racking my brain to find a way to do the same class of effect without having to render and reload the intermediate steps. In my case I want a split screen between some moving elements, and other moving elements. I tried freezing a DVE for this and it almost worked, but the line keeps creeping even though the in and out points are the same % value (maybe because of fields?)

Maybe I'm missing an easy way to do this, but if not, it would be great if you could designate an element to be a matte/key/alpha element between two other elements (or groups of elements, like subprojects). Then I could have my split screen, and JR could hide his witness' identity...

What do you think, Sirs? -MG.

Ivan
05-05-2004, 12:25 PM
I think the easiest way is to do what Steve is suggesting. Aura may be intimidating at first but it isn't that hard to do what you are describing if you follows Steve's directions.

Ivan

SBowie
05-05-2004, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by Ivan
I think the easiest way is to do what Steve is suggesting. Aura may be intimidating at first but it isn't that hard to do what you are describing if you follows Steve's directions.

Ivan I'll grant I may know my way around aura a;little better than some, but it would take me considerably less than a minute to set up using either the KeyFramer or Pixel Tracker ...

VisionTecVideo
02-15-2006, 10:44 PM
OK I am going crazy here...I have the Pixel Tracking Tutorial but it must be skipping some very important things...I follow it step by step but the only frame that gets the filter I am looking for is the first frame. Anyone have a "laymans" step by step instruction to blur someones face out? It is rather frustrating to follow instructions as they are written and not get the results.

Jim_C
02-16-2006, 05:41 AM
You have to select all frames by double clicking just below them before you apply the filter.

Pretty sure that's the step you are missing. Filters only get applied to the selected frames.

billmi
02-16-2006, 09:47 AM
Thanks guys but both of those methods are a little more complicated than they need to be from where I'm sitting. Is there no method of creating an overlay object that distorts the video below? The Blur effect does this to the entire video frame, but I don't see any method of cropping the effect.


You're on exactly the right track to do it in VTEdit. The method Jim described is rather quick to use. You just need to create a second instance of the clip that is blurred, overlayed, and cropped to just the area you want to blur. Not to diss Aura - it's a great tool that can do a bajillion things VTEdit can't - but you can do an identity blur very quickly, and watch your work and changes in realtime, in VTEdit.

By keyframing the crop, you can follow a moving subject - the drawback is you can only blur a rectangular shape this way (because that's the only cropping shape available in the control tree.) However, if you soften the edges on the blurred layer, you loose the definition of the shape, so it's not really important visually - it's just a region that is blurrier.

I've written up a tutorial that walks through the process with screen shots, you can find it here:

http://www.corin.com/vt_tutorials/faceblur/index.shtml

kleima
02-16-2006, 12:23 PM
The method in Aura is automated with pixel tracking, but if you image doesn't have specific point that is easy to track, then Aura can loose the track and your circle can start doing all kinds of weird jumps around the screen. It really isn't as easy as it sould be. We should be able to track a whole region that the software recognizes (like the whole face). When I used this feature, I was trying to track the light highlight on the person's nose. But, when the person moved and turned his head, the light spot changed places, size and intensity. This really gave Aura a problem.

Here is the tutorial, however, for what you want to do: http://www.newtek.com/products/vt/aura/tutorials/lesson09/lesson09.html

JReble
02-17-2006, 07:23 AM
For the umteenth time, what we need are cropping masks in VTedit so we can create variable shape wipes with hard and soft edges that can be keyframed. Honestly, we should have the ability to place any b&w gradient on a video track and luma key it over video, but be able to make a video layer below show through instead of the white of the mask. It makes a hole for video in the track beneath. Then one could simply adjust the sizes on the alpha image to move and track with the keyframes.

Seems like just one minor new feature in the VTedit key properties. A "show through" or "cut hole" on/off button. The softness of the masks would be determined by the b&w alpha matt we make ourselves and the size and shape by the already available size and position tools. By keyframing the alpha of the "hole matt" as is already possible with luma keys, we can also use any alpha/gradient wipe stills we have on hand in VTedit and have a huge library of gradient wipes in a flash. Piece of cake. We don't need a bunch of R&D on this one. Just get'r done. :jam:

VisionTecVideo
02-17-2006, 05:08 PM
You're on exactly the right track to do it in VTEdit. The method Jim described is rather quick to use. You just need to create a second instance of the clip that is blurred, overlayed, and cropped to just the area you want to blur. Not to diss Aura - it's a great tool that can do a bajillion things VTEdit can't - but you can do an identity blur very quickly, and watch your work and changes in realtime, in VTEdit.

By keyframing the crop, you can follow a moving subject - the drawback is you can only blur a rectangular shape this way (because that's the only cropping shape available in the control tree.) However, if you soften the edges on the blurred layer, you loose the definition of the shape, so it's not really important visually - it's just a region that is blurrier.

I've written up a tutorial that walks through the process with screen shots, you can find it here:

http://www.corin.com/vt_tutorials/faceblur/index.shtml
Thanks a million, your tip on clicking on the time line solved my problem. The instructions simply double click to select all, well I saw the word "all" next to the layer icon and thought that was what was being talked about. The instructions of the tutorial also fails to advise people to be sure the proper layer is showing on the "Pixel Tracker" panel (filter). I have suceeded in what I needed to do. While I know people are just being kind enough to give the short cut tutorial, I just wish that if they are going to give the tips they would be more step by step...THANKS AGAIN to all that replied. This forum is great !!!!

VisionTecVideo
02-17-2006, 05:09 PM
You have to select all frames by double clicking just below them before you apply the filter.

Pretty sure that's the step you are missing. Filters only get applied to the selected frames.
Thanks a million, your tip on clicking on the time line solved my problem. The instructions simply double click to select all, well I saw the word "all" next to the layer icon and thought that was what was being talked about. The instructions of the tutorial also fails to advise people to be sure the proper layer is showing on the "Pixel Tracker" panel (filter). I have suceeded in what I needed to do. While I know people are just being kind enough to give the short cut tutorial, I just wish that if they are going to give the tips they would be more step by step...THANKS AGAIN to all that replied. This forum is great !!!!

Bobt
02-17-2006, 07:44 PM
If I knew how to pixel track I would write one for you.
I know how to make a mask and I have my own blur filter.

Bob

Paul Lara
02-17-2006, 08:43 PM
I know how to make a mask and I have my own blur filter.


Sounds pretty darn close to roto-splines, Bob! :D
Just give 'em a plug-in to set mattes (like your heart-to-cross) and be able to fill inside or outside the region. That'd give 'em just what they need.

nevmoor
02-18-2006, 07:30 AM
How about your LightFX BobT? On you tutorial for lightFX you use a circle mask to "spotlight" any area. Could you make one that does the mosaic or blur and add the to the package??
just a thought

Bobt
02-18-2006, 07:37 AM
I like LightfX and it could works as you describe.
One thing I did not like is the way you had to manipulate it
Maybe now with the new window popup stuff?
Dunno.

Bob

Bobt
02-18-2006, 07:39 AM
Paul,
Yeah I think I can do that. But have to get ready for NAB.

Bob

kleima
02-19-2006, 11:05 AM
Bill,

That was a great tutorial that you wrote for face blurs in VT. However I wanted to point out one thing that you said at the begining about Aura that wasn't quite correct: "here are a couple of drawbacks for using that method [Aura] for covering an identity. First it covers laying a colored brush, not a blur..."
Actually the colored brush is only the define where and what size and shape you want your effect to be. It follows the pixel tracker, but then the colored brush gets replaced with the effect of your choice, such as blur, or pixelate, etc.

JReble
02-24-2006, 08:54 AM
Yes, but what about that keyframable alpha cut out in VTedit?? Is this something that can be done through one of Bob's plugins or is it something we need to keep begging Newtek for? :help:

animlab
10-24-2008, 08:03 PM
Just create a Mosaic video effect for SE and SE-VT. It is mosaic square, not circle. :D

http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?t=90777&referrerid=20692