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Placing a star filled sky behind a Pine Tree


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#1 Joe Taylor

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 02:55 PM

* I posted a similar topic in the General Forum with no luck.

I have an F/X shot for a short film that will hopefully work this way. I filmed a side-lit pine tree using a RED ONE and need to layer a composite shot of a star filled sky behind it. The starry sky is 6 wide angle still shots of varying exposures to give the final shot of the sky some flicker. I am working with FCP and hoping this can be achieved in Motion.

Can anybody offer any suggestions on how this can be done?

Thanks
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#2 Walter Graff

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 03:45 PM

* I posted a similar topic in the General Forum with no luck.

I have an F/X shot for a short film that will hopefully work this way. I filmed a side-lit pine tree using a RED ONE and need to layer a composite shot of a star filled sky behind it. The starry sky is 6 wide angle still shots of varying exposures to give the final shot of the sky some flicker. I am working with FCP and hoping this can be achieved in Motion.

Can anybody offer any suggestions on how this can be done?

Thanks


In the other post you never told us about the camera move. What is it?
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 05:02 PM

You've got to be more specific, because we don't know what the parameters of the shot are, and we don't know what you know about compositing. Accordingly, we can only give you really basic advice. So the basic advice is, track the background to the foreground if there is camera movement, create a matte of the sky via keying or roto, put the foreground over the background, and tweak the colors of the background so they match. Taking different exposures of the sky was a good idea. I don't know if Motion supports HDR images, but if it does, probably the easiest thing I can think of is to combine your exposures into a single HDR via Photoshop or HDRShop or whatever, then use maybe some sort of animated noise to drive a brightness filter on the stars (put the noise inside a luma key as well, so that you're only modulating the brightness on the stars and not the whole sky).

I have no idea how to do any of this in Motion because I've never used it; if you find it insufficient you should switch to a more compositing-oriented application such as After Effects or Shake or Nuke.
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#4 Joe Taylor

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 05:25 PM

Camera was locked down and static. No movement except for a slight breeze blowing some branches. Using After Effects or anything other than Motion is not really an option for me. I took on this job as a favor for a good friend (a film professor at Emerson University, so students or Alumni who have this sort of experience please chime in) so my resources are limited.

For the star back ground, I plan to layer the multi-exposures in FCP and make a QT clip from that but only if people in the know think that this method is a good idea.

Open to any and all suggestions since this sort of thing is a new to me.

Thanks.
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#5 Walter Graff

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 06:32 PM

Easy enough to do what I said in the other post, same question. Hi con the sky in photoshop making soft mask around tree into sky. Insert your stars into the mask. If the tree movement is too much you can simply use soft masks and move them around the tree without using outside software.
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#6 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 06:44 PM

Did you find my previous post helpful at all? If you're really that new to this, I would like to reiterate my suggestion of finding some tutorials on compositing with Motion. Learning to composite is really a matter of just getting in there and playing around with it; you learn by trial and error.

Regarding the stars, I think my suggestion to do it as an HDR was good; I just took a quick look at Motion's support page, and it supports 32bit EXRs, so that should be possible.

If you'd like some guidance in learning visual effects, I can personally recommend www.fxphd.com; I've been a member there for several years and it's totally worth the price. It is, however, most useful if you already know some basic stuff, and that's really up to you.
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