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After effects, compositing, and film grain


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#1 Dan Riordan

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 06:57 PM

Hi,

I'm currently working on my first project containing composited elements. The plate is of course live action, it's a simple shot of a large open field. I am compositing a large water tower into the field.

I shot this project on 35mm film. I shot the tower separately and was planning on taking a single frame of the tower and removing the labels on it in photoshop. Then I was going to bring it into after effects and composite it into the field. Obviously I need to add grain so that it doesn't have the appearance of a still image.

My question is if the still image of the tower already contains grain, since it was was captured on film, how can I add grain? Certainly this will make the still image look real and live action, but will it then be twice as grainy? How do I go about adding moving grain on top of the still image which already is grainy by nature?

Thank you,

-Dan
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 07:59 PM

Well, assuming you've shot at least a few seconds of the water tower, put the untouched tower into your comp. Paint out the bits you need painted out, and the paintouts will be grainless. Grain them up then comp over the tower.

P
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 23 October 2009 - 09:14 PM

You weren't entire clear on how this was shot; I'm assuming that you meant that you shot the watertower as a seperate element on a 35mm motion picture camera and not a stills camera. So yes, as Phil says, take the whole frame range and put it in there instead of just a single frame. This way, it's got the moving grain and, assuming that you shot it on the same film stock as the other plates, it should match up pretty nicely. Then what you want to do is paint patches to cover up the labels using Photoshop, bring those into After Effects, and just grain those.

A second option that can work if you shot a few seconds of the watertower with a locked off camera is to do a frame average on the entire frame range, which will give you a single frame as a result that is basically every frame blended together, and the grain will have been averaged out. This doesn't work at all if you've got moving stuff, but in some cases it's really handy. You can take this single frame into Photoshop, then, paint on it, and bring the whole thing into your AE comp and add grain to it. I don't know how to do a frame average in AE offhand, however, so you'll have to look that up on your own. Actually, that's not strictly true; I can think of a really obnoxious way to do it that should work, but I'm hoping for your sake that there is a better way, so if you can't find one then ask and I'll describe it.
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#4 Andres Pardo aka Gral Treegan

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 10:34 AM

Hi!!

the best thing to do on compositing is to match grain, not to add.

after effects have a match grain plugin whre you have a source layer, and the target. and the target layer will emulate the grain of the source. try it!
bests!
GT
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