From your description of the shot I would probably stabilize (not warp stabilize) the shot so that some key point in the shot doesn't move, then export a frame that shows the area of the floor that you want to clean up to a photoshop file, then do your cloning on a separate layer in Photoshop, then import that layer and place it above the footage then do any roto you need to do to fix moving actors or other objects, then remove the stabilization and add the movement to the fixed layer using a null, an expression, and parenting.
I know that sounds confusing so here's a step by step including the expression(s) you may need to use. If I don't understand your shop or if there's a lot of lens distortion this may not work. It would help a lot if we could see the shot. Nevertheless, here goes.
- Open your footage in the footage panel and set an in and out point for the portion of the shot you intend to use plus handles (a few frames to allow for editing)
- Select the footage in the Project Panel and choose New Comp from Selection from the menu or right click or drag the comp to the new comp icon at the bottom of the panel
- Set the workspace to Motion Tracking
- Select the layer and then choose Stabilize Motion from the motion tracking panel. If there is a significant perspective change or any rotation then you'll want to stabilize scale and rotation also
- Pick some area of detail that you want to lock into position. The more detail the better. Make sure you are tracking a large enough area to get a good track. If you are stabilizing scale and rotation then pick two points that are vertical for a tile up shot or horizontal for a pan shot or at an angle for a shot that tilts and pans
- When you get a good solid track select apply to lock the layer in position
- Find a frame that shows most of the floor and export that frame as a Photoshop file (note: if the edges of the frame won't let you see all of the floor that you need to fix then change the size of the comp temporarily)
- Open the exported frame in Photoshop
- Create a new layer in Photoshop
- Select the clone tool or paint brush and fix all of the blemishes you need to repair (works if you set the clone stamp tool to use all layers)
- Import the PSD into AE and choose only the fixed layer
- Add the layer to the timeline
- Scrub through the timeline to see if there are any places you need to animate the scale, distort the replacement image or rotoscope the image so the shot works
- If you have resized the comp it's time to return the comp to the original settings
- Rename your original footage layer "stabilized"
- Add a null to the composition
- Apply this animation preset to the null: Dropbox - destabilize Rotation Scale.ffx
- Move the CTI to the first frame of the comp
- Parent the original footage and the repaired layer to the Null to add the movement to the repaired layer and return the camera movement to the original footage
- Check the comp for any problems or color grading you need to do with the repaired layer
Here are the expressions that are added to position rotation and scale. Position is easy, you just tie the null's position to the stabilized footage Anchor Point. Rotation is also easy, you just subtract the rotation value of the original footage by placing a - sign int the expression before you use the pickwhip to connect the nulls rotation to the stabilized footage rotation. Scale is a bit more difficult. You have to calculate the percentage of change and separate the values into an array and then reassemble them. As long as you have renamed the footage layer "stabilized" the animation preset will do this for you automatically.
x = value;
y = value;
tx = thisComp.layer("stabilized").transform.scale;
ty = thisComp.layer("stabilized").transform.scale;
nx = x/tx*x;
ny = y/ty*y;
Thank you soooo much you are the REAL MVP !!!