9 Replies Latest reply on Dec 28, 2016 1:43 AM by NickR1

    Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers

    NickR1 Level 1

      I use PS a lot to do some blending of layers, which I do with the Eraser Tool, which allows me to be very precise about what areas of an image I want to come through. It just works for me, luckily, because I cannot grasp using masks. I'm wondering if anyone would be able to help figure out a similar approach in AE. Basically, all I want to do is take a landscape image (in this case though, it is video and not a single image), duplicate the layer, making one too dark, and one too bright, then Erase my way to perfect exposure happiness! In my mind, this seems so simple. When faced with AE, it seems so complicated, especially since the tools and interface are quite different. In advance, I say thanks!

        • 1. Re: Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          since the tools and interface are quite different.

          Yes, exactly - as are the workflows. Sorry, but you simply have to forget about "how you would do it in PS". What you describe isn't even a typical task in AE, since nobody would do it this way because it would completely ruin your footage and look fake beyond believe. Some things that work for stills are a terrible idea for moving imagery plus you simply don't have that level of control in AE using brush-based tools with different opacity levels. Other than that you simply have to read the help and chew through tutorials on masking, color correction, matte techniques or even basic effects. You simply have a wrong idea in your head and want AE to work like it totally doesn't and I'm not even sure if using the Eraser in PS is actually a particularly sophisticated workflow. That's what layer masks are for. Sorry, but it seems to me you need to work on that, too, and frankly this messy workflow contributes to your laxck of understanding in AE: Masks and matte modes don't "click" with you, because you are not using their equivalents (layer masks and vector masks) in PS, either.

           

          Mylenium

          1 person found this helpful
          • 3. Re: Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            The right technique to use for any compositing task depends entirely on the footage you are using. In some cases rotoscoping is your best option to separate elements in the scene so you can create your composite. In other cases you can use a procedural matte. If you want specific recommendations for your project it is always a good idea to include at least a screenshot of a typical frame and a detailed explanation of exactly what you are trying to accomplish.

             

            Just a little FYI - there's a lot better techniques in Photoshop than using the eraser tool to remove elements. The eraser tool is really only kind of a quick tool intended for simple tasks and it's destructive.

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            • 4. Re: Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers
              NickR1 Level 1

              Thanks, Rick!

               

              Thanks for your response!

               

              I know my PS workflow is ridiculous, but I've managed to "perfect" it to the satisfaction of many clients. Some of my peers laugh when they learn what I do, but then they see the final results and are usually stunned. Unfortunately, few people can even begin  to comprehend a learning disability I have, which is why I cannot grasp, much less use masking. And believe me, I would LOVE to figure it out. It just can't be that hard!

               

              I can learn via reverse engineering; that is to say, starting at the end, and walking the steps backwards. Somehow, that registers in my mind, whereas "normal learning" processes do not register in my mind. Very frustrating, and compounded by my inability to search out learning material for this, that addresses things this way.

               

              The idea of a screenshot is good. As you can see, what I am trying to accomplish in video (so easy for me in PS) is to bring up the shadows, and maintain the skies without blowing them out. At one point, I was certain that I saw a video on how to edit video in PS, but for the life of me, I cannot find that video!

               

              I thought maybe, just maybe, AE might have some similar feature that I (with my unorthodox methods) could do in AE, what I do in PS so easily. The image represents about 2 total minutes of video that needs to be more balanced.

               

              Again, thanks for your response!Untitled-1.jpg

              • 5. Re: Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers
                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                NickR1 wrote:

                 

                The idea of a screenshot is good. As you can see, what I am trying to accomplish in video (so easy for me in PS) is to bring up the shadows, and maintain the skies without blowing them out. At one point, I was certain that I saw a video on how to edit video in PS, but for the life of me, I cannot find that video!

                If all you want to do is bring up the shadows and maintain the highlights there is no need for masking. A simple curves adjustment and maybe a little gamma adjustment using levels is all that is needed.

                Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 12.39.29 AM.png

                This is really basic color correction stuff. I would do the same in Photoshop. This is far different than what I thought you were asking.

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                • 6. Re: Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers
                  NickR1 Level 1

                  Thanks again! I will give this a go!

                  • 7. Re: Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers
                    NickR1 Level 1

                    Thanks, Rick! That works for me just fine! I do have another question, if you wouldn't mind. In the video, there are 15 separate clips I want to make from the original file. I can split this up in PP, but if that splitting can be done in AF, that would be a real time saver, as each of these clips are radically different exposures and would need to be adjusted individually. And that's because I was using a less-than-pro model camera (with auto exposure that cannot be turned off) on the drone I used to shoot this. Thank you!

                    • 8. Re: Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers
                      Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                      The "Split layer" function and associated shortcut (Ctrl+Shift+D) are your friend.

                       

                      Mylenium

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 9. Re: Newbie to AE, asking for help with Blending Layers
                        NickR1 Level 1

                        Thanks, Mylenium! It looks like that would allow me to edit just that section. Is that right? Can that single section be exported or rendered as a separate file?