4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 19, 2008 4:42 AM by (Jerry_Chambless)

    Photograph Separation

      This is my first time coming across thing sort of a project, but I have a client that wants a foreground person & a middleground person cut or masked away from the background of a digital photograph that the client has taken.

      They then want the two people to move independently of the background photograph in Z space without revealing the obvious holes in the background. They have no clean background plates to work with, only the photograph which is fairly cluttered.

      Any suggestions?

      Thanks, Jerry
        • 1. Re: Photograph Separation
          bogiesan-gyyClL Level 3
          The technique gets discussed often in AE forums. Try googling "the kid stays in the picture" for several sites that cover variations.

          Your biggest issue is filling the holes. A photo restoration expert could do it for several hundred dollars or you could do it yourself by tearing your hair out. It's not difficult to perform basic cloning operations in Photoshop but making the holes look natural requires skills I know I do not have.

          I'd find out what this is worth to you and then find out what it's worth to your client. The examine your Photoshop skills and see if you can pull it of on your own. I'm guessing these few seconds of screen time will consume 60-80% of the cost and effort in the whole projwct.

          • 2. Re: Photograph Separation
            Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
            As David said, filling the holes will be the tricky and costly part. This is realyl more a matter of your PS skills with the clone stamp and smear tool... If the client allows it, you might trry a somewhat artsy approach and add additional BG elements that eventually would disguise the photographic origins. This might give you enough opportunity to cover up the holes with some fancy graphical elements. Another way to disguise the holes would be to have them auto-filled e.g. with plugins such as Revision FX' RE:Fill suite and then introduce some kind of fake DOF/ blur. Beyond that I'd simply investigate if you can find a photograph of the location or, if it's in your area, shoot one yourself and do a total BG replacement. Would be easier and cheaper.

            • 3. Re: Photograph Separation
              Level 1
              Thanks for your reply, I will check out the "kids pic" suggestion...The very first thing I thought of was photo restoration, but these bg's are too cluttered with other people, office equiptment, furnature, etc., & there is no budget for this. I was thinking I could possibly move the people slightly toward camera to envoke a scale effect hopefully withour exposing any of the bg plate's removal.
              That's the only thing I have figured so far. The people's animation doesn't need much, just a multiplane effect type of move.
              • 4. Re: Photograph Separation
                Level 1
                Appreciate the info, good ideas on the additional elements that I could introduce into the animation. I also thought about possibly utilizing dof, I think it really will depend on how much separation I will be able to get without revealing the holes.
                thanks again