The task you need to accomplish can be achieved by using perspective motion tracking, either with the built-in motion tracker in AE or the bundled Mocha AE application. Unfortunately, motion tracking and other compositing tricks that may be needed in this particular case are rather advanced operations for a beginner.
Here is the After Effects help section on Tracking and stabilizing motion. Pay special attention to the parts on 4-point tracking and references to Mocha AE.
I own CS4 but Mocha is not installed nor is it on the install disks. How do I get it - download? I couldn't even find it online
It's installed automatically in the same folder as After Effects, if you entered a retail serial number for the suite or application.
I got no helpful answers, yet and I have not found a tutorial that addresses my task. Traking and stabilizing is for smoothing out shaky video, but I'm not even to that point, yet. I need to first remove the black background from the attached image and place the white lettering on the jar lid, but the original grey should still be there. I tried the "change to color" effect to make the black background match the original grey jar cap, but that effect does not work for some reason. I use eyedropper for the from and to colors, but absolutely nothing happens.
I have never even heard of Mocha until I entered this post. It doesn't look like something I can learn in a few hours or days. What I need to do seems like a simple task, but I'm not getting it. Does the clone tool in AE serve the same function as that in Photoshop? I can clone the lid on the makeup jar, but only for one frame at a time. Each stroke that I cloned created a layer in the timeline. What am I supposed to do with that?
Once I have accomplished that, then I have to make whatever I did move along and fade with the video.
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Stabilization is the process of stabilizing footage, tracking is the process of synchronizing/adding elements to moving footage.
Sorry if the answers so far are not what you wanted to hear, but the reality is that, althought it might SEEM like a simple task, tracking replacement content into moving footage can be quite complex. There are huge teams of specialists dedicated to this very task on many TV commercials and films these days. It's crazy to think you can attain that level of skill with a tutorial and a couple of hours.
In my opinion, so long as there's not too much dimensional distortion in the camera move, the easiest way to achieve a basic result would be this:
Export a frame to Photoshop and clone out the text on the lid. Then select the whole face of the lid and place it on a new layer.
Save the layered PSD and import to your AE project. Place the "clean lid" layer into your comp and align it perfectly over the old lid.
Now it's your choice - learn how to motion track, or simply move through frame by frame and adjust the position of the clean lid at every frame. If you set a start position and an end position, hopefully the lid will be in almost the right position throughout the move, and you'll only need to make small corrections.
When you're happy with the result, add your text layer, use Corner Pin to alter the perspective, and attach it to the Clean Lid layer using parenting. You might want to use a Transfer Mode like Screen to make it blend more realistically with the light falling on the lid. (You might prefer to skip that step and just add the text to the lid in Photoshop, if there's no prespective change during the camera move.)
Use masking to remove the coloured text in lower frame. Use Layer Styles to create a matching gradient on your replacement text/log
Disregard - another message follows
My stupidity is obvious. After 4 hours of exporting, cloning and importing, I ended up with a layer with a gray circle over a white background. There were too many import and export format choices at every step, layered, merged, etc. so I tried everything.
I now need to make the white background transparent, which is killing me.
THEN, I need to place a text logo on the jar lid and track it as it moves across the screen. I am hoping I can merge those together (lid and logo) to re-use.
Next Challenge - that jar label shows up in other short clips - in different positions, sizes and perspectives. I assume I can use a 3D effect?
In photoshop have you created your gray circle on a new layer or directly on the white background ?
If you've done it on a separate layer, then import you psd as composition cropped layers and your PSD will be imported as a composition inside AE. In the project panel find your psd layer with only your gray circle on it and drag it on your composition.
If you've done your cicrle on the white bckground inside Ps, they you will need to mak or key it.
To mask it select the elipse tool one the toolbar and create & adjust an elipse around your gray circle in the timeline.
or you can key it:
To Key it, you can go to Effect > Keying and select a color key to pull out the white of your layer.
I need to match the gray to different shades due to lighting as this lid appears in several different photos in the video. Some of them pan a little, fade out, and they all appear in different angle perspectives. So once I get the new logo on there, I need use some kind of 3D effect. Any suggestions?
On the 3d stuff, I can use the "transform" effect under the "Plug-in effects". But I don't know how to change the orientation point to the center of the circle. It is now on the outside.
You have to work on each shot independantly. To change the center of rotation you'll need to change the anchor point of the layer.
Once again, what you try to do is not easy stuff, and acheiving a good look is really hard if you don't have an intermediate level. Sadly it's not something your are going to acheive in a day or two, so all I can recommend you is to watch/reproduce a ot of tutorials to train yoursefl, watch the basic tut at videocopilot to learn how to use the software.