7 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2010 6:53 PM by TomBradyRules

    Obscuring Help?

    TomBradyRules Level 1

      I'm working on rotoscoping lightsabers into a Star Wars fanfilm using After Effects 7 but I'm having trouble with obscuring the lightsaber behind bodies. I'm able to do it for one section, but how do I obscure a different area later in the video? Does the lightsaber layer have to be DIRECTLY under the obscuring layer to be obscured, or what? Because when I create a DIFFERENT obscure layer later in the film for a different object, the lightsaber doesn't get obscured because it's layer name isn't DIRECTLY under the new obscuring layer. IS IT POSSIBLE IN THE TIMELINE TO HAVE THE OBSCURING LAYER COME IN FOR A SHORT TIME, then leave, THEN COME BACK WHEN I NEED IT? Because it seems like each layer can only be in for one section and you can't split up the time it's in the video. IF I'm NOT EXPLAINING IT WELL ENOUGH BUT YOU STILL WANT TO HELP SAY SO I'll BE GLAD TO EXPLAIN IT BETTER!

        • 1. Re: Obscuring Help?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          I don't follow. you can split layers at any time using the respective menu entry or hitting Ctrl+Shift+D. Of course this means duplicating mattes and other layers as well on occasion. Can't always have cool effects with just one layer, just the opposite. even seemingly simple things can consist of a bazillion layers. Of course you can simplify by pre-composing or using effects liek Set Matte to "remote" mattes, but there are obviously limits and otehr side effects in terms of keeping a managable project structure...



          • 2. Re: Obscuring Help?
            Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            The questions you are asking and the way in which you are asking them demonstrates a lack of basic knowledge of After Effects. Attempting visual effects without a basic knowledge will lead to frustration and typing in all caps.


            I would highly suggest you go here. And go through ALL of the available resources. This will take some time, but you MUST do it or you will continue to pull out your hair and cry yourself to sleep.


            In the meantime, how are you doing this obscuring?

            If you just have a duplicate of your footage on top, you can use masks to cover up the lightsabers with a copy of the original footage. You can keyframe the positions of the masks and when you don't need it for a few seconds, keyframe it out of the composition window.

            • 3. Re: Obscuring Help?
              TomBradyRules Level 1

              What I'm doing is creating a new solid, making it comp size, and then

              outlining the object (my body) that I want to be OVER the lightsaber with

              the pen tool. then I keyframe the mask shape and go frame by frame and

              reshape it. Also, I make the lightsabers trackmatte "alpha inverted" But I

              don't know how to make the layer go away for a portion of the film, and then

              come back, other than just making the shape outside of the film, but that

              doesn't seem like a very good way to do it. Thanks for replying, and any

              other help is great.

              • 4. Re: Obscuring Help?
                TomBradyRules Level 1

                Basically there are 2 bodies in the video that obscure the lightsaber at one time or another. What I would LIKE to do is have one layer be for one body, and another one for the other body, but if the lightsaber is say, #3 on the layer list, it WON'T be obscured by #1, only the one DIRECTLY above it, which would be #2, so that's why I'm thinking I can only use 1 layer to obscure it for the entire video

                • 5. Re: Obscuring Help?
                  TomBradyRules Level 1

                  O wait I think I have it! I'll split the lightsaber layer into 2 separate ones and end 1 right when the other one starts. then I'll make another obscuring layer for the next part, put it at the very top, and then put lightsaber layer 2 RIGHT underneath it.

                  • 6. Re: Obscuring Help?
                    Szalam Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    You could do that. Or you could do my suggestion to just put a duplicate video layer and put your masks on it.

                    There are a bunch of good rotoscoping tips here. They may help you out.

                    • 7. Re: Obscuring Help?
                      TomBradyRules Level 1

                      Thanks for taking time to help me.