23 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2011 5:31 AM by Bushy162

    Believe it or not...

    Bushy162 Level 1

      Believe it or not, there is a certain effect achieved only through doing the following:

       

               WhiteSolid1

                    - mask feather: 20

      <0>     WhiteSolid1                        luma

                    - mask feather: 20

      <0>     footage.wmv

       

       

      The symbol <0> is meant to represent the EYE symbol, or rather visibility.

       

      Also, bare in mind that WhiteSolid1 has been masked to a rectangle.

       

       

      I want to achieve the same fading away effect, but for a white solid that is luma matte tracked to the footage, NOT a duplicate of itself.

      I understand this is very difficult, but i'd be surprised if there were not a way of doing this.

       

      If you were wondering why I have the white solid luma matte tracked to the footage, here's why: I want white to appear wherever the footage is bright (and obviously I have VISIBLE footage underneath).

       

      I can't feather the footage because that would mess up the brightness detection - know what i mean?

       

      Please could you help,

      Yours sincerely

       

      Harry Evans

       

      Thanks alot..

        • 1. Re: Believe it or not...
          Dave LaRonde Level 6

          Bushy162 wrote:

          I want white to appear wherever the footage is bright...

           

          That's all you need?  Well, there's typically more than one way to skin a cat in AE.

           

          If you want to turn bright parts of the picture white, why not just use the Curves effect on the footage?

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Believe it or not...
            Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I don't know what you mean. If you want to make the lightest areas of your video transparent then duplicate the video layer, apply a curves effect to crush the blacks and push the whites to the top layer, then use that modified video layer as a luma track matte for the layer below.

             

            A screen shot of your setup would help a lot.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Believe it or not...
              Bushy162 Level 1

              Dave, the description "making white appear where the footage is bright" could mean two things: it could mean that white will either appear or not appear,    OR    it could mean that there's a gradual change. I want the FIRST of the two meanings.

              • 4. Re: Believe it or not...
                Dave LaRonde Level 6

                it could mean that either appear completely, at it's pure value, or not at all    OR    it could mean that there's a gradual change. I want the latter.

                 

                Now I'm more confused than before, and I have to go along with Rick: if you can post a screenshot or something that does what you want to achieve, you'll get a better answer.  At the moment, I have no clue what you're after.  Sorry.

                • 5. Re: Believe it or not...
                  Bushy162 Level 1

                  Oh don't worry, that's ok - thanks for helping me . I'm going to send several posts, each with a single screenshot. No need to reply until I've let you know that I have.........Here goes..........

                   

                  screenshot_(1)        This is my raw footage.

                  Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 18.30.40.png

                  • 6. Re: Believe it or not...
                    Bushy162 Level 1

                    Screenshot_(2)

                     

                     

                    I've placed my white solid on top (rectangle mask)

                     

                    Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 18.31.41.png

                    • 7. Re: Believe it or not...
                      Bushy162 Level 1

                      Screenshot (3)

                       

                      I've luma matted the white solid to the footage - BUT, it's more complicated than JUST luma matting it to the footage because when you luma matte something, it does it to the thing on TOP. Well i can't put it underneath the footage that would be dum! So I put it on top, but then COPY the footage, put THAT on top of my white solid, and make the copied footage INVISBLE. Then, I click luma matte, and problem solved...

                       

                      Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 18.40.21.png

                      • 8. Re: Believe it or not...
                        Bushy162 Level 1

                        Here's two screenshots corresponding to the SAME STEP.

                         

                        My copied footage I now alter the contrast and brightness of. Now, I get a more ON/OFF effect. Please tell me you know what I mean !!

                        Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 18.31.14.pngScreen shot 2011-06-14 at 18.55.14.png

                        • 9. Re: Believe it or not...
                          Bushy162 Level 1

                          STEP 6:

                           

                          I've feathered the White Solid

                           

                          Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 19.13.44.pngScreen shot 2011-06-14 at 19.15.51.png

                          • 10. Re: Believe it or not...
                            Bushy162 Level 1

                            STEP 7:

                             

                            I've added Fast Blur to copied (invisible) footage to make the Track Matte detection SLIGHTLY muffled, which makes the white solid less harsh on the background/footage.

                             

                            Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 19.18.57.pngScreen shot 2011-06-14 at 19.19.08.png

                            • 11. Re: Believe it or not...
                              Bushy162 Level 1

                              At this stage, you're probably wondering WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS GUY TRYING TO DO!?  Well, I'm trying to make a lightsaber. My ambitions are VERY high. I've seen the bog-standard method, and yeah, it's fine, but it looks NOTHING LIKE the real thing!! (in my opinion)

                              And why would it!! It takes 5 minutes !!

                               

                              For the past few months, I've been trying to pursue my dream of this lightsaber business, admittedly without much success, but I think you'd agree I've done some useful research!!!

                               

                              Anyway, back to the question.......haha.................

                              • 12. Re: Believe it or not...
                                Bushy162 Level 1

                                 

                                Right, Those steps are finished. But I'm not done. My goal is the same as when I started this discussion/thread.

                                Here it is: On step 6, you saw me feather my White Solid. That was cool, BUT I WANT MORE, and here is where I got the idea of something better:

                                 

                                Right, I am now going to give 3 examples. The FIRST 2 achieve the same effect. The 3rd DOESN'T.

                                 

                                Watch this (this'll take a posts)

                                 

                                1.

                                 

                                Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 20.20.45.pngScreen shot 2011-06-14 at 20.22.19.png

                                 

                                • 13. Re: Believe it or not...
                                  Bushy162 Level 1

                                  2.  EXACTLY THE SAME EFFECT

                                   

                                  Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 20.24.07.pngScreen shot 2011-06-14 at 20.25.41.png

                                  • 14. Re: Believe it or not...
                                    Bushy162 Level 1

                                    3.    THIS IS DIFFERENT. VERY IMPORTANT. LOOK.

                                     

                                    Screen shot 2011-06-14 at 20.27.51.pngScreen shot 2011-06-14 at 20.29.28.png

                                    • 15. Re: Believe it or not...
                                      Bushy162 Level 1

                                      DOUBLE FEATHERING IS WHAT I CALL IT.

                                       

                                      ____________________________________________________________________________________

                                       

                                       

                                      I am Finished.

                                       

                                      Now, could you reply, telling me whether you 1st understand my in-context example (i.e the series of Steps) and 2nd understand ABSTRACT example in which I distinguish between what is the standard Feathering, and my own version, which I call Double Feathering?

                                       

                                      Thank you.

                                      • 16. Re: Believe it or not...
                                        Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                        Bushy162 wrote:

                                        I'm trying to make a lightsaber. My ambitions are VERY high. I've seen the bog-standard method, and yeah, it's fine, but it looks NOTHING LIKE the real thing!! (in my opinion)

                                        Okay, do you include Andrew Kramer's many light saber tutorials on Videocopilot.net among the ones you've seen?  I'd hate for you to reinvent the wheel if you didn't have to.

                                         

                                        Not that additional AE exploration & experience is a bad thing....

                                        • 17. Re: Believe it or not...
                                          Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                          Bushy162 wrote:

                                          DOUBLE FEATHERING IS WHAT I CALL IT.

                                           

                                          Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it can also be called, "reinventing the wheel". 

                                           

                                          However, you can stand proud in your attainment of brand-new, hard-won AE knowledge.  Good for you!

                                          • 18. Re: Believe it or not...
                                            Bushy162 Level 1

                                            Fair enough, and yeah I have seen the Andrew Kramer tutorial. His preset is better than the DIY method, but I wouldn't call it anything like the real thing. I assume you are referring to his preset?

                                            • 19. Re: Believe it or not...
                                              Dave LaRonde Level 6

                                              His preset is better than the DIY method, but I wouldn't call it anything like the real thing. I assume you are referring to his preset?

                                               

                                              Well, there's the inconvenient truth that light sabers don't exist, so nailing down the "real thing" is a tough call. 

                                               

                                              Since technique for making light sabers at  Lucasfilms and Industrial Light & Magic has evolved over the years, the call gets even tougher.  Is the "real thing" the way they looked in 1977 when light sabers first appeared?  Is it the way they look in light saber battles in Episode 3?

                                               

                                              And actually, I wasn't so much referring to the preset as I was to the technique of using multiple solids with masks, different amounts of feathering and different blend modes to simulate a bright object that glows and reflects light off objects surrounding it.

                                              • 20. Re: Believe it or not...
                                                Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                You're making this much too difficult. Instead of using masks you should be using blend modes. Here's an easy 3 step process for making a light saber effect. It takes about 30 seconds and involves 3 copies of a shape and the ADD.

                                                 

                                                1. Create a shape layer that is approximately the shape of your light saber. The color should be a slightly darker value than you want for your light saber core. Add fast blur with a value of 10 to 20 pixels. Set the blend mode to ADD.
                                                2. Duplicate the layer (not the shape) and edit the copy to be slightly larger than the layer below using the pen tool. Increase the blur value to about 40 pixels.
                                                3. Duplicate the layer and edit the shape to be slightly larger and possibly rounded on the end. Increase the blur value to about 60.

                                                There's your light saber. Drop this Light Saber comp into a new comp with your footage at the bottom. Make sure the project settings are set to 32bit. Set the blend mode of the Light Saber comp to ADD. Move the anchor point to the base of the light saber and then animate away.

                                                 

                                                You can make adjustments to the look by adjusting the blur and opacity of the shape layers in the Light Saber Comp.

                                                 

                                                This is how long it should take you:

                                                • 21. Re: Believe it or not...
                                                  Bushy162 Level 1

                                                  In response to your post Dave, I would say that seeing as it's digital technology that we're are using, the "real thing" would be episodes 1-3 (P.Menace,A.Clones,R.Sith). Because we couldn't really expect to achieve the same results as those that were done using a manual technique,                            i.e. episodes 4-6.

                                                   

                                                  However, something that I've noticed (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) is that there's a big difference between the lightsabers in Phantom Menace and those in Attack of the Clones. The ones in Revenge of the Sith are pretty much the same as the previous film, but there seems to me a BIG gap between the first two.

                                                   

                                                  I'd be very interested to know there were another, more advanced video on lightsaber making.

                                                   

                                                  Anyway, Dave, you've taken a really good interest in what I had to say, and you've been really patient, so thanks

                                                   

                                                  I shall get started on this new tutorial then....cheers....

                                                  • 22. Re: Believe it or not...
                                                    Bushy162 Level 1

                                                    Rick Gerard, what you've sent seems to PERFECT, thank you. This is brilliant! It's a lot to take in at the moment, so I'm working through it now, but thanks again..

                                                    • 23. Re: Believe it or not...
                                                      Bushy162 Level 1

                                                      Rick, your method is undoubtedly the best one on the internet. The ADD appears to be the only way of getting the effect on the core that matches the following picture:

                                                       

                                                      Screen shot 2011-06-01 at 17.48.54.png Screen shot 2011-06-16 at 13.29.38.png

                                                      You may be slightly dismayed to hear this, but I'm thinking of creating a new Discussion based on this lightsaber effect. Would this be inappropriate seeing as you guys have given me quite a lot of help already. AND, if I did, would you, Rick, continue to help me improve my lightsaber?