9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 26, 2011 8:14 AM by Dave LaRonde

    Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?

    jandersongh@yahoo.com
      In my studio, I'm using a three point lighting setup, with a subject against a screen.

      The thing is, I have to reposition the lights in a non-traditional way in order to over expose the screen for post-production purposes (not chroma keying but a desired effect so we're doing this on purpose).


      This issue in doing this, is that the subject in the foreground is lit fairly evenly (or flatly, with no key-light shadow as this light is moved in more closely to achieve the desired effect of the screen). We have neither the resources or the room to bring in any more lights, or move the subject.


      I'm able to color correct the foreground subject with filters and get a nice, crisp look. However, one noticeable draw back is the lack of slightly darker side (or shadowed side) of the face you typically get with a three point setup.  I know the conventional wisdom is to always adjust issues at the time instead of after the fact, but in this case, it's inevitable.


      I have seen AE plug ins that let you designate an area you wish to focus on (IE: using a simple, circular mask type cursor) and it generates the desired effect in and around this area. Is there a plug-in or method in AE to generate an artificial key-light shadow on one side of the subjects face without altering the overall color in general?


      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

          That would require some form of contrast for an automated analysis, but since nothing is there (or not enough at least), that is bound to fail, so using smart brushing or masking techniques is probably as good as it gets. The only other alternative is obviously a different lighting setup and a different color correction approach, but you very much ruled out that one, so I'm not sure what else to suggest.

           

          Mylenium

          • 2. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
            Dave LaRonde Level 6

            This guy simply copied & pasted a query he made on the Creative COW:

            http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/1003909

             

            Apparently he needed to hear from another source that what he wants to do isn't practical, nor was he very forthcoming with details of his effects shot that would let people offer alternatives.

            • 3. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
              chande a k Level 1

              To get proper guidance/solution for your problem let us atleast have SCREEN SHOT of the shot first

              • 4. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
                jandersongh@yahoo.com Level 1

                Mr. LaRonde,

                 

                I'm sorry to offend or hurt your ego, but contrary to your belief, your opinion IS NOT the be-all-end-all in the industry. There are second opinions (many of which are provided by YOUR peers on both forums) and I would like to hear them...if that's all right with you.

                 

                I mean, I know that as soon as you say something I should just give up any and all attempts at researching alternate methods, as your's is the last and final word on the matter. How silly of me to even waste my time pursing the intelligent opinions of people not working for KCRG.

                 

                Anyway, to the other folks who lent helpful advice on methods I could try manually, I will give it a shot and let you know how it turns out. Thanks for the info!

                • 5. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
                  Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Lighting is dimensional. It requires geometry to look real. You could roto a mask for one side of the face, apply a gradient to simulate fall off or use a combination of gradient and a color chanel to control an exposure effect. It wouldn't be a simple or quick solution but it would kind of simulate 3 point lighting.

                   

                  If you put up a screenshot this weekend I'll try and send you a comp that shows one option.

                  • 6. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
                    Navarro Parker Level 3

                    Have you seen the extras for the original Tron? Many of the light effects were roto'd frame-by-frame. (Like the shots were the underside of Tron's disc projects light onto Tron's face and body)  The upside was that the images were grayscale and the light was always moving and the sequences were short.

                     

                    But even  the best hand roto'd shadows always look a little off. I don't know what your shot is, but if it's close-up, lingering, and in color, it's only going to make it that much more scrutinized.

                     

                    The only other thing I could think of would do be to use a 3D proxy model of your subject as a shadow catcher and recreate the lighting setup in a 3D app. Something like PFTrack 5 can automate this through geometry tracking. But since it sounds like the budget isn't limitless, you'll probably just want to hand match the model's rotation and translation to match your subjects.

                     

                    But really really, you should just reshoot it. No insulting your AE skills, but even a VFX whiz could spend days in post trying to create a fix that's going to end up looking crummy anyway.

                    • 7. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
                      chande a k Level 1

                      "  If you put up a screenshot this weekend I'll try and send you a comp that shows one option.  "

                       

                      Rick,

                      I have not put the original question

                      Without the screen shot of the actual situation, or what is the subject matter,

                      It appears that we are all trying to solve the mystry

                      • 8. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
                        Rick Gerard Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Apparently there's no screenshot so there can be no solution.

                        • 9. Re: Generating an artificial key-light shadow in AE?
                          Dave LaRonde Level 6

                          I'm glad to know you're familiar with KCRG.

                           

                          As others in this thread have indicated, you aren't providing sufficient details about the nature of your shot, which would allow them to offer helpful suggestions.  No screen shot, not even a detailed, written description which could give people a chance to ask clarifying questions.

                           

                          If you're in the position where you can't share the secret, I'm afraid helpful replies must also remain a secret.