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Rotoscoping help

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As you know, I use Adobe Premiere for most of my video editing. Well, my latest project is to rotoscope the lightsabers in ANH to match their counterparts in ROTS. Merely for consistencies sake. Anyways, here is my problem. When I export the film to a film strip file to be used in Photoshop, the frames stay at 720x480, but the actual movie image shrinks so that it is directly in the middle of the 720x480 frame. What gives? Is there any other way to fix this or any other way to capture the 84 frames I need to capture for the scene on the Falcon following Alderaan's distruction?

This is the saber I'm using. Disagree with the way it looks if you want, but it is IDENTICAL to Anakin's saber in multiple scenes in ROTS.

http://home.comcast.net/~glgrimm1/falconcleansaber.JPG

So, can some one help me in this area?
The Jedi are all but extinct.......
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The corona needs just a good bloom and that's really it.
"A Jedi can feel the force flow through him".
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When I export the film to a film strip file to be used in Photoshop, the frames stay at 720x480, but the actual movie image shrinks so that it is directly in the middle of the 720x480 frame. What gives? Is there any other way to fix this or any other way to capture the 84 frames I need to capture for the scene on the Falcon following Alderaan's distruction?

So it has a black border all the way around, not just top and bottom? Does it stay at a "stretched" 16:9 ratio? The "active" area of each frame should be about 720x360, so that leaves about 60 pixels of black on the top and bottom.

I know I mentioned it before, but I use VirtualDub-MPEG2 - first, to open the ripped M2V, then to save out an image sequence of the frames I need to edit. Then I can load that sequence back into VirtualDub, editing frames as individual files and previewing them on the fly. Then I use VirtualDub to save out an AVI which I later encode to MPEG2.

This is the saber I'm using. Disagree with the way it looks if you want, but it is IDENTICAL to Anakin's saber in multiple scenes in ROTS.


What are you using as your reference? Not disagreeing - the ROTS sabres did seem more solid and less nebulous than ever before.

DE
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Yes, it is masking the top, bottom and sides of the image. Not really sure why, but it does it nonetheless. When I preview the original file in Adobe premiere, it fills out the monitor. When I preview the rotoscoped image, it condenses it to the middle. The problem is, now I have to re-rotoscope all 84 frames, which isn't the quickest thing to do. If I could get the film strip to save in the correct aspect ratio (I'm saving it as a 720 x 480 0.9 Widescreen, the same that Adobe says the source is), then I've devolped a fairly quick way of doing the saber effect. The above image is not indecitive of the final result. The core has more of a glow to it than that JPG above. My main bone of contention with the OT sabers is that the core loses it's form alot of the times. Meaning, instead of being symetrical all the way around, sometimes it will kinda flicker making the edges of the core ragged. I don't have a problem with the saber flickering, it's the ragged edges that bother me. The only reason that it is like this is because of the original method they had to go about creating the sabers, not because it was the desired effect.

The images I used as a source were from Anakin's slaughter of the Seperatists on Mustafar, as I felt the two interiors were similar enough to be sources. The final result is alittle brighter than that picture and with more of a 'glow'.

But it gets tiresome having to redo the work every time, because the filmstrip never turns out right.

EDIT: This is a more accurate picture than the one of above. For some reason I had clicked off the 'eye' on the layer for the core and glow when I made the last screen cap. Instead of replacing it (so Hurin doesn't get mad), I'll simply show it as a new cap. The problem I have with this saber is the core may be too big. However, I can fix that if anyone else thinks it's a problem.

This is a brighter background, so the glow will be a brighter blue.

http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/twentieth_century_fox/star_wars__episode_iii___revenge_of_the_sith/hayden_christensen/sith2.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~glgrimm1/saberglowfixed.JPG
The Jedi are all but extinct.......
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The lightsaber feels small, the core is a bit thick and big. The corona is good.
"A Jedi can feel the force flow through him".
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yeah but thicker is better

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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Originally posted by: Mackey256
yeah but thicker is better



That kinda made me chuckle.

I think I'm pretty close to what I want. I think I'm going to add an extra layer of glow near the core with a whitish blue color and maybe make the blade longer. That's about all I need to match Anakin's blade. Then I'll start rotoscoping, once I have the levels and layers I want and can replicate.
The Jedi are all but extinct.......
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There's a Photoshop action that's available someplace that's designed for rotoscoping SW elements like lightsabers and lasers. I forget what it's called, but it's out there, and freely available. Maybe Google ["star wars" (lightsaber OR laser OR "fan film") photoshop action]?

OK, I just tried that, and it got me this on the first page of results: http://www.alienryderflex.com/rotoscope/actions_tutorial.html
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If your talking tutorials I would hit up www.goodturtorial.com It might has a - so i'm not hyperlinking it. But I would start there. But it looks like Hardcore has a handle on making good looking sabers in photoshop.

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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Try using a glausian blur in increasing increments. to give the glow a more natural feel.

Example
If the blade is 8 px. wide start with 8 then do 16 and so on until it looks good. It might make it look a bit natural.

Oh and don't forget the use screen as a blending options. It lets more of the background come through.

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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Well, all that work and I may end up abandoning Photoshop all together for Adobe After Effects. My main concern right now is that even if I 'create the glow' on the still images, if I'm simply replicating the same image on every still, I could end up with a none flickering core....which isn't a good thing. I want it to have life, just a controlled area of life.

One thing that may keep me from After Effects is the terrible green 'cloud' that follows the saber in the fudged effect LFL did. Unless I can some how get rid of that, I may have to do each frame with a mask over that are, and then add the saber effect.
The Jedi are all but extinct.......
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Check about seven hours before your post...
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While not as dark as I originally had in mind, I believe this is the final version I'm going to rotoscope with. I'm about half way through this scene. I want to get atleast 60% of it done so I can get a good source to look at to see what needs touched up.

http://us.movies1.yimg.com/movies.yahoo.com/images/hv/photo/movie_pix/twentieth_century_fox/star_wars__episode_iii___revenge_of_the_sith/hayden_christensen/sith2.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~glgrimm1/saberfinal.JPG
The Jedi are all but extinct.......
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I've never really used premiere all that much but I know it's somewhat similar to Final Cut Pro.

I would see if you can export it as a .tiff format. That should give you just a bunch of individual frame that don't lose any resolution.

It's impossible to have a quick fix for making light saber and have them look good. After Effects will make your job a little easier but I have an FX guy to do that so I can't help you with that program. For the light saber stuff I would use Photoshop because that is what I know.

Take the DVD footage and take out the light saber and the glow up the healing tool and clone stamp.

This should give you a clean plate to work with. (this will be the most work too)

Next add a new layer and put a straight white line on it. (hold shift to make sure it straight) I would suggest for this one shot a brush about 8 pixels. I used 10 px for my last photo and it was too thick.

Now this is where I get different for the tutorials I have read. It's more work but it makes the blade look more natural (IMO) I take that white like and make three more layers of it (duplicate layer).

Next I change the color of three of my white blades to blue (or green/red depending on whose saber you are doing).

I take the one white layer and put a blur more filter on it. This will make it look smoother in the end.

Next take the three blue lines (or green/red) and give them a glassine blur filter. I would start with the number of px used for the original blade and get bigger. Sense we used 8px for the blade the first glassine blur I would use would be 8. Then the next layer down I would use a 16px glassine blur. And finally the third blue layer down I would use a 24px glassine blur.

That step is really where you can play with your image a lot as far as blade glow so get that right. It will take experimenting to get the blue color right and to get the glow right.

OK SAVE NOW BECAUSE IT COULD GET MESSED UP!!!

Take the four light saber layers and make them one layer (Merge visible) but make sure the background plate is still a different layer.

switch the blending mode for this layer to screen and go to blending options. Once here give it an outer glow. Also change the color of the glow to the same color used for the glassine blurred blades.

Play around with these setting until you think it looks right. It varies a lot depending on what scene you are using.

Lastly (I haven't tried this personally) try to play with a grain filter so that each frame will have its own grain. This should give each one an independent look so when played back they will look more natural.

This is how I do it but it may be too much work. I think they look good and more importantly I think you may end up with the effect you are looking for.

Hope it helps.

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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That looks really close to ROTS. Good work. The only comment I have is the blade glow looks to solid....

Other than that is looks good.

“You know, when you think about it, the Ewoks probably just crap over the sides of their tree-huts.”

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I used Virtualdub like DE said, and it worked out great. It captured every frame I needed and gave me an output of an image at 720x480 no problems with side masking.
The Jedi are all but extinct.......