I need your help!

One of our own Video Copilot patrons has been selected as a finalist in the Heinz 57 Top This TV challenge. (The big Ketchup company, JK)

Jeremiah Jones submitted the entry called Heinz World Wide and we need to help vote for his great video


Although Film Magic pro helped for some of the color grading I have to really give Jeremiah Jones the credit for this great spot.


Please vote for the video everyday until September 10th, and remember if your video made it I would do this for you too!

Now the truth is, I have no stake in this but hey, if Jeremiah wins and wants to throw me a couple of bucks… I have a wife and baby on the way… Just kidding, Jeremiah bought several of our Products already and that is thanks enough!

Good Luck and please help him out so we can see some more Video Copilot stuff on National TV

Set Extension Setups

In the Set Extensions tutorial we learned a technique to add CG elements on top of a live action shot. But there are other effective ways to do this, include masking out parts and even using a green screen in the field.

In the above example, luminance keying and some masks were used to remove the sky and replace it with a destroyed city. Since our characters do not extend over the separating wall it is easy to remove the sky by masking the wall off and replacing it with our set extension.

This is a fake setup to demonstrate another possible way to remove the background. Obviously this would be even easier to remove than the white sky green keyer. Especially since it is pure green from the paint bucket in Photoshop. Of course in real life you want to add some track points as well so you can track the camera movement and I don’t mean in Photoshop.

In this example a fake green screen is painted on to demonstrate how using a small green screen in front of your actors will allow you to extend the background directly in front of your characters while maintaining the original dirt ground which makes your charcters look like they are really there. Once the green is removed a background plate of the original dirt lot can be placed back into the scene, then by using a subtraction mask and some feathering, you can blend the real foreground dirt with the background plate of the matte painting. Just be careful not to fade the mask beyond the end of the green screen or you will get a sharp edge where the green screen ends.

Another idea would be to park a static object like a car in front of the actors with a green screen behind it. Then you can key out the green and use a garbage matte to cut the rest of the scene out, and this way you wouldn’t have to blend the original footage with the background matte painting because the car would serve as a separator.

You can also extend the set with a camera movement and place some large building in the BG and simply pan upwards to the top of it… or even… Okay, that is enough for now.

TUTORIAL: Set Extensions

In this video tutorial you’ll learn to incorporate matte paintings with your live action footage. You’ll also learn a great technique for linking tracking data together. Plus a bunch of other cool stuff as well maybe some MS paint too!

Watch Tutorial
View Still Images

It’s another long one; 30 MINUTES! … and I love Canadians

UPDATE: Sean Emer, has created a great video demonstrating the Photoshop portion of the tutorial at normal speed


UPDATE 2: I may also make an update and cover some 3D tracking techniques to incorporate 3D Sets as well. But don’t expect that too soon

ADMIN NOTE: Please read blog rules before posting. Remember we’re still on old servers so thanks for your understanding.

Launching a website is a lot of work…

Hey thoughtful and understanding community!

Things are moving along well but there was more to do than I realized. I do have a tutorial I will post to keep you occupied in the mean time. We should be ready to launch this week, but I want to wait until the weekend to minimize any possible down time. I wish I could tell you about all the cool new stuff…

Lot of Progress

I’ve been working non stop with the new site, I’ve just finished some major features. I am very proud of the changes and content that will soon be available. I figure, if I’m moving to a better server, why not make the site better too. Obviously the main functioning of the site will be similar but I hope you will enjoy the new stuff.

I’m planning to have the site online Monday the 27th.

Now, my wife is still pregnant, our official due date is the 26th, which I don’t think we will make. I’m hoping to just push a button and have it ready, but I cannot tell the future so don’t worry if plans change slightly.

I’m fighting the clock to get the site online for you and now I know how Indiana Jones felt when that boulder was chasing him down. I can see the light…

C:/Run spellCheck.exe… Error.

Some of the new

Here is a small sample of the new site. With the new server we can expect to handle the mid-day rush and be able to update the tutorials and blog much easier.

Additionally, the site is being optimized for speed. The tutorial section has some new functionality that I will get into when we launch. I will give you one hint, the tutorial section will have a search function that will not only allow you to search what is in the description but also search for little tips that are deep within.

Most of the changes aren’t visual, but rather behind the scenes.

Reverse Scale Expression

In the Demon Face Warp Tutorial we learned to reverse track by adding expressions. One expression reversed the rotation by multiplying it by -1.

Now I had a question about reverse scaling… I didn’t know, until now:

Basically you create a variable inside the final comp where you apply the reverse rotation expression but instead we alt click on the scale and write

So if m=400%, then 100/400=.25, and .25*100% is 25%. And 25% of the now 400 percent image is now back to the original size.
To create the layer variable, you can pickwhip the scale of the precomposed layer as shown in the tutorial. Then add [0] so that you only use one of the scale values for the width.

Try it out and hopefully you can use it in the future.

EDIT for Clarification: When you motion stabilizing something with 2 points you can calculate the rotation and scale from the Motion Tracking Menu, this scales up or down as needed to keep the 2 points the exact distance appart. Thanks for bringing this up Kyle, I’m tired too.

Nice Use of Free Tutorials

Dele, stumbled upon this great website that is possibly inspired in part by Video Copilot. I think it is an excellent example of adding your own creative twist in addition to some really nice camera work. I’m excited to see people taking the tutorials to the next level ; )

ADMIN NOTE: Please try to keep comments relevant. I love when everyone gets involved and posts comments but lets keep the discussions neat for all visitors and for me, I have to read all these things ; ) I know you guys have great things to contribute… New servers almost ready, please bare with us.

Gravity in After Effects

Getting back to Motion Graphics…
I’m working on a new tutorial that will demonstrate practical ways to use gravity and give mass and elasticity to layers.

Watch Sample Video

Download Project File (AE7)

I know I haven’t been posting as often but I’m working on some important website updates before we transfer to the new Dedicated Servers. These updates will make it easier for me to post more frequently and some other great features you’ll just have to wait and see. I still plan to release a new tutorial every week; although this one may be out on Tuesday or so. Of course, don’t worry if there isn’t a new tutorial one week, just go outside and play some hopscotch. And I’ll let you know when the little Kramer is here. Tick-tock.