Hello all,

I recently posted in the puppet section trawling for eyelid options and it lead me to another query.

I'm relatively novice when it comes to post software and I was wondering if anyone has had much experience erasing lines for replacement mouths, and if so what magical tools did you use for this process. I have the Adobe master collection and was playing around with a healing tool in Photoshop CS5 with some success on a still image. However I'm concerned with consistency within a frame by frame sequence.  Any special tools or healing masks that are out there and work well for stop mo? I've attached images of my two lead characters but I'm undecided if I want to use these eyelids or create new ones. Please keep in mind the eye balls were place holders until I make the real eyes.

Thanks

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Photoshop CS5 in the Master collection - that should be the Extended version.  It can open up all the frames in a timeline.  I don't use that function because I use TV Paint Animation for all of that sort of thing, but if you open Photoshop -

At the top right of screen there are several Modes -  Essentials (which I use), Design, Painting etc -  click on Motion and you get a timeline at the bottom of the screen.

Go to File, Open, find the folder with your images, click on the first image, and make sure you tick the box at the bottom under Format that says Image Sequence.  Click Open.

A box comes up asking for the frame rate. Choose 24, 25, 30, or whichever rate you want. Click OK.

The whole image sequence should load on the timeline.  You can drag the slider along to see a different frame in the big window. In TV Paint I use the left and right arrows on the keyboard to go to the next frame to compare, or the previous frame, but that doesn't work in PS Extended...  ah, found it, there are little controls on the lower left of the timeline.

You can also load a Quicktime movie, and still work on individual frames.

You can draw or erase on each frame, using all the usual PS tools to blend or smear or heal, and compare it with the frames before and after.  

There doesn't seem to be any onion skinning like TV Paint has, I searched and got no results.  Also, when I created another layer to work on, that seemed to be just the one image over all the frames, I drew on it over frame one, and it was there over every frame - maybe there is a way to choose whether it is a single image or a sequence of blank images, but I don't see it.  I guess that's why I use TV Paint, it's really made for video, but PS has only just dabbled in it because Adobe also makes After Effects.

Ok, thats the other option - in the Master Suite you would also have AE.

I find AE too frustrating to use, so I can't help you there.  I just opened an image sequence, dragged it to the window, and it appeared on the time line - so far so good.   Then I found a brush tool in the upper right of the screen, clicked on it, and tried to draw, but it wouldn't let me, said something about a layer window.   This is the point where I close AE and use a program that just lets me do it without a lot of stuffing about.  But you might want to try and work it out since you should have the program there.

In AE, all operations like this are performed in a layer window- this includes paint brush, clone stamp, eraser, etc- its not a big hassle- yuo just need to be aware of it, and it keeps the indiividual layers and the master composition nicely seperated actually.


On the general point- Maybe I am missing something specific, but I dont really see how replacement mouths or eyelids would require this clean-up?- i use plasticine or sugru eyelids, and replacement mouths held in place with magnets on some puppets- there is no clean up required as there is no 'seam' unlike the replacement face technique as used in Coraline.

Neodymium magnets, 15mm discs and 1mm thick, fixed into your puppets chin will allow seperate mouths with magnet/ metal fixed to their rear to be placed onto the puppet with no visible seam. If you can avoid such clean up work, I'd recommend it- it is a frame by frame nightmare.

John


Having just finished a film in which the mouths of my characters were added in post, I can attest to the nightmare of which John speaks. Roughly 24 minutes of animation to work on x 25 fps = over 30,000 frames to touch up. My eyes are still buggy.

BTW, on Coraline they used a program called Shake, which is no longer produced. Here's the wiki article about it:

shake


John Horabin said:

If you can avoid such clean up work, I'd recommend it- it is a frame by frame nightmare.

Yeah I thought it might have been a lot of work and as you can see the skin on my puppet is inconsistent. I think think I would struggle to achieve a seamless clone stamp between frames. I will test and post my results beginning to end on a later day. I have the plastic eyelids to test but I only have a basic blink and will need  many more made. Well its time to get off the CPU and on the animation table. Thanks all for the advice. :)

Hey Grecodan

I feel like we've met- elsewhere....

good to see you over here.

Shake, Nuke and a few more are all node based compositors, which are used at the high end for feature film work- but they do pretty much the same jobs as After Effects, being fancier at such areas as 3d matchmoving, and top end features...

John

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