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Explore how to use the motion tracker and stabilizer built into After Effects and shows how to handle a variety of shots. Author Chris Meyer leads a quick tour of the third-party software mocha and demonstrates the workflow for The Foundry's KEYLIGHT, both bundled with After Effects. The course also covers tracking a greenscreen shot with a handheld camera and replacing its background.
The After Effects Apprentice videos on lynda.com were created by Trish and Chris Meyer and are designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice. We are honored to host these tutorials in the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Inevitably, once you stabilize a shot, you will now need to perform some cleanup. The reason is, After Effects is having to animate the position of your original footage layer to make the image contained inside that clip appear stable, and as a result edges of the original clip may start to creep across the composition boundaries exposed in the background. I have created a very bright pink background here, so you can actually see it peaking out around the shot. If I just left my background black, it may not have been so obvious.
That's why I use a really garish Background Color. If you want to set or change the Background Color yourself, go to the Composition Menu; in previous versions of After Effects there was a separate menu item called Background Color, now it's actually inside Composition Settings. I'll Cancel and turn my footage back on. If you want to continue to use this shot full frame, you will need to scale it up and reposition it so that the edges do not uncover part of what's behind. So I'm going to select my layer, type Shift+S to add Scale to my parameters underneath, and slightly increase the Scale of my layer, until I no longer see the background.
Then I need to scan through the entire shot to make sure it's not revealed later on. I have got some issues at the top I need to worry about. Part of what you may need to do is actually recenter this shot, taking into account all the movement and the various dimensions. We'll tie it on this stage and move a little bit to the left, and keep dragging around. And now I feel pretty comfortable that I have indeed filled the entire frame for the entire duration of this clip. Be careful with how much Scaling you need to do. 1%, I am not so worried.
If I had to Scale up more than 10% to refill the frame, I'll need to start thinking of alternative approaches, such as adding a Layer > New > Adjustment Layer on top, and maybe adding some sort of a Sharpening plug into the whole result to sharpen the clip back up. Or I might want to use this as a picture-in- picture effect, whereas inset over a new background. And that whole subject of how to crop an inset picture-in-picture is a challenge in itself, one that we'll go ahead and reserve for the quizzlers later on in this course.
But otherwise, I have successfully stabilized this shot. Normally footage you receive will not have a little burned in logo like this clip does. I need to include that in exchange for Artbeats allowing us to use this footage in our book and in our videos. If you can ignore that section for a moment, you'll see that the rest of the shot is holding up pretty well. Once you are done, go ahead and close this composition, go back to the Project panel, and we'll move onto the next step, actually tracking objects rather than just stabilizing them.
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