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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®.
Another new feature added in After Effects CS6 is called Rolling Shutter Repair. If you have access to the Exercise Files that came with this lesson, open up Rolling Shutter Wobbly Building Starter (RS-Wobbly Building*starter). If you don't have access to the files, go out with your cell phone or your DSLR or a similar camera that uses a CMOS technology shutter and shoot some shaky cam stuff; walking, handheld, doing pan, etcetera, you'll get similar footage to this. Cameras that use CMOS technology shutters don't shoot the entire image at the same time.
They shoot the top line, then the line below, then the line below, then the line below progressing on down the frame, or left to right, it depends on how the sensor has been mounted inside your camera. As a result, if you move the location of the object at the start of the frame, may be in a different location by the time you get to the bottom of the frame. Now here is some footage I shot with my Canon 5D walking towards this rather geometric building. And you can see where the building appears to be made slightly out of rubber; it's stretching, and squishing and squashing as I go through these frames.
These two frames in particular really show the problem. Now I am going to press Page Down to go forward one frame and Page Up to go back a frame. And you can see where those two adjacent frames definitely exhibit some stretch when compared to each other. I am going to go to Effects & Presets and look for Rolling Shutter Repair and drag it onto my footage. What Rolling Shutter Repair does is analyze this footage knowing what sort of artifacts this phenomenon creates and attempts to re-warp your footage to straighten it back out again.
At the default, Method of Warp and Rolling Shutter Rate or Strength of Repair at 50%, you'll see that these two adjacent frames are closer but not yet quite perfect. If I increase the Rolling Shutter Rate or Degree of Repair to higher value like even 100, you'll see now that the building stays a lot stiffer; it doesn't stretch quite as much from frame to frame. When Events Method is set to Warp, After Effects is a stretching this shot as necessary to try to get rid of this distortion.
You do have an option of Detailed Analysis, which may or may not improve your shot. It merely comes in handy if you have multiple contrary motion inside a frame; some objects moving one direction while other objects moving another direction or more of a parallax shift between near and far objects that I have in this particular shot. However you'll notice that the Warp method is still not perfect with this particular shot. And also, the Warp method is softening my pixels because it is less than stretching or rescaling them.
This is the effect off -- you see how sharp these bricks are -- and this with the effect on. If you're not pleased with the results of Warp, try Pixel Motion. This is similar to the algorithm, which creates better frame blending when you're slowing down footage. Pixel Motion doesn't warp your shoot; it actually creates brand new pixels based on the motion of each pixel from frame to frame. When I selected this option, you'll see that the building now holds together much better, it's much firmer and stronger.
I'm also having fewer artifacts with a little bit of concrete down here that goes out of frame. With Pixel Motion, it holds it pretty well. With Warp I'm having a bit more of a problem with that concrete stretching as it goes out of frame. With Pixel Motion, again, if you have some objects that are moving and other objects that are not moving or moving in the opposite direction, you might notice a bit of localized distortion or warpage around the moving objects. If you have that problem, increase the Pixel Motion detail.
That basically creates a tighter mesh of tracking of how pixels are moving possibly in different directions during the course of this scene; higher detail, longer render times, but if you see artifacts try it. It can really help improve some shots. Now Rolling Shutter Repair does not repair all shots. I find it's great on this sort of handheld footage. I find it's great on tripod pans, which tends to cause buildings to lean because the building has moved from the top of the frame to the bottom of the frame. I found that Rolling Shutter Repair does not work well if you have strong differences in motion.
For example, if you lock off a tripod shot and have a car driving by, you just can't quite figure out that much difference between adjacent pixels. With that said, this is another little item in your tool box as of After Effects CS6 to improve the production value of your projects.
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