Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating and refining masks in Flixel, part of Pictures that Move: Creating Cinemagraphs with Photoshop, After Effects, Flixel, and Cliplets.
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- Now that we've trimmed the handles and determined what part of the clip we're using, let's mask out parts of the image. Remember, masking is a good way to create the elegant movement where most of the photo is frozen and only some parts move, as well as it has technical benefits to get the overall file size down. By freezing pixels, those pixels will not count essentially when you go to make the gif. It'll reduce the overall file size. In this particular example here, the bulk of my movement is happening inside. Now there's a little bit of reflection on the outside, but I'm gonna mostly ignore that and just paint out this tube.
You'll note as I paint that I can control the hardness and softness of the brush. If I use a small, soft brush and paint along the edges here, I can bring back gentle details. If you're used to PhotoShop, the shortcuts of left and right bracket also work here. Right bracket makes a bigger brush, left bracket smaller. Shift right bracket makes a harder brush. Shift left bracket makes a softer brush.
And this gives you feedback so you know what's gonna happen as you paint. In this case, just the center of the tube is opened up. If I decide I wanna get a little bit of those reflections on this upper wall, I could lower the opacity of that brush and its size and just paint a little bit on that pillar. In this case, I'm bringing back just a little bit of the reflection so it spills and flickers in that upper corner.
That works well. I don't need to do the whole bar. This is where my eye is drawn to most naturally. And you see at this point we have an interesting image where parts are revealed. Make sure you go through and touch it up precisely, and refine that mask so you're happy with it. You can continue to work non-destructively on this mask until you feel you've revealed all the critical areas. Alright, let's check our other example with the cake. And in this case, I'm going to paint out the area around the candle flames.
Click on the paintbrush for mask, and then adjust the size of the brush, as well as the hardness. I'm gonna go with a nice soft brush here because of the candle flames. And as I paint, just watch the flame move and make sure that it stays in the area. That's working. Try to reveal as little as possible so that you don't introduce any stray movement into the shot.
That looks good, and I'll continue to paint in each flame. Note if you paint too much, you can grab the eraser here and actually restore back. So that's up to you. Additionally, if you feel like you've really made a mistake, you'll note the ability here to clear the mask. Now I'm gonna click the overlay button so I always see the mask as I work, and I often find that a bit easier to be precise.
Alright, that's lookin' pretty good. Let's just watch those flames. And it looks like I've pretty much encapsulated it. I'm just gonna subtract away a little bit here that's not needed. I'll use a smaller brush and remove a few stray pixels. And that feels pretty good. Once you've created the mask, it's time to refine the looping method.
- Planning a cinemagraph shot
- Shooting video and time lapses for cinemagraphs
- Combining stills
- Developing a cinemagraph
- Loading image sequences and video
- Creating and refining masks
- Correcting color
- Saving and optimizing GIF images and video