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View Full Version : How to add an image in post to a computer screen that was blank in the film?



Kubrik
05-14-2013, 08:33 PM
I shot this film guerilla style and all the computers in the office were off. We didn't have time to add a green screen, so that an image could be added later.

Is there any other way to add an image to the scenes? Thanks in advance.

Picture this:

Shot of man in office
Office computer is off
Man is seen working at computer
Computer screen is off

I need to add a simulation of an on computer for these scenes. Can it be done?

Smiley
05-14-2013, 08:56 PM
In After Effects you can put an image in the computer screen using luma matte. Do you use After Effects?

Nick Soares
05-14-2013, 09:00 PM
Kubrik,

Do you have what video or "layer" you want to be on the screen?

I know if Final Cut Pro you can add the "layer" on top of your footage, then you can shrink the video layer and angle it to fit right on the screen. What software are you using?

Kubrik
05-14-2013, 09:15 PM
You guys are great! Thanks so much for the quick response.

I am using Final Cut Pro X. I do have After Effects but haven't gotten around to figure out how to use it.

I have a picture of a computer desktop for example and I need to place that on top of the computer screen of the scene that is playing. So it looks as though the computer is on and the actors are working.

How would I do that in Final Cut, please?
Thanks

Anonymous Filmmaker
05-15-2013, 03:19 AM
You guys are great! Thanks so much for the quick response.

I am using Final Cut Pro X. I do have After Effects but haven't gotten around to figure out how to use it.

I have a picture of a computer desktop for example and I need to place that on top of the computer screen of the scene that is playing. So it looks as though the computer is on and the actors are working.

How would I do that in Final Cut, please?
Thanks

I don't know Final Cut, but for something like that AE really isn't that hard. I found a tut that might help. I haven't watched it through, but it looks like it gets the right idea.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FfafEPcXAI

Kubrik
05-15-2013, 04:25 AM
Thanks AF. I appreciate that. The guys giving the tutorial are a little advanced but I'll try and learn as best I can.

Great find. Thanks again.

Vance Baryn
05-15-2013, 06:33 AM
After Effects is absolutely what you want to use for this. I don't know if your shot is moving at all, but After Effects also has great motion tracking. I replaced the screen of the camera in After Effects in my recent movie, Dissociation and it looks awesome: http://www.filmmakerforum.org/videos/2158-dissociation.html

Here's what I did:
1. Add the video layer (layer 1)
2. make a copy of the video layer and crank down the opacity (layer 2)
3. add the video or image you want on the screen (layer 3)
4. mask around the screen in layer 1
5. use transform tools to adjust the size and rotation, etc of layer 3 so that it looks like it is on the screen
6. get motion tracking data from layer 1
7. apply motion tracking data to layer 3

Easy! You may or may not want to do step 2. What this does is retain a little bit of any reflections and shadows or so forth that are on the surface. In my shot, for example, there are shadows of trees passing over the camera in the shot and it would have looked really weird if those weren't on the screen at all.

Nick Soares
05-15-2013, 08:50 AM
Kubrik, is the footage of the guy and computer moving or was it locked down on a tripod? If it was moving then you will have to do some tracking (Which for me in FCP is a pain) but if it is locked down then you can do it easily.

First.... Oh way, I just realized you have FCPX Im not familiar with that one, anyone here know if you can drop down multiple layers on a track?

Kubrik
05-15-2013, 10:00 PM
Thanks so much Vance and Nick.

All your suggestions are really helpful. The shots are all on tripod, and still. No movement.

I'll try both AE and FCX and see how I go. I'm on an urgent deadline, so this should be interesting.

Thanks Vance for the detailed how to, I'll attempt it now.

Anonymous Filmmaker
05-16-2013, 11:43 AM
Thanks so much Vance and Nick.

All your suggestions are really helpful. The shots are all on tripod, and still. No movement.

I'll try both AE and FCX and see how I go. I'm on an urgent deadline, so this should be interesting.

Thanks Vance for the detailed how to, I'll attempt it now.

Does anyone walk past them?

UniqueAmI
05-16-2013, 08:46 PM
If you still need help here's how I do that effect in Final Cut Pro.

You take your still picture (or video) and put it on the second video track, above your other clip.

Using the ARROW, you shrink the picture or video to proper size in CANVAS. You drag the shrunken clip to the video screen and you're then set to make adjustments if necessary.

You might have to CROP the sides a little.

Because of the weirdness of what I'm doing, I add SOFT EDGE effect to the still.

If the camera is not straight on the computer screen you might have to use 3D matte from effects to adjust the way the picture sits.

If anyone walks in front of the screen, you'll need to add movement to the photo to make it disappear, since it's on the second track, and anyone passing from track one will not make it disappear.

I hope this makes sense.

Kubrik
05-17-2013, 08:10 PM
Your advice is awesome guys. Thank you. I'm trying it all out. I'll get back to you soon and let you know how I progressed.

No, there is nobody moving during the shot.

Thanks UniqueAmI, I was hoping to do it in Final Cut. Awesome!

khathawayart
05-26-2013, 12:13 AM
This's pretty easy in both FCP and AE--but if the camera is moving, it's ultimately harder. And if anyone crosses in front, you'll need to use a matte--not impossible--but again--harder--but effective, if you take the time to do it. I'm wondering why you would shoot this without knowing how to do the FX in post? I see a lot of footage come my way that was shot without any idea how to do the FX...so the footage isn't shot right to allow the work to be done correctly. That makes my job harder--and when my job is harder---it's more expensive.

In one job, I was asked to add computer screens to a constantly panning camera from left to right and back again...with almost no budget. Can I do it? Sure. But without a budget? No. This was a case of poor planning. Load a screenshot on the screen and shoot the scene.

If you plan on doing the FX yourself, then that's in your own lap, of course. But there's nothing like pre-planning to make it effective for the project.


Kurt Hathaway
khathawayart[at]gmail.com

Kubrik
06-06-2013, 07:46 AM
Thanks everyone!

Thanks UniqueIAm. I followed your FCP instructions and it was really straightforward and exactly what I needed.

I will attempt learning AE as well, just to know how that works.

Appreciate everyone's input.

Cheers!