Masking out sky and trees

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Masking Out Sky And Trees

Masking out sky and trees

Created by Christophe
9 Months Ago
July 12, 2018 @ 5:50 pm

First of two questions. This one is the most basic and if it can also be done in Premiere, I'd be happy to hear about it.

I have a very shorts clip that show two crows, one on the left I want to get rid of and one middle right perching on a cross. The cross is grey with a few lighter stains. Behind the cross and crows, there are trees (not very bushy, brown and khaki colours) and a white:blue overblown sky. What I want to do is get rid of everything except the cross and crow, which I want to turn into a silhouette.

I just don't know where to starts. I know I need to use a mixture of keying and masking tools, but having started with the keying tools, I am getting totally mixed up. Since the piece I want to isolate (the crow and cross) is darker, I have this notion that I can temporarily apply an adjustment layer like levels or curves to make the darks darker and then key it out and invert the results. I also think I should isolate most of the other portions of the video I don't want to keep with masks, but I don't seem to be able to draw a mask directly on canvas (my first time and I did try in Premiere first).

Since it's difficult just to describe the clip, I have uploaded it here:

https://1drv.ms/v/s!AjSrIz6qhTL5kVxXi1WtYvrhVSt2

I would really value your help in understanding the workflow (in premiere and/or After Effects) to get my silhouetted cross and cross.

Thank you very much for your assistance.

Kind regards

Christophe (Cricri on your YouTube channel).

Christophe
9 Months Ago
July 13, 2018 @ 9:27 pm

It's easy to mask out the base of the cross. I also masked around the crow, but wide. I thought I could get the little bit of sky and tress out with colour keying 5so far, I tried that in Premiere only) but I keep having to add colour keys and increasing the tolerance, which bites into the crow and cross, and It's looking really messy. What I should be doing is just tightly masking the top of the cross and crow, but I find that really difficult. Is this the only way I can do it (forget colour keys and just mask)?

Here is a simple question. If I find creating and animated a mask around the crow too difficult but managed using the pen tool, is there a tool in AEthat could act either as a the Quick Selection tool in Photoshop? Or, if that does not exist, can I paint out around the crow as I could do in Photoshop using the Eraser or brushes in a mask?

Christophe
9 Months Ago
July 13, 2018 @ 9:27 pm

It's easy to mask out the base of the cross. I also masked around the crow, but wide. I thought I could get the little bit of sky and tress out with colour keying 5so far, I tried that in Premiere only) but I keep having to add colour keys and increasing the tolerance, which bites into the crow and cross, and It's looking really messy. What I should be doing is just tightly masking the top of the cross and crow, but I find that really difficult. Is this the only way I can do it (forget colour keys and just mask)?

Here is a simple question. If I find creating and animated a mask around the crow too difficult but managed using the pen tool, is there a tool in AE that could act either as a the Quick Selection tool in Photoshop? Or, if that does not exist, can I paint out around the crow as I could do in Photoshop using the Eraser or brushes in a mask?

Christophe
9 Months Ago
July 13, 2018 @ 11:53 pm

Not sure why it double posted: please delete.

I used the roto brush after one of your tutorials and seem to get a decent result. For those who are interested, because I found the masking hard in AE, I started by cutting out the base of the cross and around the bird in Photoshop, thn applied Levels to get a basic silhouette effect. I exported to Quicktime to get alpha, imported into AE and did the roto brush work (not finished).

I still think I could do a better job with the equivalent of the Eraser or Quick Selection toll in AE if they exist (so still interested in an answer to that).

Thank you

Christophe

havardhv
9 Months Ago
July 13, 2018 @ 13:41 am

I would use a combination of keying and masking. Try to key out as much as possible of the crow without getting any of the backgrounds in (a luma key is probably the best option here). Then mask out the remaining bits. Even though the masking tool in Pr and AE is essentially the same I find masking in AE way more intuitive.

Christophe
9 Months Ago
July 13, 2018 @ 14:20 am

Never used Luma key before. Thank you very much for the tip. I'll try it this way too.

The masking I find really difficult, even in AE, because I find that the bits that remain that I need to mask out are largely within tail feathers or such awkward places. That's why I switched to roto brush, which I have also just discovered. I need to adjust frame by frame but I have more of a Photoshop painting/masking analogy which seems to suit me. I wish I could do it with the mask, but I find using the pen tool to get at blobs between feathers really hard. Maybe I'm doing something wrong.

Anyway, thanks again for the Luma key idea. I'm off to try it...

All the best

Christophe

havardhv
9 Months Ago
July 15, 2018 @ 6:30 pm

Interesting to hear. I remember the first time I used the masking tool in AE and how great and intuitive I thought it was. But that's highly individual I guess.

Good luck, I hope you share the result!

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