Monday, November 01, 2010

Using Apple Motion to enhance a video

A while back I went out to shoot a World War II B-17 bomber that was visiting a local airport. What started out as an overcast day, turned into a very wet and overcast day, and by the time we could actually go up to the plane and take pictures, the skies had opened up and I spent most of my time huddling under the wings, trying to get some useable footage.

Unfortunately, not only was it raining, but the sky was almost totally white, which made for rather boring footage.

Original Image

I was going to abandon doing anything with it at all, but I'd been playing with some sky footage I did as an experiment in timelapse, and it occurred to me that I could "cheat" and add an interesting sky to the bad footage.

Luckily, I'd shot almost everything on a tripod, so I didn't have to deal with any motion of the foreground subject. My sky was blue (with clouds) and the blue just looked completely wrong - particularly as there was rain clearly falling down! But adding the sky using Apple Motion, and changing the sky to black and white produced a very good effect (and only took a few minutes to create the mask shape of the plane!)

You'll notice that the front of the plane has a clear perspex dome. At first I masked around that, but I found a much more realistic solution was to not mask around it; but to make the sky overlay semi-transparent. The dome was still visible, but the sky is visible "through" it. Accelerating the sky slightly to make it more dramatic, and adding a small push-in to the frame during the sequence added some extra impact.

Edited image

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