Help with a B&W / transparency editing effect!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by gødspeed, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. gødspeed macrumors regular

    gødspeed

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #1
    I'm trying to figure out how to create a video layer in FCP that divides all color into either black or white, and then makes the white transparent.

    Here's an example:

    [​IMG]

    (note that because the forum background is white, this appears black and white; on a green background, for instance, it would appear black and green).

    I want to be achieve that look with a video. The black / white threshold needs to be customizable. I have Final Cut Pro, Magic Bullet Looks, and After Effects at my disposal, as well as a modest budget if there's a shareware/retail plugin that can do it. Any pointers?

    edit -- to further complicate this, a way to separate out the background, preferably without shooting in front a green screen, would be useful as well.
     
  2. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    If you don't want green screen, use a reflective fabric such as Holocet for background separation.

    As for the b+w effect, that would be something I'd try in Photoshop, believe it or not. In CS3 or newer, you can open a video file in PS, do any work you need frame by frame, then render back to new video clip in same format. There could be a filter in After Effects, but one doesn't come to mind, and I'm away from my system. It would have to involve an alpha layer and reducing spectrum (use of levels?) to zero and 100.

    I'll ponder and post again if I come up with another solution.
     
  3. AWalkerStudios macrumors member

    AWalkerStudios

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
  4. AVR2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #4
    Have you tried playing with the Threshold filter in FCP? That on its own may do what you need; if it doesn't, try adding the Vectorize Color filter on top of it (set the Resolution to 1, First Color to black, and Second, Third and Fourth Colors to white).

    As for making the white transparent, just add a lumakey filter set to Key Out Brighter.
     
  5. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Yeah, after thinking about it, keying would be the easiest route, even if it took two renders to achieve the desired effect.

    A lens ring light and reflective cloth has been my favorite way to key out background.

    I'm good at overthinking problems. Hahaha
     
  6. gødspeed thread starter macrumors regular

    gødspeed

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    Thanks! Those three filters in combination achieved exactly what I was going for.
     

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