Sci-Fi editing question for Motion/AE

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by briantology, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. briantology macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2006
    I'm wanting to edit in a tape player into the back of someone's neck (sorta like the Borg or the head plugs in the Matrix). The tape (mini DV) would go in horizontally, sorta like an 8 track in a car stereo, and there would be play/record buttons below it. What I'm wanting to know is if this could be done (and look real) in Motion. I don't think we will have the person moving, so it would sorta be like Photoshopping it, but the play/record buttons will be video because the button is going to be depressed (not by a finger though, it will do it on it's own). I would try to use After Effects, but I don't have it available to me. Any help is greatly appreciated!

    This is a little over the top, but the same kind of idea of mixing machine with human flesh:

  2. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    If i'm to be honest you probably need to look at using specialist 3D composition software as it isn't an easy task to do well. Something like Austodesk's Maya is very good.

    Another option would be rotoscoping, exporting each individual frame and placing it at the right angle. After Effects would be good for this as well but it depends on the amount of movement required.

    In all honesty Motion will be poor for this as it is meant to be a Motion Graphics package rather than a special effects package like Shake (although it probably will be in the next revision).

    Can you post a couple of frames of video so we can see what you're working with??
  3. briantology thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2006
    I didn't think Motion was gonna do the trick, but I wasn't sure. But the thing is, I'll basically be mapping a small video clip (a cropped play and record button) onto a still image... I think. I will make a really rough cut a little later to show you what I have in mind.
  4. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    Honestly, I think that (if at all possible) this is best done as a make-up special effect rather than in post production.

    Find two samples of a tape deck that you like the look of. Take the front plate off of one and attach it to the actor's neck and shoot one shot of him/her turning and pulling hair away to show the tape deck. Cut to a close up of a fake head (use a cheap wig stand with make-up and matching hair) with the real tape deck installed as the actor reaches around (to match the natural arm angle) to insert the tape.
  5. fluidedge macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2007
    The way i would approach it would be to stick a piece of green felt on to the back of the actors neck (where you want the tape to go) and put a few dots on it so you can track the movement then you can composite footage of the tape into the neck. But that's really difficult thinking about it, and of course means reshooting.

    Maya would be a better route to go down but paying someone to do it will cost loads.

    It's a difficult job and the more you can do in production rather than post the better.
  6. briantology thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2006
    Thanks all for your replies. I've been thinking about what route to go, and I'm gonna try for the make-up / fake skin approach on location. That's what I had originally wanted to go for since that would look the cleanest (and not cheesy). I'm gonna try some liquid latex and make-up and just cut a mini DV tape in half, then stick that on the actor's neck. Hopefully it works out well... Thanks again!

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