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Best way to create a moving person with just their outlines

New Here ,
May 01, 2020

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Hi there!

I want to have a dancing person. What's visible of this person are just the outlines of major bodyparts (like hands, top and bottom of arms and legs, head, torso and feet (kind of like this here, but much more simple),

 

Now, i've made a template, in which i cut several clips together of real people dancing and it's 5 minutes long.

 

As you can see, this would be too much work, to draw the outlines frame by frame. I also thought about creating the bodyparts as shapes (in illustrator or after effects..) and move them as keyframes like the person in the video.

 

My question ist now: Do you know any efficient way to do this? It could be additional plugins, or not even After Effects... But something i'm not sitting the next 100 hours doing.

 

Thanks for your help 🙂

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Best way to create a moving person with just their outlines

New Here ,
May 01, 2020

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Hi there!

I want to have a dancing person. What's visible of this person are just the outlines of major bodyparts (like hands, top and bottom of arms and legs, head, torso and feet (kind of like this here, but much more simple),

 

Now, i've made a template, in which i cut several clips together of real people dancing and it's 5 minutes long.

 

As you can see, this would be too much work, to draw the outlines frame by frame. I also thought about creating the bodyparts as shapes (in illustrator or after effects..) and move them as keyframes like the person in the video.

 

My question ist now: Do you know any efficient way to do this? It could be additional plugins, or not even After Effects... But something i'm not sitting the next 100 hours doing.

 

Thanks for your help 🙂

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May 01, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 01, 2020

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Unless it was shot specifically against a green screen or something like that with proper lighting there can be no lazy man's way of doing this, especially if it's from different sources. So as much as you may not like it, you are facing a lot of tedious, repetitive work no regardless what technique you use. If you can provide screenshots of the relevant segments I'm sure we can advise more specifically, but it's easily going to be a 100+ hours job one way or the other, most likely.

 

Mylenium

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Explorer ,
May 01, 2020

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Yeah, this would involve a ton of roto if you haven't shot the footage with this effect in mind. If you do decide to roto it, I'd highly recommend using Mocha to do it -  it can track splines, which will greatly speed up the process.
The only other way might be to use edge detect filters, like the old Cartoon Edges effect. Though the results of that won't ever look really great, you might get somewhere in the ballpark of the look you need if you crush the levels enough (and maybe add some glow after)

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New Here ,
May 01, 2020

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Thanks 🙂

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New Here ,
May 01, 2020

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Well, ok. So when I'm facing this much hours, small changes to the approach of doing this can make a massive improvement. I could for example learn how to dance myself and film me. I could learn a new software (for example 3D Animation software)... This is why i'm asking ;). So what possibilities come into your mind to approach this?

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Explorer ,
May 01, 2020

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I saw a similar effect in a music video called "Eye of the storm" -  there's a making of video here, which shows how they did it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX-WJxkE2ks

Musical artist Lovett, director Christopher Alender, and producer Kris Eber give an in-depth behind the scenes look at their epic steampunk fantasy "Eye of the ...

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Mylenium LATEST
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May 01, 2020

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Character animation in 3D is not a cakewalk, either. Before you're getting anywhere close to realistic movements, you spend at least a year learning stuff and well, it doesn't solve your problem in the long run most likely with regards to production turnarounds or carrying over your artistic expression. You'd spend more time as an animator than actually dancing or producing other things. @dsol21's making-of video is a good place to start and gives you plenty of food for thought and developing a workable strategy, so consider this approach and educate yourself about the individual steps liek the actual greenscreen setup for shooting, keying in AE, manipulating channels and color corrections in AE to extract the line patterns, 2D and 3D tracking to add further elements matching the scene and so on...

 

Mylenium 

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May 01, 2020 1