How To Remove Unwanted Bits and Pieces From Your Shots Using Adobe After Effects

How many times you wish you had a reliable tool that can remove the annoying wall lettering from a certain shot, just like you normally would do while editing a still image in Photoshop using the Clone Tool. Well, videographers and editors now can easily do this by utilizing a simple technique in Adobe After Effects based on a very similar workflow.

The process requires some additional steps. However, the main principle stays the same. In general, you pick the portion of the image that you are about to replace covering it with a tracking mask. The following After Effects video tutorial reveals the technique step by step.

In After Effects drag the clip to a new composition, go to the first frame and duplicate the clip. Select the duplicated layer and pick the Clone Tool just as you do in Photoshop and set a proper Brush size in the Brush Panel. Hold the Alt key and click on a reference section of the image and paint over the spot that you want to remove.

Then, right-click on the duplicated clip, navigate to Time and in the drop down menu select Freeze Frame. You are going to use a section of this freeze frame as a mask that will be laying on the top of the original clip. The next step is to draw a mask around the area that you’ve just cleaned up. To do this, simply click on the Pin Tool and draw a mask on the problematic area of the freeze frame.


Once you’re ready with the mask, create a Null Object, select the original layer at the bottom of your timeline, go to a Tracker and hit the track motion. Make sure that you also tick Rotation in the Tracker Panel and place the two tracking points as close as possible to the area you’ve just cleaned up.

In the Tracker Panel click on the Edit Target… and select the Null Object from the drop down menu and then track forward the clip. Once your tracking is completed, hit the Apply button in the Tracker Panel making sure that the Apply Dimensions is set to X and Y. The last thing you should do is to pair both the Freeze Frame layer and Null Object, and you’re ready to go.


Now you can remove everything you want in your frame by repeating the workflow as many times as it’s required. The process is easy and straightforward, and once you get used to it, you’ll be able to clean up your shots in a matter of minutes, just as you would normally do in Photoshop.

[source: TunnelvizionTV, via Wolf Crow]

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