How to use imported material in Silhouette

I am new to Silhouette and not a VFX specialist, but I decided to attempt a difficult remove effect (gaffers tape on a woman’s body – lots of movement.) I began with mocha masking rendered in AE. The result was insufficient, but I did end up with good masks and a one frame clean plate I created in Photoshop. I next tried using mask and plate with AE’s content aware fill window. Again, the result needed more work. So I thought I’d try Silhouette.

Is there a way for me to use my good mocha mask and photoshop clean plate as a starting point inside Silhouette? I attached each as optional input sources before opening the Silhouette plugin, but I have no idea what nodes to use so they influence my painting. The mask has all the shape and track info I’d need. I think the clean plate is good, too, but I’m not sure how to apply it.

In a related bit of confusion, I also tried bringing the mask to Silhouette by first exporting it as an .fxs file from After Effects. But inside Silhouette, the option to import a Silhouette shape is greyed out. I can’t drag this .fxs file into the Silhouette source window either.

If anyone knows what I should be doing or can point me to an article or tutorial on this, I’m much appreciate it.

You should be able to use it as a source and set that cleanplate as a frame.

It sounds like you might need a start to finish tutorial on rotopaint in Silhouette though, because it can get tricky.

Have you watched this series yet?

Thank you, Mary

I’ve watched quite a few Ben Brownly YouTube tutorials but perhaps not these. I will watch them, but can you tell me if any one video deals precisely with my issue?

i.e. I attempted to do a remove first inside mocha and then inside After Effects and while I didn’t succeed, I do have a pretty good tracked mask of the area that has to be replaced (gaffers tape against skin meant to prevent a wardrobe malfunction). What I need to learn is how to bring that mask into Silhouette and connect it somewhere. I’m trying to avoid having to recreate the mask inside Silhouette. So if there’s a particular video that deals with that, I’d love to check that one out before watching the whole series. I do have a vague deadline.

I appreciate your guidance (on this and on other things I’ve learned from you).

Off the top of my head, I don’t know the entire contents of those videos by heart but maybe @bencuriousturtle-com can shed some light?

Sharing a screenshot or movie of what you are working is typically useful so others can chime in and try to help. From what I understand you are trying to paint out the tape on an actor’s skin and she is moving.
There are usually various ways to approach this – which might include Mocha’s Remove module, Mocha’s PowerMesh tracking or Silhouette Auto-Paint.

The factors in choosing which workflow can rely on the lighting changes, the difficulty of the tracking, or other factors such as occlusions.

It has been a while since I have imported an AE mask into Silhouette. I hate to say it, but may not have been tested in a while. Here is the documentation: Reverb 2.0

Hi Mark,

I don’t think I get too deep into the specifics in the free YouTube ones. I do talk about basic compositing and paint, but this is a slightly different task. There’s more of this type of project in the Mastering Silhouette and Beauty courses. That’s a good time commitment there :smiley:

Here’s my initial approach for a patch workflow, taking the data out from Mocha into Silhouette.

Bring in the original footage and the clean plate.
Add a roto node. Paste the tracking and shape data from your Mocha project into that. You’ll use this for both the matchmove on the cleanplate and the shape data.
Connect a Transform node to your clean plate and pipe the track data from the Roto node into there. Select the appropriate layer in the Transform dropdown. You should be getting a solid matchmove with the cleanplate.
Add a Composite node. Connect your original footage and the output from the Transform.
Take the Output of the roto node into the Matte input on the Composite node. That should patch in your clean plate.

Depending on the movement that’s in the shot, you may have to do some extra paint to match colours correctly, but that can come after the Composite node. A Mocha PowerMesh workflow might work well too depending on the type of movement in the shot. But these are the broad strokes.

Your Silhouette node tree will look similar to the attached one here.

Hope this helps,
Ben

For more training options, our friends at FXPHD have excellent paid Silhouette classes with Katie Morris.
https://www.fxphd.com/details/620/
https://www.fxphd.com/details/629/
https://www.fxphd.com/details/640/

1 Like

Thanks to everyone for all this feedback! I will try these suggestions and am now inspired to go back to square one and attempt the whole process entirely inside Silhouette.

I wish I could post the footage and get specific feedback, but it’s part of a work in progress edit and truth is the director isn’t expecting me to come up with finished effects. I’m taking on the challenge for my own edification and also because I teach editing at a couple of universities. Always good for an editor to have personal experience with what VFX folks can and can’t do. (And in my 45+ years of editing, I’m certainly impressed with how much the “can’t” has shrunk. The downside of that is production crews being ever more careless with things such as this tape gag I’m dealing with. Fixing it in post used to be a sly joke. Now it’s a plan.)

If I get permission to upload the footage, I’ll do that and see if it leads to other suggestions. Meanwhile, again, I appreciate all the help.

Stephen

1 Like