Remove shadow on a distorted curtain

Hello, I need some advice.
I’m running Mocha Pro 2022 in After effects in a Razer blade 15 with Windows 11.

I have a sequence shot and have to remove some shadows in different moments of it passing on top of some surfaces and objects(cameraman shadow moving through). The shot has some eye fish lens distortion. The segment I have been having difficulties is a pan left to right in which there is a many folded curtain with a flower mosaic design and a moving shadow is passing on top. The difficult is that the size of the curtain is changing every frame because de distorsion lens.

What I did is:
I remove the lens distortion using the tool in the Lens tab recreating the straight lines.
Then I track the shadow using a mask that follows the size increasing and decreasing the mask.
Then I track the background and because there is no background I make some cleanplates using photoshop and removing the shadow of some frames using the Lazo and Levels to match the exposure. (I did not use the clone tool because it seems makes more troubles deforming the image later.)
I track also the sides of the curtain just in case and put them below the Shadow remove and background curtain masks.
Then I tried to remove the shadows rendering but the render has many aberrations. like blurring parts, deformed, changes of lights and so on.
The question is, am I doing something wrong or the shot is really difficult in order to remove the shadow? I’m new in using Mocha and been studying a lot about how to remove objects and in theory it should works but in practice it doesn’t. Maybe I missing something important, maybe the size of the mask, the tracking or maybe are the cleanplates I created.

I’d be really grateful if you help me out with this.


Shadow remove


If you are very new to this, you might have more success replacing the curtains with one clean frame and blending it in on top using either the insert module or exporting the track data and composing it in your host of choice.

Undistorting and working on a flat pass could help but in your example, it looks like there is some bad tracking happening. Possibly just create one clean frame and use the mesh tracker and insert and you might be able to get away without using the lens module.

Hope this helps.

Just in case beforoe this remove in Mocha I tried before using a clean frame and using a corner pin effect and adjusting but i hadn’t good results, always there is some jump or speed variations. I’ll what you advice, thanks. I’ll have news about if works or not.

If you use the Insert Module with PowerMesh like Ross suggests you should be able to hand correct any problems.

This is my final result. I think t is pretty good. I used the mesh track and the insert module. Thanks both.

May I ask you about another similar shot that the mesh track is not enough to delete the shadow?

Kind regards,

1 Like

Looks good, and sure, ask away. :slight_smile:

There are two moments.

The first is a remove of a bluetooth speaker from the floor. These are the current results.



How you can see the remove at the end have some aberrations. I’m pretty sure the fail is the track and the masks but i cannot find which is the problem. I make a FG track from the woman in the left, other BG track from the red carpet, other FG of the right woman just in case, and another BG of the wall. It has been trial and error moving and modifying the mask to make more soft the patch.
I made a wide mask for the speaker tracking to leave some space around for the blending. Almost in all the shot I used the Interpolate mode increasing the smoothing level and the blend amount to 30. The remove tool works fine at the begining but in the middle there is some diffuse black spot that appears, near the end is more intense and almost at the end before the hand plays the guitar the remove makes some strange variations. When the speaker is hiding behind the guitar the remove start to fail. I suppose doesn’t have the enough space around to patch with the interpolate, but the linear and none are not patching softly neither. I’m using cleanplates exclusively but it seems is not helping in the removal at the end of the shot.

Here is a SS of the tracking masks

That is the first


The other shot is this.

I need to remove the cameraman shadow passing on the top of the woman shadow. It looks very easy to remove but because the woman shadow has many details i cannot do it.
Any suggest about how to approach this shot? I have been trying many ways but none is succeeding.

I will be glad if you can shed some light on how to deal with these removes.


For the bluetooth speaker, don’t use the remove tool, just patch it with the insert.

For the camera man shadow you really need to decide if that’s worth it because it will take a lot of time and a ton of roto and is still a series of patches you will have to color correct and roto around.

Neither one of these shots are good candidates for the Remove module.

I see,
then, May i ask which are the reasons when a shot is not a good candidate for the remove module? In order to have it in consideration for the future.

Occlusions make removes difficult. Any time you need multiple levels of shot rebuilding, the insert is a better option.

Finally i did it using a clean frame and tracking manually. Thanks for the comments. The shadow on the wall i got surrender but just want to try if it is factible to use the track mesh and a clean frame to remove the cameraman shadow “on her dress”,
May you let me know your thoughts on that? I tried a fast mesh track and the clean frame start to distort and stretch and not getting good result. My first impression is that because the curtain is a still object and the dress is moving an changing to much is not possible, am i right in this? Thanks,

Yes, the dress makes this particularly hard. In past projects, like complex paint work on Spiderman, a patch was made and tracked in, then hand warped to correct any errors, and isolated with roto shapes. This is a very difficult series of patches.