Blending live action and animation

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Blending live action and animation

Post by luke »

Hi, me and a couple of my mates are intrested in starting making movies, however we already have some good footage but i want to add some special effects, i want a cartoon character to come on screen and talk to my friend who is acting the star role, how do i do this, any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks

Re: i need help asap

Post by Fraught »

Wow Luke! Sounds like you may have your work cut out!

Now i'm sure someone will give you an alternative and easier method, but i would export each frame of film from my editing software (I currently use Studio 9 Plus) into something like Photoshop. Create my animated character in these frames, then export them back into the timeline of the film. It'll take an awful long time to do, depending on the complexity of the animation... but i can imagine the finished product would be worth while. :-)

Dave Watterson

Re: i need help asap

Post by Dave Watterson »

"luke" <> wrote:
I want a cartoon character to come on screen and talk to my friend
I only know the Adobe Premiere editing packages but this should work for many others as well:

1. Draw your cartoon figure with a plain coloured background like black and get it on computer. (i.e. create it on computer or photograph it with a digital camera and download onto computer.)

2. Import the still picture of the cartoon into the editing program.

3. Treat the picture as if it were a title. On a timeline editing package place it on the line above the main movie.

4. Make the background plain colour transparent. (Some packages assume anything on a title line should have black translated into transparent, on others you have to find how to do that through menus.)

5. Apply movement to the still picture. (This is how people make titles zoom in and swirl round etc so all you are doing is making your still cartoon figure move in the same way. It is rough-and-ready but can make it seem as if a robot is coming towards camera for example.)

The result will be pretty basic - your cartoon cannot move its arms, legs, lips, eyes etc - but it can appear to be in the same frame as your star. You could do this with several different cartoon drawings - e.g. one facing camera, one side to camera, one with eyes wide open, one with eyes shut and so on.

This is a very crude way of doing it but fairly quick. Otherwise you are pretty much down to drawing on each frame of the film where you need the cartoon to appear and at 25 frames per second that is a lot of drawing.

If you do need to go that way a couple of tips are:
a. copy each frame twice - that means just 12 drawings for almost a second of film.
b. check out your editing package for controls that let you repeat actions - e.g. Adobe Premiere has a facility to copy the effects you apply to one section and apply the same effects to another section. That can save a lot of time - e.g. if you have to tell the editing program to make "black" into "transparent" for every frame.
c. plan the movie so that the time when you need to have the cartoon and live person actually together on screen is as small as possible. Cut between them as you might do with two people talking - so 1 second of cartoon facing camera, 2 seconds of human facing camera, 1 second of cartoon ... and so on.

Good luck

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