Tip of the Week - Paint

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Paint. This tip goes hand in hand with last weeks tip, Roto. When do you paint frames as opposed to roto? How can you decide which method will work best given the task at hand? Follow the link, and I'll help you break it down.

One thing to always remember, is that painting multiple frames to remove something is time-consuming and wasteful. There are always easier ways to get rid of a camera, or a grip, or wires. By using roto you can effectively get rid of the aforementioned items, and use your paint skills to clean up harder areas of the frame.

Paint is also not only used for clean-up, but also for creation. You can use paint strokes as lightning strikes, for electrical surges, for laser blasts. Almost anything that is dynamic in action can be created by paint. During my time on Stargate SG-1, I painted such items as staff blasts, zat hits, and electrical surges. If you take a look at my 2001 demo reel you will see some of the painted electrical arcs that I've done using paint.

A method I've seen by some beginning artists (I've done this when I started!) is to paint tracking markers out by hand. Every frame. Or paint out wires. Many wires. Things to look out for when analyzing a frame and deciding when to paint come with practice and time. Let's say I want to remove a wire rig that's holding up an actor. And for the sake of argument, it's a simple rig on a simple background. An actor suspended on bluescreen. The easiest way to remove this wire is to copy a bit of the surrounding bluescreen over the wire. You're not painting through it, you're covering it up with other bits of the frame. You'll have to track this little bit and cover the wire as it moves, but it's vastly easier than painting a clean frame and trying to match it up via grain later. However sometimes it becomes necessary to do that. Pretty soon the only areas you will need to paint and touch up are where the wires meet the body.

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