First of all: thank you so much for the compliment! It’s always so nice to hear that people enjoy what I do! It really means a lot.
You’re not the first one that asks me how I did this effect. It looks pretty “easy” but those manipulations can be hard as f*** (sorry for cursing but it’s accurate) and they can also be pretty time-consuming.
You’ll have to be very good in Photoshop (and occasionally in After Effects, too depending on the shot) to do this sort of thing.
How to make people disappear step-by-step:
1) Look at your material for scenes to use.
When you’re doing it for the first time be sure you’ll take a static shot. Camera movement makes this manipulation very, very tricky because you have to use AE in that case.
2) Export the shot as png in full-scale and import it in Photoshop.
3) Sounds easy but isn’t: edit the person out of the picture by adding a background/replacing the person with a possible background. Tip: Take a closer look at the footage. Is the person you want to erase moving in the scene. Can you take a part from the original set/background from other scenes?
This is actually hard to explain because there are so many ways you can do it. It totally depends on the setting and how advanced your Photoshop skills are.
If you have a complicated and very detailed set it can take hours and some serious retouching to get the person out of the shot.
examples in my Shell Shocked Trailer:
- 1:47 Building the missing parts of the couch was tricky
- 1:50 The curtain, oh the bloody curtain!!!!
- 1:58 Don’t get me started about the stupid pillow. *headdesk*
But you can also be as lazy as I occasionally am and pick yourself the simple shots like 1:46. It was quite easy because the background was completely black…) I did this manipulation in under a minute. I’m not kidding. *laughs*
4) Import the manipulated file into your editing program. Pull the picture on the video track above the original scene. Use a dissolve fade transition on the start of the picture to let it fade in smoothly. Tada!
Okay. If you have camera movement (like in 1:43) it’s… let’s say “a bit complicated”. You’ll have to do motion tracking and maybe masking after the Photoshop retouching. And it ALWAYS depends on the footage.
I hope that helped to understand the basic prinicple. It’s not rocket-science but nevertheless it takes a lot of practice to do it. Have fun. ;-)