Friday, September 24, 2021

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Making of the Visual Effects of the "Dream in a Summer Rain" - Artistic Nature Short Film from the "Wild Plovdiv" series (2019)

The movie is a sweet impressionistic story about the life of a cat "pride" just before, during and just after a short summer storm: what they do, where and how they hide, how they evade the drops, how they fight and rest etc.

* на български:

The VFX was unnoticeable by a test viewer (just one though) and is blending well with the painting-like aesthetics of the shot, although it is far from perfect.

In short: A small and smart programmatic trick for removing an unwanted logo from a difficult and highly zoomed-in unstable shot during a hard rain.

In more details:

* A shot with a big zoom, filmed with an unstable camera and somewhat noisy picture during hard rain, where the individual drops are seen. What was the goal of the effect? Using a simple-enough to develop smart method which automatically removes an unwanted logo of a supermarket, which is constantly being crossed by the drops. The retouched shot shouldn't look unnatural and the drops should be preserved, i.e. the dynamics and look and feel of the drops have to be preserved.

The making of the shot shouldn't take too much time, because it was only one shot, less than 3 seconds long, and there were 11 other episodes from the "first run" of that series. Yet I didn't want to scrap the shot, because, aside from the logo, the rest of the image was picturesque and interesting.

I coded the effect in Python with OpenCV, where technically the latter served only as a video and image interface for I/O, because the processing is "manual": the image is accessed "pixel by pixel", not with some specific cv2 methods. As an idea it was inspired by VFX I developed for my 2018 fantasy "muscle art" and nature music video suite "Star Symphony in Chepelare", most of which was a VFX and had a cartoon-like look of a painting.

An alternative: if it was not raining and if the camera/shot were stable, the frame could be painted by hand by rotoscoping with GIMP or Photoshop once and then the painting be multiplied in the subsequent frames. The scene wouldn't be so interesting, though.

Note: The masked logo could be shaded a bit lighter, in order to match the shade of the supermarket façade, however as it was painted it is also reasonable, as it appeared like a continuation of the metal column.


Python, OpenCV PURPOSE: Automatically remove a logo in shaky, rainy, noisy video and preserve the raindrops crossing the logo

The whole movie:

#opencv #computervision #video #python #programming #animation #art #visualeffects #hacks #painting #naturelover #catsanddogs #animals #plovdiv #bulgaria #bulgarian #vfxartists #specialeffects

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