How would you achieve this After Effects composite?


I’m trying to achieve a composite in After Effects and having trouble. Would love some suggestions on how you would do this!

Here is a reference video: S63 Reference_1.mp4

(this is not my attempted composite, rather just a temp in the edit)

Basically what is happening on this pan is I need to stitch together two diferent pieces of footage, which are both panning accross the same area. Right now you can see the stitch happen in a crappy cross-disolve over the tree, but it needs to be seamless.

Issue is this was not shot with motion control, so the pan speeds and positions are not exact. So if you simply mask on the tree, then track the mask, the left and right sides of the image dont match up, as the camera is moving at diferent rates. I tried slowing down and speeding up the footage to match, but it wasn’t really working either.

Next thing I was going to try was to basically create a panaorama freeze frame of the outgoing pan. Meaning go into Photoshop and composite a still that is maybe three times the width of the video frame, using stills from diferent frames in the source footage. Then I was going to track still onto the the incoming shots position movement, and add motion blur and grain etc, so it feels like video. Then I was hoping the left most side of the still image I composite would be a match for a frame in the outgoing video, at which point I could sync up the shots. If that makes sense…

But what would you try?

Oh and the sequence resoltion is 2;40 but the souce footage is 1;85, so I can move things around a biut vertically.

Thank you!

Hey @countdooku! First of all, welcome to the forum! We’re super glad to have you here and a part of our community. I’m no professional compositor by any means, but I definitely think what you’re trying to achieve is completely possible!

The shots line up pretty close! What I would suggest is speeding up the first clip to match the speed of the second. If you attempt to slow the second, you will get a jumpy pan due to possibly bad frame interpolation (how we perceive what happens between each frame). Speeding up the first clip and adding something like RSMB Motion Blur to match will probably be your best bet. But if you like the duration and speed of the pan in the first clip, slowing down the second and attempting to do frame blending in AE is also still an option. After Effects has two different Frame Blending engines, “Frame Mix” which essentially crossfades the space between frames, or “Pixel Motion” which tries to identify the direction each pixel is moving to attempt to move them all seamlessly between frames so it looks like it would if that speed were recorded in camera. Pixel Motion is usually a great option, but sometimes you can see the artifacts between objects moving in 3D space or the edges so watch out for those if you attempt this. If you run into a lot of artifacts or problems with the frame blending, I’d revert back to speeding up the first clip.

Once you match the speeds pretty closely either way, take a still frame of the tree in the center of the frame, mask out the trunk as perfectly as possible, and track that over top of both clips making sure the original tree in both clips stays hidden the entire time. Add a motion blur to it and it should look perfect! Make sure your composition shutter angle is the same as what you shot with. If you didn’t shoot on a cinema camera, and you’re confused on which shutter angle to pick, or what even shutter angle is, here’s a pretty comprehensive explanation into how shutter speed and shutter angle correlate: What Is Shutter Angle? DSLR Filmmaking Explained - YouTube You may already know all of this, but I never like to assume!

This is what I would do if I were tackling this problem — but again — I’m not the professional compositor on the team! Maybe @danasa can help provide a better method to accomplish this?

Can’t wait to see the finished result!