Quick answers to frequently asked questions about filming

All personal elements in a video must be created in Adobe After Effects, and compositing elements in a live shoot is nothing new for After Effects artists. Saying that, there are a few things we have been asked often, worth pointing out. Read on.

I want the actor to say personal information

Having an actor speak personal data is nothing to do with post-production. It is entirely about production. If the list of choices is a short one, say up to 10, then the time added to the production is negligible and worth it. However, if you want the actor to greet the customer personally, by name, for example, you'll have to shoot the actor on location saying a very long list of names. This will take a long time in production and will add a lot of time in editing and so on. There are two solutions:

  1. We recommend having the personal parts of the script be read off-screen as can be seen in the following example. This way the shot needs to be taken only once and edited only once. Please note that all the audio variations still need to be recorded either on set, or later on in a sound studio. If the latter option is taken, it will be the sound engineer's responsibility to make sure the narration recorded on camera and the narration recorded in the studio sound the same.
  2. It is always possible to show a presenter on screen and have them say something more general while pointing at a sign for example, where the personal details are presented. This is much easier, as replacing elements on screen is what Idomoo's technology excels at.

I want to have personal information appear on a prop in the scene

Showing a data on screen is always a good way to communicate with the customer. Seeing their data appear as part of a video is exciting and rewarding. It's easier to understand a number, for example, when it's in front of you on screen than when it's read to you by a narrator.
Adding elements to a shot is something After Effects operators do all the time. They use various solutions like tracking and compositing to do that. There are a few things to mention, and I list them below:

  1. Always involve the After Effects artist early on in the production when going on a live shoot. They have to understand the limitations of Idomoo's platform and prepare for that. It is also important they come on the shoot with you, so make allowances for that too.
    The After Effects artist should read this section in order to prepare.
  2. The main limitation to watch out for when wanting to add dynamic data to an on screen prop, such as a sign, a t-shirt, and so on, is distortion. The only effects you can use in After Effects are the effects provided by Idomoo, which are IDM Gaussian Blur and IDM Corner Pin. This will help in compositing elements into out of focus shots and use four point tracking. However, Idomoo don't provide any distortion effects so adding an element to fabric or a coffee cup, for example, is not possible. We recommend to have the surface you want to add the dynamic element to be rigid and flat. Bending and folding will not be possible to replicate.
  3. The prop you shoot should have size and proportions that fit the different sizes of data that need to eventually fit. The data can be text of varying lengths, or images can have a wide array of aspect ratios, and so thought needs to be put into solving all these scenarios. Ask your After Effects artist to read the article relating to Bounding Boxes here to be better prepared.

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