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Adding Motion Backgrounds To Images

An interesting idea of taking a basic picture or image, creating a mask layer for the foreground objects and projecting texture visuals and motion backgrounds onto background areas.

This youtube video demonstrates the effective use of masking layers and projection onto an image to to bring motion to a static image.


So how to do...

All that is happening here is a mask layer is being used so the projection is only on the background areas of the image. 

This is easy to do.

First we need to create a mask or matte to stop the projector spilling onto unwanted areas. To create this, import the image you wish to project onto into a image editing program, like Photoshop. If need be you can do this by taking a picture of the object you wish to project onto. In most situations you would want to take the picture square to the image you will be projecting onto.

Once you have the image in your image editing program you're ready to create the mask / matte. A matte is normally a black on white image, black being the area you don't want to project onto, white will be transparent. You may need to use black on a transparent. This depends on the technique you use to bring it all together at the final stage.

So we have the image we wish to add a motion background to in our image editing program. Keep this image on its own locked layer so we don't edit it by mistake. Create a white layer, this is our background layer so push it to the back of the layer list so to place it behind the image layer. At this point you should not be able to see the white layer, only the image we are adding the motion background to. Now create another layer, this should be transparent and placed on top of the image in the layer stack. With the new top layer selected using the colour black start panting over areas you don't wish to project onto, you can use the eraser tool if you make a mistake. Once this is complete turn of the image layer leving you with a black and white mask or matte. If you need a transparent background for your mask turn of the white background layer.

If you're using Photoshop you can import your video background into Photoshop and begin compositing directly in Photoshop or export your new Mask / Matte and composite it in a video program like After Effects or Premiere or mix live using a media server. Have fun adding motion backgrounds to liven up that picture.


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