Post Production

Face Replacement Part 1: BASIC

Because Two Heads Are Better Than One


In this two part series, I’ll show you how to track and composite a face onto another body using After Effects and Mocha AE. Learn some of the tricks and hurdles you may have to deal with when trying to produce this type of effect.

This tutorial is a special one and a little different in that it doubles as a small behind-the-scenes video as well. Emphasis on small. 🙂 Most of you may recall the infamous Pistol Youth music video, “In My Eyes” that was storming the web a few months back. You know, the one with the Golden Girls…. AHHHHH! Yes, now you remember…..and if you don’t, or if you missed out on this event… is the video that caught a lot of attention.

WARNING FOR GOLDEN GIRL FANS: You may find this unbelievably funny or absolutely disturbing. 😀

Pistol Youth – In My Eyes from Pistol Youth on Vimeo.

Extra special thanks to the following extremely talented people for allowing me to use footage from the music video for this tutorial.

Executive Producer: Steve Buchanan More Fancy Website
Director: Isaac Rentz Isaac Rentz Website
Cast: Bradley Hanan Carter of Pistol Youth Pistol Youth Website

Since the release of the Pistol Youth music video back in January 09, I have been getting lots of emails and comments from people, a lot of which have been asking, “how did you do that?”, “Did you use Syntheyes, Mocha, Shake or After Effects?”, How long did that take”, some just commented “Wow, that totally freaked me out, but it was awesome!”, etc… Well, to answer some of the questions…

Tracking: Mocha AE
Compositing: After Effects
Number of shots: 62
Number of heads replaced: 96 (not all of them made the cut)
Total hours for vfx: 65 hours (spread over three weeks)
How many actors: Just one, Brad did all of the faces.

So, on with the show. In part one of this series I talk about…
– The base setup that was used when filming Brad on greenscreen
– Why the audio was recorded at half speed
– Using Mocha to track and stabilize footage
– How to composite the elements in After Effects
– Using stock plugins to degrade P2 1080 footage to look VHS like.
– Show After Effects shortcut keys

Hope you enjoy and find this educational. 🙂

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David Torno is a Visual Effects professional based in Los Angeles, California. His work over the years has included commercials, feature films, music videos, and multimedia projects. During his free time, David enjoys expanding his…

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