Getting rid of Zits in post

im.away wrote on 4/20/2011, 11:05 PM

I recently filmed an interview with the Bride for a wedding I was doing. She knew I was on a schedule but still managed to be not ready at the appointed time. This meant that she did not have make-up on during the shoot and while it looked OK through the small viewfinder and LCD on the camera, when blown up to full HD, the zits she had are very obvious.

So, I was hoping that the wealth of experience here on this forum might come to the fore with some suggestions and techniques to soften this "look" and make it a bit more respectable. Her head is predominately steady during the shoot with just a few small moves left or right as the interview progressed.




farss wrote on 4/21/2011, 1:51 AM
Difficult one.
Both Boris and Red Giant have 'skin detail' FXs on offer. They may or may not get rid of the zits.

How many zits are there?
If it's only one or two you could probably use Vegas to clone a clean area of skin by duplicating the track, masking out the clean area and using track motion to locate it over the offending zit.

Grazie wrote on 4/21/2011, 4:31 AM
Hmmmmm... Did she NOT have makeup for the WHOLE wedding? Or was it JUST a small portion?


im.away wrote on 4/21/2011, 6:05 AM
It was just the interview Grazie. She caked it on for the Service and Reception.



Great suggestion. There are only a few so I might just get away with your idea - thanks.

warriorking wrote on 4/21/2011, 9:14 AM
Check out New Blue Video Essentials IV...
It has a skin touch up feature as well, check out the demo video , plus the price won't break the bank...
JJKizak wrote on 4/21/2011, 12:54 PM
Well you can take various snapshots of the interviewed person on the vegas timeline, touch up each still picture with Photoshop then slowly switch the pictures during the interview like a slide presentation. But that result might go over like a lead balloon.
GlennChan wrote on 4/21/2011, 5:11 PM
If it's just one that you can duplicate the video onto itself, shift it slightly, and use the bezier mask (in pan/crop).

2- Or... duplicate the video onto itself. On the upper layer, set opacity to 50% and add gaussian blur.

3- Or...
Make a duplicate layer. On the top layer, use the secondary color corrector (or maybe even chroma key) to cut out the skin tones.

On the bottom layer, add blur. Or even do what I suggested in #2.

You can do even more complicated compositing in Vegas if necessary (I can't remember if you really need to do this). The channel blend filter can let you swap channels around like in Shake/AE/etc., the gaussian blur can operate on the alpha channel only (so you can use this on your uppermost layer with the skin cut out), etc.
Andy_L wrote on 4/22/2011, 7:20 AM
If the total footage time is short, and you're a little bit crazy, you could export the footage as a still image sequence, fix each still in photoshop, and then re-import the still sequence. Time would be the only downside, as it could quickly grow to be an unmanageable task...
crocdoc wrote on 4/22/2011, 7:33 PM
The other problem with this method, aside from time and effort, is that unless your Photoshop skills are such that the zit-work in each frame is identical, the area from which the zits were removed will seem to wiggle in the final video. Those zit-removal areas will seem to have developed a life of their own and the viewer's eyes will be diverted to those areas because of the movement.
CVM wrote on 4/25/2011, 9:48 AM
I suggest doing what I do when I screw up or something happens I don't like or didn't expect... do something 'artistic.' Talk to the photog and get some images, then make a nice montage over the interview. Bride doesn't have to be any the wiser... it's what we artsy guys do. :-)
Laurence wrote on 4/25/2011, 11:13 AM
Could you use a Boris BCC7 motion tracking blur to do this?
je@on wrote on 4/25/2011, 12:07 PM
How about confronting it straight up? The bride will not want the video used if given a choice. Ask for a meeting with her or whomever is paying the bill. She'll be mortified if that footage is on the official record of her wedding. Leads to bad word of mouth. And next time, don't do a shoot w/o make up. Wait or reschedule. I've worked with hundreds of female talent, pro and non-pro. They will thank you for your sensitivity. And, by the way, the "I was on a schedule" defense is all about you, not the client. She's the one under stress. Smarter business decision to focus on the the client.
malowz wrote on 4/25/2011, 2:50 PM
i did a while ago with boris red and vegas, using tracking as mentioned, works great (hi-quality)


ushere wrote on 4/25/2011, 5:06 PM
malowz - pretty bloody impressive!
im.away wrote on 4/26/2011, 7:00 PM

with all due respect, you have absolutely no idea of what the timetable was for this wedding, nor the constraints that we were operating under. Whilst the Bride was not ready at the appointed time of the interview, she was fully understanding of the situation and knew full-well that their would not be another opportunity to shoot the interview.

In asking for advice on how to fix the zit issue in post production, I AM attempting to get the best result for the client - which I believe is good customer service. There is an option to not include the interview but I'm going to do my darndest to fix this problem for her.

Malowz, that is a great job that you've done - gives me justifiable hope that this can be fixed.


malowz wrote on 4/26/2011, 8:55 PM
you could post a frame from the video to see the "situation?"

or a small sample in any fileshare site for test?

how long its the interview? how was the light?

if its not too long, i could offer myself to fix for you at no charge. i have a bit of free time ;)
im.away wrote on 4/26/2011, 9:23 PM
Hi Malowz,

I'll need to contact the Bride and get permission, but I'm pretty sure it will be OK.


MarkWWW wrote on 4/27/2011, 8:23 AM
NewBlue have a "Skin Touch Up" plugin in their Video Essentials IV collection which may do what you need. There's also a not specifically skin-oriented "Touch Up" plugin in their Video Essentials I package which might also be helpful here.

And it is possible to reduce details like zits usinfg a more generic blur package like Pixelan's CreativEase BlurPro, or perhaps even Vegas's own blur effects.