Skin replacement with After Effects

Today I learned how to use mocha tracker to trace a path and make an effect that looks like there is a glow moving around underneath a person’s skin. The first thing I did was use Mocha tracker to track the motion path of the lady’s left cheek, and pasted it into a layer  in After Effects. I then made the effect using different layer transparencies and blur effects on the veins that I added in to make it look like they are underneath her skin. I used a solid layer to make a mask where I wanted the effect to be (her left cheek) and feathered it so that it looks like it is fading into normal skin around the edges. I used an effect called ‘Fractal Noise’ to make the cloudyness for that green part that is underneath the big vein layers, and masked it in using a feather mask so that it looks sort of natural (at the time it wasn’t bright green). I then attached the motion path data to my effect so that it moved with her left cheek in time and looked (slightly) realistic. The last thing I did was add the colour correction effect ‘curves’ to the glow edit underneath so that I could make it look how I wanted, and I also added a small amount of colour correction to the overall footage to give everything more complementary colours and slightly more definitive shadows, and finally I duplicated the darker shadow’s layer so that they were more dark and stood out more.


Overall I am very happy with how this turned out. I like that it follows the path correctly and I like the way it looks. The only thing that I don’t really like is that the feathering on the mask layer makes the veins go slightly off the edge of her face, and I couldn’t make it look good without losing most of the feathering, and the feathering is much more important than that minor detail so it isn’t too big a deal, the easy way to fix that would be to draw a new mask, but I don’t know how to do that without having to restart, so it is a problem I can deal with. If I could improve this, I would firstly, fix that minor detail, and secondly, work out how to make the green effect move to make it look like it is alive and dangerous, I think that would be cool but I didn’t manage to work it  out during lesson time.

Posted in: VFX

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