Random tip - Use mokey to make a panning shot widescreen
17 December 2009

Keith over at our forums had an interesting request the other day: He wanted to know how to convert a panning shot of Standard Definition footage to widescreen by using mokey to create a clean plate for the edges.  We had a ponder and tried it out, and here's what we came up with:

  1. Take your footage and comp it into a widescreen frame in your compositing package so you end up with black edges to the left and right
  2. Render this sequence out and create a project with it inside mokey
  3. In one layer create two closed rectangular splines that cover the exact height and width of the black edges. You may need to overlap the edges a tiny amount into the moving footage
  4. Create a background layer behind the first layer that covers the whole frame and uncheck the "Link spline to track" button
  5. You may want to create a third layer in between the background layer and the foreground edge layer to mask out any moving objects you don't want to effect your background track
  6. Track the background layer (selected only)
  7. Select the foreground and do a removal

    There are obviously some things this won't work with, such as crazy amounts of moving background from frame to frame or very little camera pan, but it can be just enough to fill the edges of frame if you need it.
    If you had enough camera motion in the scene you could potentially convert an SD clip to HD!
    We might even make a video tutorial of this some time in the future once we've looked into the possibilities.  

    Let us know in the comments if it works for you!

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