Process with Paint Action Sequence

Hello. I am hoping someone can help a novice with the "Process with Paint Action Sequence" command. I have actually used it many times before to just paint a movie. It has been very easy to process an entire clip and save my new painted movie

For the first time, I would like to only paint part of each frame or rather, I would like to apply different presets to various parts of each frame. This should be fairly easy since the movie clip barely contains any movement --its is just a person sitting still, reading aloud, but I would like to paint the background behind that person one way and the person herself a different way.

That is where I am getting stuck. I would imagine that I should use a mask so that the paint is only applied to the person (not the background) or vice versa, but clearly I am doing something wrong because when I try masking my movie, I can no longer seem to paint an entire movie, only the first frame. When I run the command, with the person masked, the background gets painted but the masked person does not appear in the final processed movie.

My skill level at this type of software is very very low so perhaps it is just too challenging a task. However, I have tried to watch tutorial videos and read the manual as well as to search this forum, and I'm either missing a basic step or I just don't quite get how to do this. But given it is so easy to paint a still frame with a mask or a movie without a mask, I have a feeling that what I want to do is probably pretty simple and the problem might be that the tutorials actually address more complicated scenarios. Should I be trying to do this somehow with layers instead?

Any advice would be appreciated --the more basic the explanation, the better! Thanks! 

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Without seeing the specific paseq you have created it's hard to know.

But be aware that when you record a paseq step, the state (on or off, checked or unchecked) of the "Mask" option at the top of the canvas tool bar is recorded into the paseq. 

Also, when you make your selection mask during the recording the paseq, that selection will be part of your paseq.

See attached jpg for a starting point.

I can imagine this will create a new set of questions. But maybe my hints might be all you need.

~victor

Attachments:

Victor mentioned that the mask on/off status is recorded in each action step. Whether the mask status plays back in the PASeq or not is a function of the Mask Playback control in the Editor.

Here's a tip on that control.

Thanks for the idea and screenshot. I have mostly be trying this with the factory presets. My theory was that I should get it working with a preset that Synthetik provided before making my own.

I know that I also tried editing a factory preset last night, but I am not sure that I actually tried recording one from scratch for this project though I have for other projects. I will try recording from scratch and also tweaking the "PASeq Editor Options" as described in another poster's answer. Maybe if I try it with just a very short sequence, it will become clearer where the patch is breaking down.

Also, as an aside, while I was trying everything that I could think of to get it working last night, a one point, I also tried rendering the video in quicktime with an alpha channel using Photoshop as a first step. And then bringing the rendered video into Studio Artist's source image. I was trying to use that alpha channel to set my mask. Would it be easier for me to just select the background manually with the mouse as part of my PASeq instead of using the alpha channel feature with Photoshop? It worked fine with masking still images, but maybe I shouldn't use photoshop for videos? I don't usually use photoshop that way, but again I was trying every combo of steps that I could think of!

You mentioned you tried using a source image with an alpha channel.

So you can use the alpha channel of a source image to modulate all kinds of things in Studio Artist. But it's kind of up to you to specifically program what you want to do with it. Or at a least be aware of specifically working in alpha enabled view mode if you want it to work in that convention.  Alpha view is not enabled as the default.

Using Source Alpha as a Selection Mask for Painting or Ip Op Effects:

If you want to set the selection to be the source image alpha channel, you can use the Canvas : Selection : Set to : Source Alpha... menu command.

Controlling Where Automatic Paint Strokes are Drawn:

Here's a tip that discusses different control options in the paint synthesizer to restrict where paint strokes are drawn. You can dial some of these control options in to use the source alpha if you want to.

Working with Alpha Enabled View:

Here's a tip on working with alpha channels in layers.

Often a PASeq processing only a single frame of a movie file means that the PASeq is processing the contents of the canvas (as opposed to processing the source image), and you aren't ever erasing the canvas to the source in the beginning of the PASeq.

I can explain that more if it doesn't make sense.

PASeq scripts are very literal. So you need to look at what it is specifically doing.

For example, if you had a PASeq that was using a single Ip OP effect, and that Ip OP effect's IP Source control was set to Source Image, then it would process the source image (so the current movie frame when processing a movie file).

But if you used an Ip Source control that was set to Current Layer, then it's just processing what is in the canvas over and over again.  Which could be fascinating, or very dull, depending on what the effect is.

This is an example of what i mean when i say the script is very literal.

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