Many times, when doing stunt work or other effects on set, we want to keep our actors alive by securing them with wires, ropes, bungie cords or other devices which need to be removed during editing.
Final Cut Pro X does not have any tools that ship with the product that make this easy. But, Boris Continuum Complete (BCC) does; its called BCC Wire Removal.
NOTE: Although I demo this effect using FCP X, BCC is fully compatible with the following software. This means that whatever you are using for editing, you can achieve the same results with your system.
Earlier this week, the folks at Boris FX asked me to host a webinar looking at a few of the effects inside the latest release of Boris Continuum Complete 9. With over 230 effects, backgrounds and transitions in the package, there was no way to cover all of it in an hour. So we agreed I’d cover their 3D Text Extrusion generator and Image Restoration effects.
The BCC Wire Removal effect is one of the effects in Continuum. However, it is also available in what Boris FX calls the “Continuum Complete Image Restoration Unit,” which is a less-expensive subset containing just the image restoration tools.
Continuum Complete MSRP: $695
Continuum Complete Image Restoration Unit: $299
I don’t have any stunt footage to work with, so let me illustrate this effect using this clip. Specifically, look at the high-voltage wires at the top of the frame.
I want to make two of them disappear.
Apply the BCC Wire Remover effect to the Timeline clip.
Instantly, five control dots appear in the Viewer:
In this article, I’ll show how to remove the wires, but save motion tracking for another article.
Open the Inspector, go to BCC Wire Remover and set the View to Preview Area.
This displays a thick red line which we need to place over the wire we want to remove.
Drag the two end-points so that the red line covers what you want to hide. If necessary, adjust the Width setting in the Inspector so that the red line covers the wires fully.
Drag the Clone Center circle (or adjust the Clone Center setting in the effect in the Inspector) so that it is placed over an area of the image you want to use to replace the wires with.
NOTE: The BCC Motion Key replaces a portion of the frame with a clean portion of another frame in the same clip. The BCC Wire Remover replaces a portion of the frame with a clean portion of the same frame in the same clip. Here’s an article that explains how this works.
Change the View to Render and, poof!, the wires are gone.
NOTE: There are two other options: Mask and Clone. Mask creates a transparent area under the red line which you can use to insert an entirely different clip. Clone replaces the red line with a clone based upon the Clone Center setting. While both are useful, the default setting of Cover does the least damage to the background.
This is another of those effects that, even when you understand how it works, it is still amazing. If you need to hide elements within the frame – and have a clean section in the frame to work with – this effect can get you out of a lot of trouble.
Download the free trial and test this for yourself.
6 Responses to Boris FX: Remove Wires
I remember a programme that came with FCP 1 or 2 that did all of that quite easily: Commotion. I kept current until OS X implementation destroyed it and many other useful programmes. Now one has to pay, what, $6 – $7 hundred for what was once free. Puffin Designs Commotion was developed by John Knoll for Lucasfilms, specifically for Starwars.
Oh, to the point, I would see the example film and be distracted by the towers without power cables. Just joshin’, Larry. Nice article and nice programme. Do they sell a stand alone?
You are correct, Commotion was briefly bundled with early versions of Final Cut Pro.
However, it was acquired by Pinnacle in 2000 and died shortly thereafter.
…Commotion was most certainly NOT “developed by John Knoll for Lucasfilms, specifically for Starwars”. …It was developed by SCOTT SQUIRES (who worked at ILM at some point) a bazillion years AFTER Star Wars AND was killed by PINNACLE, not Apple or OS X.
[ This reply was edited for tone.]
Interesting chat. I too used it early on. I had not thought about it awhile. I edited with Radius back then before FCP.
I’m currently using Media Composer 5.5 and BCC6. I’m hoping to jump to MC8 and BCC9 later on this year.
I would imagine it’s more difficult if you want to remove wires from motion shots? Can BCC do this or is what BCC can do determined by the complexity of the scene?
I went to your website and had a little browse. Watched parts of your videos which were very interesting.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
My best advice is to contact the folks at Boris FX directly. They are continually updating their software and will be in the best position to answer your question.