How can I erase powerlines from footage?


Hi all,

Im a newbie and I am shooting a short film in 3 days. Its a period film but this one shot on location has power lines and a station in the distance which I need to remove in post. I saw that they did this in Alias, Indiana Jones and many other films, does anyone know how I can do the same thing?

I am using After effects 5.5 and Combustion 3. Do any of these do the job?

Any assistance would be most appreciated.



both programs have a cloning tool. Sample a pixel or two away from the powerlines and try to fill in the space which would be behind it. Depending on how many frames you have, i’ll take a while. I would recommend learning about some of the cloning tools before using it.
Another way would be duplicated the picture and setting the background one 2-3 pixels up or down. By erasing the forground wire this will reveal the background which you’ve offset. In some cases it works, and with others it doesn’t.
Another way would be looking online for some wireremoval skills.

Hope that helps


Is the camera in motion or still in the shots where things need to be removed?


i would suggest combustion.
i use combustion every day to paint stuff out.
i wouldnt try to do it in after effects.

if you need any help setting it up let me know :slight_smile:


Hi Guys,

The camera is on a track and a jib. The camera tracks up and forward, following a character all the way to the top of a mountain. When he gets up there, theres they large powerstations and power lines on the other side that are visible that I need to remove.

Thanks for all your help.


Is what you need to remove shown only against the sky, or is it against other stuff like trees and rocks?


Both the sky and against forest and mountain areas


Ok, for the the portions which are over sky I would track those and clone sky from the surrounding area to cover it and apply it using the tracking data. For the sections of trees, if you can get a tracker to latch onto specific areas, I would create a patch to cover the powerlines and apply it with the tracking data. Don’t try to make one patch to cover the entire thing, use lots of smaller ones. No doubt there will probably be some pieces and parts that don’t line up perfectly once the patches are applied. Animate and warp them to match as best you can though. Then I would go in and do touchup painting on a frame by frame basis to fix little misalignment problems.


Ok thanks. I just got a copy of mokey v3.1. Ive been told thats the best prgoram to use for object removals. Does anyone agree?


Yeah, Mokey seems pretty nice. You might be able to forget about tracking and patching, but there may still be cleanup work to be done. Let us know how it works out.


Will do.

Thanks alot for all your help…


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