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I'm trying to film in a city with one person being the focus point, and the goal is to make the city look deserted. If the city is always busy and full of people, is there a way for me to remove the people in After Effects or Premiere Pro? I would think that one could just make a composite shot of only the parts of the image that stay constant, but I have no idea how to even approach that. How can I do this?

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    Have you looked into the new Content-aware fill feature? It might be what you're looking for. helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/content-aware-fill.html – Joshjurg Nov 1 at 14:02
  • @Joshjurg I've definitely used that a lot in photoshop, didn't know it was in ae. Thanks! – Jodast Nov 1 at 14:48
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    Yeah, it was a new feature added this past spring. On the rare occasion I used it, it rocked for what I needed. For this need though, the scene may be too busy for this approach. – Joshjurg Nov 1 at 14:49
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Is the camera moving? If it's a still shot you could make a clean plate of the empty city in Photoshop and use a green screen for the actor. If you don't want the shot locked-off you can cheat add some movement to the frame in post, but big changes in perspective would require recreating the city in 3D.

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Interestingly one of the earliest photographs of a human being was by accident — owing to the extremely long exposures required by the early emulsions, anything moving would blur out. In a photo by Louis Daguerre there was a guy standing having his shoes shined and he appears to be the only person in Paris. You could use the long exposure technique to get your background.

  • The frames are most likely going to be still, as I don't have a steadicam and would prefer the frame to not be shakey – Jodast Nov 4 at 23:08

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