Just as you can remove a large object from a photo using Content-Aware Fill in Adobe Photoshop, you can remove a large object from a video in After Effects. For best results, the items you want to remove should not overlap anything you want to keep. Feel free to use our practice file, or use your own.
With the video layer selected in your composition, click the Pen tool (press G) and draw a mask around the distracting object — or group of objects. Press M to reveal the Mask Path properties. Toggle the stopwatch on to set a keyframe at the playhead’s position. As you scrub through the composition, readjust the mask’s position or shape to keep the object contained, in case it or the camera moves.
Change the mask’s blend mode from Add to Subtract. You’ll now see a hole in the video, hiding the masked object.
Choose Window > Content-Aware Fill to open that tool’s panel. For the Fill Method, select Object if it moves within the shot. (Use Surface to replace an object that doesn’t move and use Edge Blend to replace a flat area of color.) Select the range you want to fix and then click Generate Fill Layer.
After the Analyzing percentage indicator runs its course, you’ll see a Rendering progress bar as each replacement frame is added to the fill layer above the video clip, filling in the hole created by the mask.
Play the composition to make sure the object has seamlessly vanished. For example, if you see a shadow cast by the now-invisible object, expand the mask to include it and then click Generate Fill Layer again — after first deleting or hiding the previous Fill layer.
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