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Daniel_R says

Hi creative people!! I am excited about this week since I finally doing better at time management and finally got some happy clients with so many video work around here.

I am working with this project for a private school / academy. I was shooting some interviews with teachers and kids over a greenscreen. I’m not a professional and most of my knowledge comes from books or tutorials either from “the kramer trend” or creative cow (even though I found a great book about this topic: green screen made easy)

Going to the point, I got this problem:

http://www.box.net/shared/static/xtz7l85mzi.jpg

When I do the keying in AE (using the defaul plugin Keylight) It is hard to remove a black line around the subject and usually have to increase the shrink value in keylight or the choke matte value in the simple choker effect. I believe this is due to the shadows you see in the example pic.

I know there may be a lot of factors to consider: the lighting, the equipment, the green screen etc. This fottage was taken with 2 softboxes (constant lights) to light the green screen and one key light for the subject.

I read somewhere that the minimun distance is 5’ to 6’ between the greenscreen and the subject but got the problem or not having enough space (area) to use when shooting this video. This is a problem with the location. Maybe planning the area to use ahead would help but my case is not to expect a huge location. When shooting this video, location was around 10’ W and 20’ L.

The light is constant so cannot do much with the bright in the face also. I do make sure (since constant lighting produces heat) to retouch with makeup or clean up the subject’s face sweat.

Im shooting more video at this location next week. Do I need another light? Do I need a color gel? a filter? Get Key Correct Pro?

I know you guys have some great ideas and the most important: experience!

Thanks! :)

P.D> You can check the final (keying) result here: http://vimeo.com/6728060 (this is not the final video just a preview for displaying purposes. I found out that writting down a script would help)

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showmill100 says

Your key actually turned out pretty good although you do have some issues with your set up though. You need to do two things.

1- move the talent about 8-10 feet in front of the green screen 2- light the screen separately and evenly. So that means you light both the talent and screen with different lights. I usually use four. 2 on the talent and two on the screen.

This will eliminate the green spill that’s causing your black line.

my thought anyways..

Steve

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Daniel_R says
Your key actually turned out pretty good although you do have some issues with your set up though. You need to do two things.

1- move the talent about 8-10 feet in front of the green screen 2- light the screen separately and evenly. So that means you light both the talent and screen with different lights. I usually use four. 2 on the talent and two on the screen.

This will eliminate the green spill that’s causing your black line.

my thought anyways..

Steve

Thanks Steve!! Your advice is very welcome.. :)

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

I seriously doubt that green spill is causing your black line. Make sure obviously that the colour that Keylight despills to is the colour that your background is going to be. In the case of your Vimeo example, that’s green.. (meaning you don’t need to worry about spill too much in general as the green background that you are putting in would have exactly the same spill properties as your green screen.)

The black (or white) line problem is one that I have to deal with time and again. Most video cameras have some kind of sharpness or detail setting. This is a bit of digital processing that tries to compensate for the inherent lack of resolution on the chip. Basically, it applies a kind of unsharp mask to the image before compressing and recording it. Almost all consumer and prosumer cameras have this on as a default.

If you go into After Effects, take an image and apply an unsharp mask to it, you’ll see what happens. An unsharp mask basically takes your original image, blurs it, works out the difference to get from the blurred to the sharp version and adds this difference to the original image. The effect is that it leaves a dark or light line around contrasty edges (making the image feel sharper) This is the line that you are not able to key out… presumably most apparent where his white shirt meets the green background.

This is something that you need to sort out in your camera settings. However, if you’re shooting with a compressed format, there is a problem…. Although you can put an unsharp effect back on in After Effects later, it will also tend to highlight the compression.

Basically, you need to test your camera with keying. For most HDV / HD mpg shoots these days, I turn the sharpness to full off. Sony cameras usually have an on/off switch. Panasonic you need to reduce to minus maximum. The image will probably feel a little soft. I’m afraid it’s one of the things that us digital post folks need to deal with these days. But in many respects, rather that than grainy 16mm!

If it’s any help, I think you’ve done a good job. The green screen is pretty well lit and exposed. I deal with much, much worse on a regular basis. i.e. nice big creases in the screen, subject not fully in front of screen, coloured lighting falling onto screen, green t-shirt etc. etc.

Glare on the face can be dealt with with make up. Tend to underexpose a tad on video rather than over, to avoid clipping. Generally, though exposure is quite critical on video, owing to poor latitude on consumer cameras and the fact that underexposing decreases your signal to (compression) noise ratio…. i.e. pulling the contrast back up in post also pulls up the compression artefacts.

As showmill mentions, you can kill the shadows by moving your subject away from the green screen or lighting the green screen more. The first method also reduces spill. However, those shadows don’t look like any problem to me. Generally with a key, you do one to get the edges, then a holdout matte to deal with any transparency in your subject and a junk matte to deal with any semi opaque areas that should be background.

Finally, try out the demo of Primatte from red giant. For my money it’s the best keyer around, although I’ve only used it implemented in Shake. I guess it works similarly in After Effects.

Hope that helps. If any of the above doesn’t make sense, PM me. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to you, although I’m mad busy at the moment… funnily enough putting together an FX sequence shot against blue on a mpeg2 video camera! Oh joy!

-felt.

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felt_tips Volunteer moderator says

By the way, key correct pro…. yes.

Or composite wizard.

-felt.

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Daniel_R says

Thanks Felt…as always…your advice is helping me a lot!

I’m trying the Primate plugin now…will post new results next week ..

I will PM with some other questions Felt. Reply when you have some free time…seems you are having a lot of fun :)

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Daniel_R says

As a funny comment forgot to mention that I use AE to remove the background of photographs also..I just get used to it that I don’t like to work with Photoshop anymore… :)

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Daniel_R says

The unsharp mask works fantastic! thanks Felt!!

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