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Green Screen - Best Practices and Workflow for Chroma Key

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Barry O'Brien
Green Screen - Best Practices and Workflow for Chroma Key
on Aug 3, 2010 at 4:14:21 pm

I have a client that wants to shoot waist-up presentations by their product managers, with graphics and copy screen left. They have seen a Semantic presentation on You tube and want to do approximately the same look and feel.

I am leaning towards shooting green or blue screen chroma key, and matting in the white background and graphics.

They have a small 15' X 20' room with a 10' ceiling to shoot in.

My questions:

1.) Can I pull a clean key shooting with my Sony EX-1? What settings/set-ups would you suggest?
2.) There is not a lot of room to separate the talent from the background. Has anyone experience shooting with the Datavision Chromaflex and Light ring in HD? If you have had experience with this, have you ever used a light ring and a teleprompter?
3.) For compositing within a project to be edited in FCP, what plug-ins make the best key? The FCP Chroma Key filter? Plug-ins for Motion? Plug-ins for After Affects? What, in your experience, works best?

Thank you for your experience,

Barry O'Brien



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Craig Seeman
Re: Green Screen - Best Practices and Workflow for Chroma Key
on Aug 3, 2010 at 4:55:04 pm

[Barry O'Brien] "1.) Can I pull a clean key shooting with my Sony EX-1? What settings/set-ups would you suggest?"

Shoot progressive, 1080p30 would be my choice. I've gotten very clean keys. If you have the budget getting Uncompressed or ProRes from HD-SDI out would be better. NanoFlash shooting with an I Frame 4:2:2 setting would be good.

[Barry O'Brien] "2.) There is not a lot of room to separate the talent from the background."
[Barry O'Brien] "They have a small 15' X 20' room with a 10' ceiling to shoot in. "

In NYC we call that a 2 bedroom apartment.
I've shot in smaller spaces and have done a reasonable job keeping the green bounce off. There are people who shoot with 5'x7' portable green screens in small NYC offices for example. Lighting is critical as well as could spill suppression with the key software.

[Barry O'Brien] "Has anyone experience shooting with the Datavision Chromaflex and Light ring in HD? "
Curious what others have to say. I've heard on issue is the speaker having to look at the light when looking at the camera. I also understand the light can bounce off of reflective surfaces and the talent has to be a bit back from the camera. You might want to test before buying. The advantage is you don't have to light the background of course.

[Barry O'Brien] "3.) For compositing within a project to be edited in FCP, what plug-ins make the best key?"
I've pulled decent keys with just FCP. Motion's keyer is better. I decided to buy the Noiseindustries compatibly Phyx keyer since it has some higher end feature yet reasonably simple to use.



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Barry O'Brien
Re: Green Screen - Best Practices and Workflow for Chroma Key
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:17:14 pm

Craig,

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions. We ma land up lighting these projects with Kineflows to keep it cooler in the room. Also, since I entered this question, we have decided that the talent will need teleprompter so we have stopped looking at the light ring option.

I have one question for you, Craig: you said: If you have the budget getting Uncompressed or ProRes from HD-SDI out would be better. NanoFlash shooting with an I Frame 4:2:2 setting would be good.

Does this mean you come out of the SDI jack and directly into a laptop with FCP? What's the workflow to do this?



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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Green Screen - Best Practices and Workflow for Chroma Key
on Aug 3, 2010 at 7:59:02 pm

1) It's easy to get good keys with this camera. Shoot 1080p30 and you'll have all the resolution you need.

2) If you're worried about spill, a little bit can often be overcome in your keyer. One plus is that you're shooting waist-up, so you can cheat 'em toward your camera a bit more. Not sure how I feel about throwing the Chromaflex variable on top of a situation you already feel is challenging.

3) I use Keylight in After Effects. Not only is it really capable even with poorly-lit, guerilla-style footage from the worst of circumstances, but I like to key my footage right as I composite and add the other elements. AE is my playground for that.

Cf


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Craig Moore
Re: Green Screen - Best Practices and Workflow for Chroma Key
on Aug 4, 2010 at 9:35:00 pm

Ive done both green screen (in 1080i in HDV ... should have searched here first I guess) and against a white seamless. White seamless is nice and you still need to light it well but if you want the option to fly-though some graphics and add creative backgrounds/textures then go green. Definitely use a nano flash to capture the 4:2:2 if you can. I've heard great things. If you can also use scopebox to monitor or if you have FCP on a laptop, pull up the scopes to get a real sense of the chroma. This worked for me well.

Pulling key in Motion worked very well with the Primatte RT but I also had great results in FCP native. Even with the HDV 4:2:0 transcoded to Prores.

Spider Video
http://spidervideo.tv
XDCAM Ex1-R
MacPro FCP3


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Barry O'Brien
Re: Green Screen - Best Practices and Workflow for Chroma Key
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:32:16 pm

Thanks Craig. I'm not familiar with "a nano flash to capture the 4:2:2 if you can."

How would that work?

Barry



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Barry O'Brien
Re: Green Screen - Best Practices and Workflow for Chroma Key
on Aug 5, 2010 at 12:27:56 pm

Thank you, Clint. The advice from all you guys is confirming that I have been going in the right direction. I am going to shoot a test in the coming weeks to make sure I don't reflection issues (off the green seamless and onto the talent) shooting in this space. I'll let you know what happens.



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