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Good green screen workflow

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Clint Stringfellow
Good green screen workflow
on Jul 3, 2009 at 6:32:11 pm

I have a 30 min interview of a subject against a green screen. I'm cutting a piece in FCP where I will be coming back to this interview several times. I'd prefer not to "send to motion" to key out the background each time we cut to him after the piece is completed. I tried sending the whole 30min clip to motion and bringing it back to FCP before editing the sequence, but you can't bring the audio back via importing the motion project file. Another option is keying out the green and exporting to animation + alpha with audio, but the file size ends up being huge.

Is there a better what that I am overlooking to use motion to key out the green on the raw footage so that I can then cut with the keyed footage and audio? I really don't want to have to do multiple "send to motion" tasks after editing the piece.

Thanks!


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Noah Kadner
Re: Good green screen workflow
on Jul 4, 2009 at 3:52:42 am

I would do a very rough key in FCP until you have a locked picture. There's no reason to waste the time of keying shots you won't use. Also why key in Motion- so many better options out there for green screen, especially when you have a ton of footage. I'd go DV Garage and key in FCP. Then you skip Motion entirely and keep things simple.

http://www.dvgarage.com/prod/prod.php?prod=dvmatteb

Noah

Writing RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Lens Adapter Guidebook, Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Stephen Smith
Re: Good green screen workflow
on Jul 4, 2009 at 4:54:33 pm

I agree with Noah, the keyer in Final Cut Pro is way better then the one in Motion. Best of luck.




Stephen Smith
Lone Peak Productions

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Clint Stringfellow
Re: Good green screen workflow
on Jul 6, 2009 at 6:16:48 pm

Noah: budget is SPENT! Gotta work with what I've got for now. Thanks for the heads up on the 3rd party software. I've heard of that software but never tried it out.

Stephen: the FCP keyer is better than Motion?? I haven't had much luck w/ the FCP chroma keyer. Maybe I haven't played around with it enough. I was under the impression that the keying options in Motion were superior.

I'm all for keeping it solely in FCP if I can produce good results.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Good green screen workflow
on Jul 6, 2009 at 6:32:33 pm

Here is a sample of a project I keyed in Final Cut. It is in an article written by Tim Wilson on Building the Perfect HDV Key.

Don't get me wrong, I use the keyer in Motion sometimes, but I like the Chroma Keyer in Final Cut better when it comes to those two keyers.




Stephen Smith
Lone Peak Productions

Check out my DVD Money Making Graphics & Effects for Final Cut Studio 2


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Jason Diebler
Re: Good green screen workflow
on Jul 8, 2009 at 3:32:08 pm

FCPs keyers are more user friendly, but I'm not convinced they're necessarily better than the tools that Motion offers -- the bezier masks alone make Motion's ability to tweak a bit stronger. However, the Motion workflow is too slow and laborious to be the go-to app for keying in my opinion.

On a daily basis, I am keying footage shot from less-than-ideal blue screen setups. Our source material is often full of noise, underexposed, and contains lots of problem areas (shadows, wrinkles, etc). Over time, I compared keyers in FCP, Motion, and AE to see what yielded the best results... and in the end, decided to purchase Primatte Keyer Pro from Red Giant. It squashes all these others hands down. It's 4x slower to render than FCPs keyer, but it does things beyond FCPs limits. It is slightly on the pricey side, but worth it.

Last note: taking steps to color correct clips either in Color or using FCPs Color Corrector 3-Way (w/ Limit Effect) before to prep the clips helps tremendously. I color correct, then export, then key the newly color corrected clip. It's easier to hone in on your ranges when the clips have been treated to give you more handle room.

"The deepest blues are black" - Foo Fighters
(this doesn't help me when I'm chroma keying!)


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