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Preparing 5D mkIII Footage for VFX Work

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Josh Brine
Preparing 5D mkIII Footage for VFX Work
on Sep 22, 2012 at 1:59:30 am

Ok here goes.

So recently i did some digging into How good the 5D h264 footage is for VFX work, as im having some challenges with keys. although. they were poorly shot. here is one example.

1, 5D footage
2, Actresses long hair blown by a leaf blower to simulate wind
3, shot at around 6-8pm in the evening with no extra lights
4, the Greenscreen is basic cloth which is actually almost slightly transparent when lit from behind by the evening light.
5, mid-closeup shots on from a crane so no 'long distance' shots that i can pull a rougher key.

Ok, i know this is terrible, but surely you have all been there, a terrible situation yet you managed to pull good if not great keys from it?

i was actually on set for all of this, as the vfx 'supervisor' but the producer/director, who has that 'dangerous' amount of knowledge about post. simply says, we will fix it in post. we will make it work. etc. dispite my warnings, i did not have the power or influence to get a better result.

although, i will also say that i had no real experience with supervising onset. everything was really theoretical so no1 had any real reason to listen to me either. but many of the problems i knew would happen have happened, so i have learnt alot from this experience, which i guess is the point.

anyway. i digress.

I have read and absorbed what 4:2:0 chroma subsampling actually means so now i understand just how bad the 5d footage is for this kind of work. i read on a few CC posts though, that there are ways to minimise this issue, transcoding into a different format to work with?

so my real non whining question is.

what steps should i take, what should the workflow be for bringing 5d footage straight from the camera? i have access to the footage from its very rawest state. what can i do to make my life easier?

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Tim Keeling
Re: Preparing 5D mkIII Footage for VFX Work
on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:23:39 am

Hi Josh, Did you get anywhere with this?

I'm currently trying different transcoding options from 5dmkiii ALL-I 720p to see what get a better key when importing directly into After Effects. I can already see a huge difference after transcoding an original ALL-I file to ProRes422 and then importing into after effects than importing the original. much less blocky.


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Josh Brine
Re: Preparing 5D mkIII Footage for VFX Work
on Feb 27, 2013 at 6:29:47 pm

I Ended up using the raw 5d files, but learnt a great Keying technique to make the most of the footage, took a long time but it turned out decent enough at the end.

As a pc user i guess the best equivelant for prores would be dnxhd. not sure which one is better for this type of work but its a great format, can be downloaded online for free.


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