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Shooting an old train on Green screen

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eli rezik
Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:14:13 pm

Hello everyone,

In a couple of weeks I'm going to shoot a short film in an old train cabin. of course we are shooting in a stand still train, and using green screen for the outside.
however before I go any further, I'd like to consult with you about preparing for this shoot.
The director really likes the dirty windows of the train, as seen here.



Now the window already has some ND cover on it, and the dirt does alter the real colors of the outside. Should we clean the windows and add this dirt back in after effects later? or will it be ok to shoot this way.

other than this, it's a night ride and a night shoot, and the director really wants reflections. now I've never dealt with reflections and green screen before. how much of a problem is that? I know it's impossible to fake such reflections in after effects.


Thanks for the answers ☺

Eli

http://www.youtube.com/elireo


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:29:22 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:56:31 pm

It is perfectly possible to pick up nice reflections and dirt with a good keyer from well shot footage.

But the issue that so many people are running up against these days is that they are shooting highly compressed formats and then wondering why they can't get subtle detail into their keys without horrible amounts of noise creeping in and ruining the whole thing. Reflections need very clean source footage to key properly.

So the most important question you need to be asking is how much noise you are going to get off the camera.

Looking at the combined RGB output is not going to give you a good picture because you're not seeing the true horror of what's underneath. Keyers need nice clean signals in all three channels and this is where the compression artefacts really kill you. Make sure to run some camera tests where you analyse each channel for noise. If you see blocky artefacts, your key is dead in the water before you start. If one channel is noticeably noisy, you are entering a world of pain.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Greg Gesch
Re: Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:00:43 pm

Hi Eli, this may be of some use.

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/advanced_soft_keying/


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:09:10 pm
Last Edited By Simon Ubsdell on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:11:27 pm

It's a nice tutorial as always from Andrew Kramer, but the important thing to notice about it is that it requires a very, very render-intensive denoise process to be able to handle the reflections in this scene. (And that's just a tiny clip not a whole film.)

And this is for the reasons that I gave in my post above. Compressed footage is always going to create horrendous problems for subtle keying effects like reflections.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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eli rezik
Re: Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:13:45 pm

Thanks for the quick replies everyone

We will be shooting with a mini Alexa - Log C. So Noise shouldn't be much of an issue, or am I wrong?

http://www.youtube.com/elireo


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 11, 2017 at 7:38:52 pm

The other thing I would say about this video is that it shows very clearly how unsuited Ae is to even slightly complex compositing situations.

You are far better off working in Nuke or Fusion if you're doing anything except the simplest key.

Getting great looking keys is all about being able to have total control over how the comp fits together, especially in terms of splitting off processes to deal with particular issues of particular areas of the frame. All of this is still doable in Ae, but it's a real pain and seriously clunky. And the clunkiness means a lot of the time you are not going to push for perfection because it's just too much work.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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eli rezik
Re: Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 11, 2017 at 8:05:48 pm

Well I've been working with after effects for the past 7 years and never really used fusion or nuke.
How hard of a transition is it?

http://www.youtube.com/elireo


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 11, 2017 at 9:02:37 pm

I would say that the benefits of using Fusion (which you can get for free, unlike Nuke) would outweigh any learning curve for this kind of job.

But then I started on Fusion at a time when Ae barely existed, so I guess I am not the best person to ask.

If you are staying in Ae, I hope you won't mind my recommending that you look at Hawaiki Keyer (which I have developed with my brilliant partner, Rob Mackintosh), which in addition to creating great-looking keys with the minimum of guesswork, brings you a whole range of advanced compositing features that are not available in any other keyer at any level, and which will have another feature-rich update fairly soon. There is a free trial version so you can experiment and see whether it is useful to you.

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Blaise Douros
Re: Shooting an old train on Green screen
on Jan 13, 2017 at 6:54:46 pm

You might also try shooting with a full blackout outside of the window, and using a simple blending mode to overlay your "outside" footage. That would preserve your dirt and reflections.

Or, go old-school (which is back in fashion now) and shoot background plates for your exterior, and fire that footage onto a projection screen outside. You could even run the same clip a half second ahead on a second projector shooting in the window, out of focus, to simulate the effects of that lighting on the actor.

Like Oblivion, on a smaller scale. And you don't need the huge screens, because you're only seeing out of a single window.







Spend a bit more on set to get it practically, save a headache in post.

It would be worth shooting tests, if you can swing it. Quick and dirty, same interior lighting setup, grab two or three shots per setup, and change the exterior setup between takes. Then you can walk in to the shooting day confident.


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