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Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production

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Adam Lewen
Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production
on Mar 4, 2017 at 8:47:25 pm

Hi there.
Before I jump to the green-screen studio, I though asking here (years of help an counseling:)

A production is about to shoot a lot of people (classic interview talking heads)
The intention is to have different darkish backgrounds (with elements to be designed and serve as different backgrounds NOT Black background, maybe grungy dark, atmospheres, rooms, but not solid black.

From my experience (I have dealt with a lot of green), if the shoot is going to be a great greenscreen studio, I can pull out the green and do whatever I plan with the background.
My question is (hoping I am clear) - If shooting on a black background, would I benefit anything? I do plan to composite elements behind the talent, or to its side.
I feel this question was brought up many times with a very broad spectrum of answers
It's going to be a lot of footage, with the plan of having freedom in the compositing...
Thoughts are appreciated!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production
on Mar 5, 2017 at 2:59:28 am

The only reason for choosing black over green would be for the opportunity to use Rotobrush on all your footage.
Wouldn't that be fun, not to mention speedy?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Adam Lewen
Re: Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production
on Mar 5, 2017 at 7:32:47 am

Dave thanks for replying!
Roto fun for the black you mean? I assume there are ways of luma matte or other manipulation of implementing into the black, but If the green would be as close as it can o prefect, sounds like green is the way. Right?


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Steve Brame
Re: Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production
on Mar 5, 2017 at 12:56:21 pm

Dave's being sarcastic. Rotoscoping, even with the Rotobrush, is tedious and slow, especially compared to Keylight, or Ultra Key in Premiere. That being said, you might want to have a look at Red Giant's Unmult effect. It's made for keying out black specifically. But still, setting up a good green screen shoot is probably the way to go. I addition to the usual caveats that you'll find for that type of shoot, here are a couple that may help immensely -

- Place your subject as far from the green screen as is possible to help eliminate spill onto their hair and shoulders.

- Filter the hairlight/backlight with a 'minus green' gel which is a very light pink hue. This can help to counteract any edge spill that may occur.

- Do not overlight the green screen.

- Use a smartphone app such as Green Screener to check the evenness of the lighting on the green screen.

Steve Brame
creative illusions Productions


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production
on Mar 6, 2017 at 10:40:43 am

[Steve Brame] "- Do not overlight the green screen."

To which I would add, do not underexpose the green screen. Which is a far more common problem.

The VES Handbook of Visual Effects has this to say on the subject:

"A common misconception is that backing brightness should be adjusted to match the level of the foreground illumination. ... To reproduce the full range of transparency, the green screen should be fully - but not over - exposed. In other words, its brightness should match the green component of a well-exposed white object like a white shirt, roughly defined a the whitest white in the foreground that still has detail."

Simon Ubsdell
tokyo productions
hawaiki


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production
on Mar 5, 2017 at 8:05:53 pm

I was making a little joke. To put it plainly: DO NOT shoot against black. Shoot against green, using all best practices for green screen lighting and shooting technique. You will be much better off.

If you choose to use keylight in AE, know that it likes its backgrounds a little on the dark side. To wit: if the brightest part of the subject is 100 IRE, the green screen should be a uniform 60-65 IRE.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Adam Lewen
Re: Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production
on Mar 5, 2017 at 9:35:35 pm

Thanks for the informative answers!
I thought so, but since every couple of years this qustion floats, i had to ask. And yes for a minute i thought Dave is a roto lover;-). Every couple of years I bump into one of those.
In any case thanks for the technical tips!
ill try the minus gel idea!
and btw although unmult is a great free plugin i use often, in a similar situation i found it less helpful than i thought. a lot of surprising opacity on the talent that needed attention.

thanks again


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Studio shoot "talking heads" pre production
on Mar 6, 2017 at 6:25:37 pm

Unless someone develops a miracle effect that can distinguish between blacks on the subject and a black background, keying against black will NEVER be a good idea.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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