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James Roth
Silhouette Questions
on Apr 12, 2017 at 5:33:47 am
Last Edited By James Roth on Apr 12, 2017 at 5:53:58 am

Hi everyone, I'm working with silhouette footage, created through a) shooting a model against green screen and then b) taking the chroma-keyed model, crushing the colors down to pure black, then tinting it with a solid color to create this:



I have a few questions that maybe people on here can help me with.

#1. HOW TO MOTION TRACK BACKGROUND ELEMENTS TO THE SILHOUETTE
I want to motion track lens flare, background objects (like skyscrapers) and 3D text so that it matches the camera's movements. I am working with shots where I have the camera pointing at the model's feet and then quickly dolly up to her head, like this...



What's the best way to track the lens flare and background elements so that they match the camera's quick zip up to her head? Since the footage is keyed the model has no background whatsoever - just an alpha channel.

#2. HOW TO ADD GROUNDING SHADOWS
Referencing the above image, what's the best way to go about getting a Global Illumination/Grounding Shadows look on the white floor? I know you can flip her upside down, turn the color black/blue, and then use a gaussian blur to make it shadow-like, but I'm looking for something a bit more professional, like this:



What's the best way to get that look in After Effects?

#3. HOW TO SHARPEN HAIR AND ELIMINATE SHADOW NOISE
This is my worst case of bad hair-keying (this was actually shot against a white backdrop so it's not technically proper color-key). This is the best I can get the hair to look without bringing in background noise (the noise appears anyway in the bottom-left). I've cropped it the best I can but noise still slips through and the hair still looks matted and fuzzy. Any FX I can use to get rid of that grainy background shadow that appears underneath the model's feet as shown in the above picture of the model's legs?



Bonus Question: Keylight crashes in After Effects when keying this 6K footage. I've done my keying using Ultra Key in Premiere Pro, is this comparable to Keylight in terms of getting a professional-looking key? How should I convert the 6K footage so I can key it in AE without Keylight instantly crashing? My system isn't bad (i7, GeForce 960, 24 gigs of DDR4). TIFF sequences take forever to export out of Premiere Pro and for some reason exporting in H.264 washes out the colors; which doesn't matter since I'm going to crush the colors anyway but I don't want any loss of edge fidelity at all because it REALLY shows with silhouettes. For some reason the white background turns pink/gray after exporting to H.264 as you can see in the images above. I did a screencap and the background is 100% white before export, and then turns pink/gray after export and I can write my name on it in white brushstrokes. Why is this?

Thanks guys!


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Richard Garabedain
Re: Silhouette Questions
on Apr 12, 2017 at 4:15:41 pm

6k..wow..good luck...but you could use track camera , and then have a duplicate of her being silhouetted on top...

Shadows are tricky with green screen footage...even hollywood movies have a tough time with this..but a tinted copy of vc reflect can do a decent job if you play with the settings...you could also turn the layer 3d add a light that casts a shadow on ground plane.

Bonus question,...You should key the footage, then pre render out a png sequecne with alhpa and import that back in and then do your effects on that.


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