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Keylight AE - Noisy RED footage and a poorly lit green screen shot

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Evan Friesen
Keylight AE - Noisy RED footage and a poorly lit green screen shot
on Oct 24, 2019 at 12:58:58 am

Hi all,

Really in need of help here, I'm at a loss. The basics: I'm keying out a shot of an actor on green screen and replacing background. Was shot on Red Scarlet-W 5K. Greenscreen was overexposed and not lit equal to the key light, and the subject itself was very underexposed (noisy shadows). It is a 2 minute long one-take.

The problem: Parts of the actor's face are blotchy and colored and dark after keying out green.

Details: I've done all that I can think of, including all suggestions I could find on youtube, lynda, adobe help, etc. I tried screen matte, clip white and black, despot, etc, but can't seem to get rid of the parts on his face. The actual key itself is fine, and the edges are pretty good. That isn't the issue. I just can't seem to find a way to get rid of this effect of the actor's face.

PHOTO HERE: https://i.imgur.com/D1knfFv.png

The only solution I could think of is to have an inside mask where I'd mask out the actor, shrink the mask a bit and apply feathering. But this would be futile because it's a 5k 2 minute long shot and the actor moves around a bunch so it'd take years.

Does anyone have any insight for me? I'm feeling very lost and frustrated at my inability to fix this. :/

Thank you in advance.


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John Williams
Re: Keylight AE - Noisy RED footage and a poorly lit green screen shot
on Oct 24, 2019 at 8:41:05 am

Hi there, this is a common problem with keying, especially when the subject and background have not been lit independently as well as the RED camera being quite noisy in low light conditions.

Here's the traditional solution.

One you've done your key (and always check the Alpha channel view to make sure you arnt keying through your subject, ie keying through their eyes and tweak the 'Screen Matte' settings if you are.) Then duplicate your keyed layer. With the lower layer, turn off all the keying effects and then use a 'Track Matte' this will allow you to use the alpha channel created by the layer above to matte out the layer below, because the layer below has not effects on, it will only inherit the matte from the layer above and none of colour effects applied by keylight.

If you have spill in the shot, you can add the 'Advanced Spill Suppressor' to get rid of any colour on your subject but make sure to tweak the settings and possibly use the 'Ultra' method to reduce deterioration of the image that can often be caused by over suppression (this is what brings out the noise and grain more.)

Finally, the 'Remove Grain' effect is very slow but can really help clean noisy footage.

Hope that makes life better;)

John Williams

Soho Editors


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Evan Friesen
Re: Keylight AE - Noisy RED footage and a poorly lit green screen shot
on Oct 24, 2019 at 6:47:54 pm

Of course! Use the alpha as a track matte!

Never even crossed my mind. Thank you so much for your help John, this was certainly an exercise in frustration.
I've already used spill suppression and key cleaner (for the rough edges of his wool coat), but I'll certainly take a look into hte "ultra" method, as well as the aforementioned alpha track matte.

Still kicking myself that I didn't think of that! Thanks again so much for the response, you're the best!


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