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Davinci Keying without noise

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sean ross
Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 20, 2012 at 11:05:07 pm

Hi all,
I am struggling to get the noise out of my keys using Davinci. They seem exceptionally noisy relative to the keys that I am used to in Autodesk Flame and Lustre. Noisy to the point that they don't isolate the color effectively enough to use even though they are pretty primary colors. The only workaround I have come up with is a rather complicated set of layers using high noise reduction settings. Is there something I'm missing here? And if I'm not, is version 9 going to help us out?
Thanks,
Sean


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Peter Chamberlain
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 21, 2012 at 2:33:39 am

I think you may just need more practice. The DaVinci keyers in their current form have been used for 1000's films and tvcs and there are no changes in v9. Try a little key blur and use shrink and grow. Often it's the finesse with the soft and symmetry that makes the key look tight.

I would avoid using the NR for the average key as it complicates the adjustment unnecessarilary. Just work through the qualifier palette controls should be enough.
Peter


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sean ross
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 21, 2012 at 3:17:29 am

Thanks Peter. I will keep practicing, although I am dubious. I feel like I'm quite good at keying in several of the autodesk keyers and I hope you are right, though, as it is the largest weak point that I am finding in Davinci.


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John Pilgrim
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 22, 2012 at 2:19:08 am

DaVinci Resolve is a color grading tool, not a compositing app.
Resolve's HSL and RGB qualifiers are there to isolate secondary color corrections, not to perform chroma keying for compositing.
You're right that AFX, Nuke, Flame, etc can pull better keys, as well they should since they're compositing apps.
If Resolve's qualifiers aren't working for you, I wonder if your workflow is such that you're asking your grading app to do your VFX tasks for you.


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Gabriele Turchi
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 21, 2012 at 2:25:30 pm

resolve keyer is good , but honesty not has good as flame and smoke ,

autodesk have much deeper refining tools for the keyer , i think i can say that i know how to use the keyer ,

obviously i would if resolve had such a sophisticated keyer , not saying that the current is bad , but it could be better knowing the autodesk ones and what those can accomplish ...

g

Davinci Resolve Control Surface
MacPro
Cubix desktop 4
2 Red Rockets
GTX470+GTX470+GTX470
24GB RAM
HP Dreamcolor
Panasonic 58PF Plasma
Ultrascope


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andrew smith
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 21, 2012 at 11:23:45 pm

Just wanted to chime in here -

This week I was on a project where I couldn't get a decent key of the actor's t-shirt so i sent the shot to the Nuke compositor at the studio I was working for - I sat with this operator and watched the standard tools he had at his disposal in Nuke and was just blown away with the job he did on the key - I have to agree that programs like Nuke, Smoke, Flame..and even just regular old After Effects ;) have much better keying tools let alone the paint, tracking and roto tools obviously.

I also had a chance to sit with a friend who uses Baselight's various keying tools and was also super impressed with what he could do - I think DaVinci seriously needs to step up there game in a variety of areas to even remotely compete with these other finishing tools - Regardless I have made my investment in DaVinci so luckily I will continue to have AE, Nuke & Flame guys to help me out but seriously there is a TON of room for improvement in this application. I plan to learn Mocha, Nuke, etc just to be able to do some of this more precise work myself.

Just my 2 cents in the field.

ps. the NR tool in DaVinci just does NOT work (read the forums or just ask around in the industry..its laughable at best) - I use Neat Video for AE or FCP to get decent results myself but I have also seen what Nuke and Flame can do for noise reduction or adding grain etc. and its just superior all around. If I had the money I would probably move to Baselight as it seems to have a wide range of tools and way more control. I hope that BMD will really try to make DaVinci Resolve the grading application it COULD be.




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Paul Provost
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 22, 2012 at 5:23:56 am

How much would you pay for a version of resolve that was as good as lustre, baselight, etc?


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andrew smith
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 22, 2012 at 4:27:14 pm

Well mind you with a Decklink and Quadro4000 alone its not just $1K for the software obviously (its $3K+ and that's without a control surface, a proper calibrated monitor, newer MacPro, RAM, RAID, etc etc) but the same goes for the equipment requirements on a Lustre or baselight I suppose right??

Don't get me wrong, I think BMD is doing a good job and V9 looks like a step in the right direction, its insane that only a few years ago a high-end grading app like DaVinci was not even close to accessible like it is now. I just see the tools available in Baselight, and think about the substantial investment i have made in building my own DaVinci room, and want some of that in the system i have built for myself. I have been advising / promoting smaller shops to invest in DaVinci and I just want it to be everything it can be..wow I sound like a GoArmy commercial!

I mean well and hopefully have not pissed anyone off here, I just hope for more improvements, and really prey they are listening and striving to better compete in some ways with the competition in the high-end finishing market. I am speaking for myself at the high end of expensive commercial workflows - not davinci-light using college students grading there skate videos at home on a laptop.




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sean ross
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 22, 2012 at 10:30:55 pm

Thanks for all the response. I am still working away trying to get better keys. One thing which is helping is that I am doing my keys after color balancing on the first node. This helps alot, especially if there is a color cast. Also, despite the warnings from Mr. Chamberlain, I am using a denoised version of my file just to create my Alphas; and then keeping my RGB image data on a separate node tree without the noise reduction. This has been super helpful in lessening the amount of noise that I am picking up in qualifying colors (and something that is in Lustre's keyer).

I have a question, is there a way to add contrast to an alpha? (ie., use curves to an alpha?)

I do have some responses to some of the responses above:

"If Resolve's qualifiers aren't working for you, I wonder if your workflow is such that you're asking your grading app to do your VFX tasks for you."

I believe that quick and accurate keying gives me an incredible amount of creative flexibility and reduces the amount of time that I have to roto and/or key (ie., send out for VFX).

How much would you pay for a version of resolve that was as good as lustre, baselight, etc?

I want to pay about $50K for a tricked out Resolve for mac. I already have a lesser version with the Tangent and 4000 card. And I really love so many things about Resolve. Really a top notch application that runs on a Macintosh, and reads prores and with the Cubix runs super fast, sees my multiple layered timelines, and is a very powerful tool for manipulating color.

I have a Flame Premium with the Lustre Panels, which cost a lot more. I am considering a BaseLight. I am also considering a stand-alone Lustre, but I am a bit frustrated by its lack of color flexibility. Both of these are expensive, but powerful tools.


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Sascha Haber
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 23, 2012 at 7:44:58 am

I would pay as much as it would cost to license Primatte , keylight ,Ultimatte or any of the other good keyers.
As long as I can make money with a tool, its worth buying it.
Rather that that than a free one which is not working as effective as my clients are used too.

A slice of color...

DaVinci 8.2.1 OSX 10.7.2
MacPro 5.1 2x2,4 24GB
RAID0 8TB
GTX 470 / Quadro 4000
Extreme 3D+

ICA Instructor
http://www.icolorist.com/Sascha.html


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Peter Chamberlain
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 23, 2012 at 12:27:33 pm

Thanks for feedback guys. It's always valuable to get different references.
Peter


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Esteban Aguilera
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 24, 2012 at 12:48:21 pm

My feelings are the keyer is not so powerfull how it could be, my main problem is the saturation channel it is a bit useless because, it could be the key part of the keyer but not.

a 80 percent of the slider is useless in the saturation, when you get the 20% (from left to right) you get the full legal saturation.

I think you can do a bit more stepped.

What do you think guys ?

Di Davinci Resolve Colorist


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Chris Hall
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 23, 2012 at 2:55:22 pm

I'm with Sascha, 3rd party plugins would be a great answer to this issue (instead of rebuilding something from the ground up). And I would pay whatever it takes to pull some cleaner keys as this has frustrated me a bit over the past few years.

Chris Hall
Colorist - Basher Films
Pasadena, CA


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Gabriele Turchi
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 23, 2012 at 3:17:19 pm

I agree ,
cleanest keys as possible are a must in compositing , but would be TRUE gold in color correction (quite few times i had to say "i cannot key that , key can't be clean enough because those 2 color are 2 similar (even though visually different (but than gets be done in flame /smoke (unsung just their keyer (seen it with my own eyes).

Resolve have a world class (probably best ) tracker , i guess could/should think of having the best keyer as well

i would pay as much as it cost , and i keep voting for RESOLVE costing 20K with panel only or 10K minimum as software only ,


in am ALL in for OFX plugIN , but i think that the keyer should be (if) improved in resolve , since it really is the heart of cc

finger crossed

Davinci Resolve Control Surface
MacPro
Cubix desktop 4
2 Red Rockets
GTX470+GTX470+GTX470
24GB RAM
HP Dreamcolor
Panasonic 58PF Plasma
Ultrascope


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Paul Provost
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 23, 2012 at 3:17:41 pm

Well that's the conundrum... Back in the apple color days there was a lot of complaints on the functionality and support of that free app, and offers to pay more for a "supported" version of the app. But a company does not have much incentive to fully support something like that as it does a $100k+ system
But people kept using color as the only other choice was to spend a hundred grand on something else.
Resolve is awesome as it is a great tool that you can get into for free and then scale up. But you hit a ceiling as there is limitations to it. But hey, if it's good enough for company 3, Ridley Scott and Prometheus, it's good enough for me!

If you need something like baselight, you might need to buy baselight or some other product from a company that only builds color and image enhancement systems. That is their only focus and product and you end up paying or that.
BMD has a lot of other products to focus on so resolve is not their only revenue stream. Hard to say if it's more of a "loss leader" for them or what.
They have done an amazing job with it, and I for one am greatful to have the product at the moment.
But if it becomes a drain on their resources, it may end up being abandoned as a side project. But that's ok because they have pretty much forced everyone else to start offering more entry level priced solutions solutions.
Fwiw, I'm ok with the keyer unless it's really compressed noisy footage, but then I've never had the capabilities of baselight.


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Sascha Haber
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 23, 2012 at 8:50:15 pm

We are not comparing it to Baselight or Lustre.
I only have extensive Scratch experience to build on and like 10 years as compositor using all sorts of keying plugins in all price range hosts from Fusion to Flame.

The keyer as it is is fine for day in day out work as getting skintones and adjusting them.
But the market is also adjusting and clients are asking more complex work from a colorist.
Everyone knows that turning a grey sky into a blue one works fine unless you have some trees in the foreground creating all sorts of chromatic abortion (there , I finally used it ;) ) or other artifacts.

So the request would be either for BMD to provide a plugin architecture that allows third party developers to provide a decent chroma or vector key, or dive into development like they did on the outstanding, mouthwatering, unsurpassed and client thrilling tracker.

Oh, and i totally support the 10K software idea...with panel.
Even if Smoke is only 3,5 K now...and they have an amazing keyer :)

A slice of color...

DaVinci 8.2.1 OSX 10.7.2
MacPro 5.1 2x2,4 24GB
RAID0 8TB
GTX 470 / Quadro 4000
Extreme 3D+

ICA Instructor
http://www.icolorist.com/Sascha.html


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Paul Provost
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 23, 2012 at 8:59:33 pm

I agree with you completely, it's just that once something is given away for free it seems impossible to raise the price for more features even if some users want it. I wish they had added the plugin arch. BEFORE they started giving it away.


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Gustavo Bermudas
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 24, 2012 at 8:53:08 am

[Paul Provost] "I agree with you completely, it's just that once something is given away for free it seems impossible to raise the price for more features even if some users want it."

Yeah, I agree, the damage is done now that is free, it will be hard and almost impossible to revert that.

I find a lot of limitations with the keyer but I get around it, and for green screen comps I use it as a way to see what it looks like and then I give the colored plates to the VFX guys so they do the keys.

I'm noticing a trend of clients asking for VFX right there in the color session, do a green screen here, or can you do a wire removal, or we need to paint that guy out, or can you do some titles, and now with Smoke targeting the one man post show, I wonder if Color/VFX will start blending more and more? It is all part of finishing really, but what's making it really hard for us is that stupid video card war we're in. You can't do a grading session in Smoke, and you can't do compositing in Resolve, and you can't use both in the same machine. C'mon guys, truce?

Autodesk/AJA could have won this war by adding Lustre to Smoke, that's all they needed to do, but they so missed it, maybe next version if they wise up.


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 24, 2012 at 2:44:48 am

A slightly weird suggestion. Try keying the same keys in FCP X 10.0.3 or higher.

I recently did a keying job in FCP X.

I first tried the key in AE. AE's built-in keyers are not very good with Canon and other such material. Then I had an asst try in Resolve. Admittedly he is no expert so the keys weren't that great in Resolve either. And I do have access to many Nuke/Shake artists.

But before sending off the footage, I tried 'one last time' with FCP X. And was amazed. Clean keys with the minimum of effort. And surprisingly powerful controls. This is not some iMovie keyer. This is stuff they've gleaned from Shake, Primatte, Final Touch and other such legacy apps.

Also, it may help to convert the footage to ProRes4444 so at least the chroma color space is cleaner.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Joseph Mastantuono
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 24, 2012 at 10:04:02 pm

That's the really sad thing about FCPX, all of the underlying algorithms it seems to use are really top notch. It's great for color accurate conversions from DNxHD, it's a good keyer, etc... It's just got a shitty interface, it's not stable and it's bad for handling any project of any complexity.

I think the keyer in Davinci is pretty lacking, but I can usually work around it. My #1 pet peeve is how the "Grow/Shrink" grows in these little diamond patterns as opposed to something useful. #2 is how finicky the saturation control is. You just can't do any fine control with it.

The tracking though, is sublime.

Joseph Mastantuono
http://www.goodpost.net
Color Grading & Post Production Consulting


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Margus Voll
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 25, 2012 at 5:50:11 am

For me it seems if any third party plugins would ever be supported without cuda support
makes workflow a bit useless.

I have the same feeling fcp7 vs premiere cs6.

Premiere can nicely run my secondary gpu and run super fast as fcp7 bogs down a lot.

If keyers would kill Resolves speed then it seems bad karma to me.

So far it seems if pro app is missing cuda support it is somewhat a joke in speed sense.

Probably BM made keyed with additional features would be killer.

--

Margus

http://iconstudios.eu

DaVinci 8.2.1 OSX 10.7.3
MacPro 5.1 2x2,93 24GB
GTX 470 / Quadro 4000
Multibridge 2 Pro


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Christopher Adams
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 25, 2012 at 2:47:25 pm

One thing you can try is to add a node with higher saturation and key it then after keying reverse the saturation boost. We are using 32bit float here after all.
I find sometimes it locks on to things better. Also. what kind of footage was it? I find that that will totally effect what you can and can't key well. Another thing you can try is to do a noise reduction prior in the chain from doing your isolations. Or hell if its a bad clip run it though something like MB-denoiser or my favorite Neat video plugin. Then try keying. I suspect that it will help.
Just a few ideas. NOTE DLSR footage is some of the worst! to key on. ITs lossy 8bit H.264 breaks down quickly.
CJ


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Joseph Mastantuono
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 25, 2012 at 3:19:33 pm

Chris Adams makes a good point.

DSLR H.264 footage is a main offender. It's so smushed down that any sort of keying is next to impossible.

Joseph Mastantuono
http://www.goodpost.net
Color Grading & Post Production Consulting


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sean ross
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 25, 2012 at 7:20:59 pm

Thanks Christopher. Good advice.

One thing you can try is to add a node with higher saturation

I have tried this in other color correctors. I will try it. Although instead of resaturating/desaturating I will do what I do with the noise reduction and split it off as a separate node tree which feed back to the main tree as a matte (or a series of mattes).

–sean


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sean ross
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 25, 2012 at 8:12:54 pm

I forgot to mention, its Arri Alexa 444 footage.


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Robert Ruffo
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 26, 2012 at 1:35:19 am

I think curves would likely work better than linear fall-off. It's easier to change, say, the color of a shirt in the Hue vs curves than in HSL, probably because the falloff is smoother an d easier to control as it uses curves.

To those who say changing a shirt color, for example, should be VFX and is not part of grading: I say 1998 is over. People expect the color session to be able to affect all things color, and being able to pull clean secondaries is very much part of that.

I also agree that the sat controls seem almost broken and do not work as expected at all.

Overall, I would prefer slower but better performance - the expectation of pure 100% realtime is no longer there - tapedeck days are over - it doesn't really matter. Just give me quality. Maybe give me a "high render" option on the HSL that would be slower but cleaner?


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michael stirling
Re: Davinci Keying without noise
on Jul 27, 2012 at 1:12:59 pm

You could also try pulling the key in an 'alpha node'.

In the key node (3) add loads of saturation and Radius blur and actual Blur.
In the output node (2) check the invert box in the post mixing part of the key page.
It just takes the strong key, not the blur or the saturation.



I agree with comments about the NR - I've only ever used it on RED footage successfully. Anything else I use Neat in FCP.

~M


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