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DSLR settings with a Green Screen

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David Rehm
DSLR settings with a Green Screen
on Jul 19, 2012 at 3:32:47 pm

hello, I know DSLR cameras are not the ideal choice for keying but the question I had revolves around the camera settings. Should the contrast and sharpness be lowered for a green screen? The pros recommend lowering these settings (when shooting non-green screen work) so they can take advantage of color correction and grading opportunities in post. But what about green screen shoots? I'm newer to DSLRs and don't have the experience but I'm naturally inclined to say leave contrast and sharpness at normal levels, etc... Anyone have any experience with this that can give advice.

Thanks,
David


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Peter Burger
Re: DSLR settings with a Green Screen
on Jul 19, 2012 at 8:24:15 pm

Problem with sharpness and contrast settings is, they can introduce artifacts into the picture. The very high H.264 compression increases those artifacts even more which can lead to problems when keying.

I personally like to shoot flat (even for greenscreen work) to avoid artifacts and get the cleanest picture possible, since the 4:2:0 colour sampling alone makes keying a tough job and the heavy compression does not make it easier. You can do it (like you can with DV or HDV), but it's not easy.

Just my two cents

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

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David Rehm
Re: DSLR settings with a Green Screen
on Jul 19, 2012 at 8:52:30 pm

Thanks for the reply! Do you have any specific recommended settings. I have a Nikon D7000. I have very little experience with DSLR cameras - but I'm getting there.

Thanks, David


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Peter Burger
Re: DSLR settings with a Green Screen
on Jul 19, 2012 at 10:24:07 pm

[David Rehm] "Do you have any specific recommended settings. I have a Nikon D7000"

Sorry, I'm a Canon guy, so no hands-on experience with Nikons. The general advice is (and I'd say it's true for almost any digital video camera):
Turn down internal sharpening and contrast completely and reduce saturation a tad. All of these can be re-introduced back in post to your needs.

Reducing saturation might sound weird, especially with 422 sampling and a keying job, but in my experience (not only with DSLRs) it really helps. Clipped colour channels are IMHO one of the worst things that can happen for post-production including keying-jobs.

But maybe a Nikon-shooter can chime in here and give you better (or more precise) info.

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

Me on Twitter (english/german)
http://twitter.com/FastFoodVideo


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Peter Burger
Re: DSLR settings with a Green Screen
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:27:18 am

[Peter Burger] "Reducing saturation might sound weird, especially with 422 sampling"

What I meant of course was 4:2:0 sampling...

------------------------------------------
"Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot." - Buster Keaton

Me on Twitter (english/german)
http://twitter.com/FastFoodVideo


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Phil Balsdon
Re: DSLR settings with a Green Screen
on Jul 20, 2012 at 8:52:57 am

Use as much light as you need to get a smaller f stop, at least f5.6 / f8 and a low ISO.

You need a really clean (low noise) image and sharp edges around your subject with the codec

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: DSLR settings with a Green Screen
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:10:14 pm

My general experience has been to run the other way unless you've got a camera which will shoot 4:2:2.

The other side of the equation is the lighting. Two separate lighting setups - flat softlights to evenly light the greenscreen, and stretch the greenscreen as tight as you can (spring clips and sandbags) then whatever you need (3 point lighting works pretty well to burn out the spill from the green screen) to match the lighting of the background you intend to use after you've pulled the key.

Distance is your friend - get the talent as far away from the green screen as is practically possible with your setup. Then rent a camera which will shoot 4:2:2 (which is akin to BetaSP tape quality). And if the talent wears glasses, do your best to lose them - it can be a nightmare if their head moves around at all, catching bright green reflections which are all but impossible to remove.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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David Rehm
Re: DSLR settings with a Green Screen
on Jul 22, 2012 at 4:44:24 am

Thanks for the info.

David


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