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Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver

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Simon Ubsdell
Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 22, 2014 at 10:47:54 pm

If you've run into situations where the Apple keyer just won't resolve fine detail - and that's a lot of the time, as far as I can tell - here's a tutorial that shows you how to build your own keyer in Motion to deal with those tricky shots.







In addition to building the basic key it shows you how to build a sophisticated spill suppressor that gives you huge amounts of control that you can customise the way you want it.

Even if you're happy with the Apple keyer, you might find this useful to watch, since knowing more about the fundamentals of how to achieve a key will help you get better results however you choose to go about it.

Pushing around the sliders of a commercial keyer (even really great ones like Keylight and Ultimatte) can be pretty confusing if you don't know what they are doing under the hood so this could help you get a better understanding.

Not a complete course in the science of keying by any means but hopefully a useful introduction to some of the "key" concepts.

All the best,

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 22, 2014 at 11:52:19 pm

Nice work!

I would have started with:

Step 1: Send to Motion. Doh!

Thanks for putting in the time.

Jeremy


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 23, 2014 at 9:43:36 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Nice work!

I would have started with:

Step 1: Send to Motion. Doh!"


Thanks, Jeremy :)

Actually you've probably worked out that with a bit of judicious Motion Publishing one could make oneself an Effect version of this that would be available in FCP X.

Even just making the spill suppressor component for FCP X would be a pretty handy way to go, as the Apple keyer's spill suppression is not exactly ideal.

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 23, 2014 at 5:25:25 pm

I think the best part of this is showing just how well shades of grey are can control compositing.

It is something that is never really talked about in much detail.

I have not really tried rigging and publishing on anything but the simplest of tasks, but this may push me in that direction.

It also is a very very good Motion demo and shows that serious work can get done in Motion.

Cheers,

Jeremy


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 24, 2014 at 12:03:26 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I have not really tried rigging and publishing on anything but the simplest of tasks, but this may push me in that direction.
"


We should make this an open source project - everyone could chip in and make something really useful ;-)

Incidentally, I forgot to mention in the tutorial that this will work for bluescreens as well as greenscreens - just substitute blue for green where appropriate.

However it's not a "chroma keyer" that will key any colour.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that although the Apple Keyer is seriously lacking when it comes to giving you a nice edge (the essential to a good key), you could use it very effectively for procedural garbage matting ("inside" or "outside" mattes) with the appropriate dilate/erode function (using the MinMax filter as shown).

I also omitted to show you how to invert the key if you want to work on a conventional looking matte rather than using the Invert Mask option in the Image Mask. Simply add a Negative filter above your Channel mixer and before any Levels operation and that will swap it around the "right way".

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 24, 2014 at 1:18:06 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "We should make this an open source project - everyone could chip in and make something really useful ;-)"

Would this matte stack make it over to fcpx? I guess I would just have to try it.

The "trickiest" part would seem to be to make the initial matte. Since all the mattes made are customized to the footage, how would this be done without being able to solo each step of the way?


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 24, 2014 at 2:19:38 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Would this matte stack make it over to fcpx? I guess I would just have to try it. "

I was wondering the same thing - I reckon it could probably be done. Might be a bit cumbersome.

[Jeremy Garchow] "The "trickiest" part would seem to be to make the initial matte. Since all the mattes made are customized to the footage, how would this be done without being able to solo each step of the way?"

Are you talking about how you'd do this in X or in Motion? If you published the right things out of Motion it would be easy enough to create switches to solo the relevant parts as needed. If you're building it in X then solo-ing is pretty easy, no?

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 24, 2014 at 4:17:01 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "Are you talking about how you'd do this in X or in Motion? If you published the right things out of Motion it would be easy enough to create switches to solo the relevant parts as needed. If you're building it in X then solo-ing is pretty easy, no?"

I meant to build something for FCPX, in Motion. Basically, publish something from Motion. I would have to see what exactly can be published and how. I thought I imagined just having one effect to drag over, but perhaps it would take several. I mean, there's no way to publish a clone layer, is there? Or do you simply clone drop zones? Looks like I have some messing around to do.

Jeremy


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 24, 2014 at 4:21:35 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I meant to build something for FCPX, in Motion. Basically, publish something from Motion. I would have to see what exactly can be published and how. I thought I imagined just having one effect to drag over, but perhaps it would take several. I mean, there's no way to publish a clone layer, is there? Or do you simply clone drop zones? Looks like I have some messing around to do."

All you'd have to do is build is as an Effect - rather than a standard composition.

The Motion "Effect" comes with an Effect Source layer.

All you need to do it turn off this layer but use it as the clone source however many times are necessary to build the comp.

In order to be able to view the matte, all you'd need to do is rig the opacity of the Matte group to a checkbox widget that turns it on and off.



BTW, it looks as though you're in danger of catching the compositing bug - so beware, if you're at all like me, you'll soon never want to work at anything else ;-)

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 24, 2014 at 4:32:26 pm

[Simon Ubsdell] "All you need to do it turn off this layer but use it as the clone source however many times are necessary to build the comp."

I see. So you CAN then clone source layers in an effect. Cool!

[Simon Ubsdell] "BTW, it looks as though you're in danger of catching the compositing bug - so beware, if you're at all like me, you'll soon never want to work at anything else ;-)"

Ha!

I primarily edit, but I have do a modicum of 'compositing' for various reasons. Color correction is a good reason, and then there's green screen work, imperfectly shot white screen, a lot of logo cover ups/blurs/legal erasures (involving tacking etc). All of that is technically compositing/matte creation, but it's not very fancy compared to this: http://vimeo.com/83506810). I do like to do it and I am always looking for more efficient and better quality ways to get things done.

If I were 20 years old, I'd pick up a copy of Smoke and get to work.


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Petter Stahre
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 23, 2014 at 8:58:38 am

Superb! Very interesting, since I've experimented a lot with finding the best keying software for FCPX.

I tend to use PHYX keyer mostly and sometimes the built in keyer.

But after this tutorial I might try Motion and make my own. It will be very interesting to see the forthcoming tutorials.

Thanks a lot!

Best,
Petter


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Simon Ubsdell
Re: Apple Motion Tutorial - how to key when the Apple keyer doesn't deliver
on Jan 23, 2014 at 9:50:44 am

[Petter Stahre] "Superb! Very interesting, since I've experimented a lot with finding the best keying software for FCPX.

I tend to use PHYX keyer mostly and sometimes the built in keyer.

But after this tutorial I might try Motion and make my own. It will be very interesting to see the forthcoming tutorials."


Thanks, Petter.

The Phyx keyer is pretty good from what I've been told, but even if you have access to the best keyers around, it's still extremely useful to know how to key in this fashion.

Even the awesomely good Keylight is sometimes not the perfect solution to a tricky key, or not the solution on its own - and then these techniques can save the day.

Every keying situation throws up different problems, so the more weapons you can have in your armoury the better prepared you'll be.

Incidentally it's really useful to know how to make procedural garbage mattes (covered in the next part of this tutorial) as well as Holdout Mattes as shown in this one (included in some versions of Keylight but not in most commercial keyers). You'll save yourself a ton of time if you can get these to work and get a better key most of the time.

Anyway, thanks very much for watching :)

Simon Ubsdell
http://www.tokyo-uk.com


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