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Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen

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kat hayes
Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 8, 2009 at 11:14:32 pm

I am going to shoot video of myself in front of a green screen and later composite in different backgrounds.

One of the things I want to do is to demonstrate different items, so I want to build a custom table that I will stand in front of that the items ranging from ipods to computers will sit on top of.

Since I am doing this in front of a green screen, I want to know what types of materials I should avoid or what else I need to be aware of when designing this table.

I will be using Kinos and DVCPRO HD.

Thanks for any help!!!



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Rick Wise
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 8, 2009 at 11:48:49 pm

Shiny surfaces are you enemy when it comes to green screen. The reason? The surfaces reflect some of the green, and your key shows up in those reflections. So you would want your table surface to be mat, not shiny, and preferably across the color wheel from green (reds, oranges, magenta, purple.)

But your ipods and computers will all have hard, reflective surfaces. Have some dulling spray and spray them well. (But beware of finger marks now showing up....)

Place your table and objects as far forward of the screen as physically possible. Note that you do not need to have the green screen cover to the edges of the frame unless you enter/exit during the shot, or your hands/arms cross to the edges. Block off with mat black (dubetine) as much of the green screen as you can on left, right, top, bottom. That will reduce the reflective possibilities. In post you can add in green ("garbage mat") the black parts, and then pull a clean key.

Give yourself and your objects a very soft, wide back light with some 1/4 or 1/8 minus-green (magenta.) Or else, place two 3/4 backlights (soft w/light magenta) on each side.

Beware of a shiny floor. It could kick green into the underside of your objects. Lay dubetine all over the floor behind you.

Since you are shooting yourself, you have a particularly difficult problem: no one to ride herd on the image and warn you of bad reflections.



Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Dennis Size
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 9, 2009 at 2:33:55 am

Rick means DUVETYNE (available in NYC at ROSEBRAND)
Black COMMANDO CLOTH also works great and is cheaper usually.
Don't forget white and/or silver surfaces are just as bad as any reflective surfaces (because they are reflectors). Avoid them

DS



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Rick Wise
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 9, 2009 at 4:59:03 pm

Thank you, Dennis. Rick is now returning to second grade where he hopes to perfect his spelling.

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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kat hayes
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 10, 2009 at 6:40:19 am

Hi guys,

Thanks for your responses! I apologize in advance for all of the questions.

I was actually going to create an industrial look by getting metal type materials and placing it over a wood table. Similar in design as to what you see here: http://www.chipotle.com/#/flash/restaurants_design Based on what you told me, I guess I need to rethink my approach.

1.) What do you mean by "preferably across the color wheel from green (reds, oranges, magenta, purple.)" Why?

2.) How effective are "dulling spray?" Should this be used on everything that is displayed in front of the green screen?

3.)My arms might extend during some of the shoots, so I was planning to have the green screen extend through the frame and I was going to garbage matte out the parts I do not need in post. Does having the extra green make much a difference to where I should block it out during the shoot?

4.) I know how to garbage matte out parts I do not want, what do you mean by adding in green?

5.) Why do you recommend the very soft, wide back light?

Thank you!!!!!





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Rick Wise
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 10, 2009 at 4:58:55 pm

Industrial look: go for it. Just make sure your table is not shiny. Or, try shiny, look closely at the set without you in it. If you see green contamination, try dulling spray. (http://www.filmtools.com/kryldulspray.html)

1) Color wheel. Do a GoogleSearch. Take a look.

2) Dulling sprays can be effective, especially with repeated layers, after the previous one drys. However, it is very easy to wipe off the spray. Not a cure-all. Just one more tool to work with.

3)The more green behind you, the more possibility of reflection on the set. Obviously if your arms may extend outside the frame, you need green fully to the left and right. Maybe not so much on top and bottom.

4)I am not a post FX editor, though I do a lot of "regular" editing. my understanding, limited as it is, is that when you garbage mat, you fill in the area with a green that matches your main green screen. When all green elements are of the same color and intensity, you can pull your key cleanly.... maybe.

5)Back light. Probably it will be easier and possibly more effective for you to have two back lights, each coming 3/4 back, with some minus green to counter green contamination. You do NOT want a hot rim -- deadly to a key. Very soft, very light, just enough. Try it and see what works best for you.

At the heart of all lighting is training your eye to really see. It takes years. You never stop learning. Try. Experiment. Fail. Learn. Succeed!

Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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Alan Lloyd
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 10, 2009 at 5:38:24 pm

Actually, a "garbage matte" is done in post, and is just masking out an area that does not get any rendered keying. Done with masks in After Effects, for example.


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Rick Wise
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 10, 2009 at 6:47:26 pm

Ah, another reason to return to 2nd grade spelling: it's "garbage matte", not garbage mat.

As for the statement: [Alan Lloyd] "is just masking out an area that does not get any rendered keying." My understanding, perhaps limited, is that a garbage matte can be used in two ways: to exclude an area from the key, or else to include an area to be keyed. In the latter case, one would fill in the area with matching green/blue, depending on the screen used. On the many green/blue screens I've shot, the director often says, "we'll garbage matte that area" meaning that light stands, flags, whatever that is visible in the frame will later be removed with a garbage matte and replaced with a green that matches the main green. The only time that will not work is when an actor or object crosses in front or behind some "garbage."



Rick Wise
director of photography
San Francisco Bay Area
and part-time instructor lighting and camera
grad school, SF Academy of Art University/Film and Video
http://www.RickWiseDP.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/rwise
email: Rick@RickWiseDP.com


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John Fishback
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 10, 2009 at 7:26:31 pm

Think of garbage mattes as a way to cut up the image - like making a jigsaw puzzle, only hopefully, with not too many pieces. I've used them to exclude areas from a key. So, if you had a device with a green reflection on your table, you could use a garbage matte around it so nothing would be keyed in the green area. Of course, you'd still see the green. Another way to use them is when you have an unevenly lit green screen. You break up the frame into sections and key each separately. By feathering the edges, the various keys join together seamlessly. This is also helpful when you have tenuous edges like hair. I suggest you shoot a test and try to key. Use the test to help determine light and camera placement. For instance, a higher camera will see less of the green screen and more of the table. And if you shoot from your POV, you won't see any green - just table and, perhaps, some floor in front of it.

John

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Dennis Size
Re: Advice for set decorations to work with lighting and green screen
on Oct 11, 2009 at 3:42:52 am

ONE NOTE: You would find it very helpful if you put your self (and your table) 10 to 15 feet in front of your green screen. The separation will solve a lot of possible problems and will be your best friend.

DS



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