Green screen/green suit shoot
I'm posting this in a couple of relevant forums, since this is a question that could be answered from both a production and post production point of view. :)
I've done a fair bit of green screen shooting in the past, but in a few weeks I'm going to be trying something new, at least new to me.
I'm going to be shooting an actor wearing a green suit. Not to get into too many unecessary details but the actor will be interacting with objects and other actors. Sort of an invisible man kind of effect. Example: lifting a mug from the table in front of an actor.
So my plan is to shoot a clean background plate of the set (or in some cases shoot the other actors with the background set) then shoot our "green man" on the set doing his actions. Then key out the green suit in post.
What I'm wondering is whether it'd be easier/cleaner to shoot the "green man" against a green screen. I was thinking that if the objects and actors he's interacting with are actually on set the effect will look more realistic when composited. Rather than trying to make them appear to be in the scene, they ARE in the scene.
But then again, lighting will be very important and it might be hard to light a scene on set that will also give me clean keys on the "green man".
Any thoughts on the best way to approach this?
I wouldn't do a full alternate greenscreen shoot (in a different space or different studio), as you'll be fighting to exactly match your lighting...
But I would take a "two take" approach to the shoot. I'd shoot a take with your greensuited actor doing the business with whatever props... then I'd shoot an alternate take, exactly same position, blocking, etc., but adding a greenscreen in the same space. It can be a small popup greenscreen, held in by a crew member... it only has to be big enough to cover the moving prop and a little bit of the surrounding space (your crew member could walk with it if the green dude is moving a prop from one side of the set to another, for example). In post you would just garbage matte out everything the small greenscreen doesn't cover, and replace that with your clean background plate.
It might be that shooting with just the greensuit is more than sufficient and clean...but an alternate take with a larger greenscreen would be insurance.
And I'm sure you know this, but depending on how you light and block your shots one of the real hurdles will be dealing with shadows... and whether your green guy casts any either on the props themselves or on any part of the set that is in frame. That could make for a lot of garbage matting in post (and using your clean plate as a source), but it could be done.
Obviously this all means using a locked down camera (and no riding focus or any other camera changes), unless you are using some pretty sophisticated motion control rigs, etc.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
I'm thinking a test shoot might be in order... The portable pop up green screen is something I hadn't considered. That might come in handy in some instances.
The video is a dramatic piece, and the scene takes place in a bar. Which makes lighting for the scene while also lighting for the chroma key extra fun. Maybe I could light it all with some minus greens and colour correct in post...
I think I need to do a test shoot. :)