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alan pover
shooting green screen outdoor
on Aug 19, 2010 at 4:10:44 pm

Hi all, I need some advice on shooting green screen outdoor. we are going to do a shot with the actor sitting on the sofa in front of the window, he is going to turn his head to look outside once in a while. Unfortunately, we need to replace the view outside with something else but keep the reflection of the interior at the same time. I am just wondering that do I need to put a green screen behind the window? If so, do I need to light it or I can just use natural light. I did a search in the forum, seems like natural light is not a good idea because apparently the sun moves.

Or is there a better way to do it. So far, the best location we could find, in terms of interior, is on the second floor, which I think it's a bit difficult to set up a 20 x 20 green screen. Any thoughts?

Thanks


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john sharaf
Re: shooting green screen outdoor
on Aug 19, 2010 at 5:44:01 pm

Alan,

Green screen can be lit by natural light, but either completely in the sun or completely in the shade. If it's backlit by the sun you'll need to layer a black solid behind it too. Often a "roof" is required to preserve and protect the lighting consistency. Sounds like a massive grip job to cover a second story window.

If camera shots are locked off, perhaps you can just "paper" the windows on the outside with green. Use the glass to carry the reflections your after and light carefully to minimize any shadows on the green paper (good luck!).

Find first story location!

JS



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Todd Terry
Re: shooting green screen outdoor
on Aug 19, 2010 at 6:12:47 pm

What John said...

Also, keep in mind, that since you said you wanted to retain the reflections in the glass, that you are looking at a very majorly tricky keying/matting job. That one is not for the faint of heart.

Two things in that instance... make absolutely sure your greenscreen is perfectly and evenly lit. Secondly, use the absolute best keying method at your disposal. In this case, that probably means Ultimatte, at minimum. The average built-in NLE keyer will in no way shape or form enable you to get a clean realistic key and maintain the reflections. With Ultimatte or better you might be able to pull it off, but even then it will be tricky and require some finesse.

You'll also want to make sure you are getting good reflections that you want to keep, and nothing else. This will mean that you'll need, I suppose, to make sure the back or side of the talent has good lighting that will create a desirable reflection. And black out everything else in the room so you don't get other random reflections that you don't want.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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alan pover
Re: shooting green screen outdoor
on Aug 19, 2010 at 8:08:20 pm

Thanks everyone and wow! I wasn't expecting to be this difficult, and sounds like the problem is retaining the reflection. Would it be easier if we forgot about the reflection? It's nice to have the reflection because it looks more realistic. But replacing the view outside is more important, perhaps losing the reflection would be a better solution?
I have spoken to the DoP, he said he is not going to use any light for the green screen because day light would be sufficient. I just worry that it's gonna be tricky to pull the matte later if we didn't light it evenly.
Is he right or am I thinking too much?


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Todd Terry
Re: shooting green screen outdoor
on Aug 19, 2010 at 8:22:22 pm

Losing the reflection would make things infinitely easier, as far as pulling a good key goes.

As far as the greenscreen goes...as always, lighting it evenly is the key. However, sunlight (whether in shade or direct) is just about the most possibly even light you can imagine.

I'd say the next issue would be lighting levels. Exterior levels on your greenscreen are likely to be waaaaaay hotter than your interior scene will be lit (especially if the greenscreen is in direct sunlight). You'll probably have to deal with that by gelling or screening the window, or using some big boy HMI lighting for the interior... or both.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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alan pover
Re: shooting green screen outdoor
on Aug 19, 2010 at 9:27:35 pm

Thanks for the lighting tips Todd! I am just wondering, if I don't need the shadow any more, maybe I don't need the green screen neither since the camera position is fixed, I can just put a mask on the window in post and put the new footage in(behind actually, since we'll be using AE). The only bit that I might need the green screen would be the a part of the window behind the talent.


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John Fishback
Re: shooting green screen outdoor
on Aug 20, 2010 at 9:54:25 pm

BTW the Keylight keyer in AfterFX is first rate. They have tutorials if you're unfamiliar with it.

John

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Dylan Hargreaves
Re: shooting green screen outdoor
on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:28:41 pm

This is probably long gone by now, but could be of use to the next person who has this problem.

Would it be possible to fake the reflection? If the shot was for example, over the talent's shoulder as they looked out the window and they kept fairly static, you could film the reverse shot, (in this case, straight at em) and position it with a bit of corner pinning and masking in post. Knock the opacity down, and hey presto, a reflection!

Obviously, if the talent was moving around then you'd have a bit of a challenge match moving, but still not impossible.

Other than that, I don't really see how you'd pull a successful key through a real reflection. That's got hair pulling out in the edit suite at 2am written all over it!


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