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Compensating for VERY Tan Clients

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Rudy Harris
Compensating for VERY Tan Clients
on May 11, 2011 at 1:59:01 pm

One of the regular assignments that my company shoots, is grown somewhat stale. In the beginning it was just make it look acceptable, now we are wanting to make it superb and struggling a bit for a two reasons.

1) Its shot on our green screen cyc wall, full head to toe, vertically, allowing the editors to push in and out as they see fit and gets us away from having to shoot a wide and a tight. ISSUE* The reflection of green under the chin. We have basically got a handle on this one, but curios to know opinions on how you would solve it.

2) The host of this segment is tan. Like, really tan. Very bright too, not the browning kind, but the vibrant oragne-ish kind of tan. We are shooting all tungsten per our grid is set up as such, but we are struggling with his skin tones. When an average skin-tone steps in, the colors look totally fine...But with their skin tone, its like oompa loompa. Any tips on how you would solve this issue? Gelling the key lights?

Any tips out there?


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Mark Suszko
Re: Compensating for VERY Tan Clients
on May 11, 2011 at 4:27:29 pm

Turn down the chroma on the camera a little, maybe... or you can do that in post, with a pass thru Apple Color or the 3-way color corrector.

As to the chin, I would try a reflector card on the floor to bounce some fill, or lay down black paper in the area where the spill happens, to suppress spill, then just mask that out with a garbage matte. (offer void if talent is Bruce Campbell)

I'm curious: you say you shoot everything on one wide master, I'm assuming in HD, then generating your tighter shots and zooms in post by scaling and cropping that wide shot. Is your final product standard def, then? Or still HD? IS it for broadcast or web and in what format? This may be important regarding your "carrot man" effect, Because if Speaker Snooky Hamilton has a high chroma component, working in a codec with less chroma information like the DV codec will be hurting not just your keying, but all color rendition and fidelity. So, what codec do you shoot in, and what codec do you edit and display in?


One last item: while your edits will look superclean in a match sense by cutting tight and wide from the exact same master shot, and I myself have used the technique a time or two, there *is* a subtle difference in visual effect by actually changing up camera position and shooting a second take dollied inwards, versus zooming or scaling and cropping. Your dimensional relationshipsm in the frame take on a subtle change. It may not be anything the audience consciously notices... I remember one of my college Tv teachers struggling mightily to make the class understand the difference between a zoomed closeup, and a dolly-derived closeup... but ask yourself:

...if Hollywood guys with the budget to do it right, don't often choose use your technique,... why would that be, do you reckon?


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Rudy Harris
Re: Compensating for VERY Tan Clients
on May 11, 2011 at 7:46:19 pm

We already are doing the card on the floor thing, and it works fine...Just am curious if someone has any nifty tricks on that to add to our arsenal.

We shoot this client the way we shoot for multiple reasons...First being a small budget and small time frame to shoot and edit. We dont have the time to shoot wides and tights per their conflicts, and we dont wanna take the extra time in post either...small as it may be. These are very very cookie cutter.

We shoot with the camera in a vertical portrait position. This allows us to have ample zoom ability. The spots are aired in Standard (budget). Since we shoot them in HD and vertically, once the image is put into a standard def horizontal (landscape) frame, the editor can then just scale up the video without loosing any loss in rez.

The Chroma idea would ultimately just hurt us I would think, we arent shooting in 4:4:4 so for us to basically almost desaturate the image, would hurt the keying ability.

What Im more interested in is if anyone has had issues with this specifically and knows some lighting tricks to help the skin tone in production, and not in post.


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