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Chroma Key

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Chris McKechnie
Chroma Key
on Mar 8, 2010 at 4:59:25 pm

Hey all! Just shot a green-screen project and was wondering if the AE's key light filter was better than FC7's chroma key?

Was wondering what the best way of going from FC, to AE, then back to FC without generation losses if that's the best way to go?

I have the latest FCS and CS4 Master Collection.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Chroma Key
on Mar 8, 2010 at 5:22:45 pm

I would recommend that you run a test with both keyers and see which one you like best. Personally, I think the FCP Chroma Keyer works really well for a lot of jobs. But it depends on the key. Best of luck and hope this helps.




Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Richard Gardner
Re: Chroma Key
on Mar 8, 2010 at 9:09:57 pm

As far as maintaining quality, open the raw footage directly in AE. When you are finished, export using the Animation codec. Hugh file, but worth it.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Chroma Key
on Mar 8, 2010 at 9:18:26 pm

Don't forget, if you want to keep the Alpha Channel (Transparency) set the Animation to Millions Colors +.




Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Chroma Key
on Mar 8, 2010 at 9:43:06 pm

[Stephen Smith] "Don't forget, if you want to keep the Alpha Channel (Transparency) set the Animation to Millions Colors +. "

ProRes 4444 has an alpha channel and plays in rt in FCP.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Chroma Key
on Mar 8, 2010 at 10:09:18 pm

Aw, jeez, if you're going to go to all the trouble to pull a key in After Effects, do the whole shot -- foreground AND background in AE! Quit screwin' around with this silly FCP-thinking!

In AE you can:
  • Color grade so that foreground and background look better together
  • Fake shadows to better integrate the subject with the background
  • Further sell the fact that subject and background belong together by creating light wrap
  • Time out motion graphics so it matches what the subject is doing and saying
  • Render in the codec of your FCP edit timeline--no rendering needed, no fooling with ProRes 4444

Now, if you're a big fan of the weatherman-with-radar-behind-him look, then pulling a key in AE and putting the alpha-channeled footage over any old background is just the thing for you. If you'd like to take a bold step out of the nineties, try doing the whole shot in AE.


There are those who would counter by saying, "Well, if I do it your way, I lose the flexibility to change backgrounds if I want."

I say, "Baloney! You're creating an effects shot, and if you're too disorganized to have overlooked the background until now, you shouldn't be doing the shot in the first place."

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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