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kelly armstrong
black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 2:50:11 pm

Hello,

I have to re-edit a music video however the footage reveals that the singer is in front of a black screen.

The client wants outer-space to be composited behind her but i've never worked with black screen before and am completely unsure on what to do.


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Rafael Amador
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 3:06:52 pm

[kelly armstrong] "I have to re-edit a music video however the footage reveals that the singer is in front of a black screen.

The client wants outer-space to be composited behind her but i've never worked with black screen before and am completely unsure on what to do."

Black screen or has already been keyed an Alpha channel?
Which codec is the footage?
Anyway, put some picture on layer 1 and the video in layer 2. See if has transparence.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Hariharan Swaminathan
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 3:10:19 pm

You really don't have to be an expert to work with chroma key as long as footage has a background with clean flat lighting. It should be either green or blue. The reason for that is, usually subject's costume will not have those colors on them so software won't take portion of it.

So I don't believe in just green or blue. Black should be fine, but pls make sure you dont' key out any part of the singer if she happens to have black color in her dress.

If that happens to be the case, you need to mask her first and then start keying. It's a very tedious job since this is a music video i assume the motion will be lot. Motion tracking requires lot of keyframes.

If all is ruled out, keyout is just a matter of clicking and a little bit of color tweaking to fine tune it. In final cut pro you can use chroma keyer, or dv matte etc plugins. There are many out there.

If you have after effects it has a inbuilt plugin which is pretty straight forward and do a wonderful job.

Here is a video for final cut keyout:





I did one myself recently for my company. I did this with home depot lights and it worked very well. Here is the link if incase you might be interested


| Hariharan Swaminathan |
photographer | film maker
http://www.filmmaker.me
http://www.vimeo.com/ihariharan
http://www.youtube.com/ihariharan


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Dave LaRonde
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 7:02:37 pm

I concur about the chroma key. Working with a black background is a crap shoot at its absolute best.

Even so, you'll want to run chroma key tests if you're new to it.

Know that good lighting for chroma key is absolutely essential, and that shooting in the best-quality codec you can helps deliver a cleaner key.

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


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kelly armstrong
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 8:25:20 pm

Basically the artist was shot in front of a black sheet, stretched tightly.

I've chroma keyed in Final Cut before, which has the clear green or blue option.

However, looking at it now there is no black option, or black gradient to select. I've tried changing the composite modes but that doesn't help either.

Any advice?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 9:16:18 pm

You may not be able to do this in FCP.

This shot falls into the realm of special effects, and such things are planned out for ease of execution in post. This sounds like someone said, "We'll fix it in post", a phrase that is to be dreaded.

Depending on how much black is on the subject, you MIGHT be able to create a matte you can use to isolate the subject on a separate layer, behind which you can put an outer space view.

If you have -- and KNOW -- Motion or After Effects, you'd be more successful using either one. If you don't know the applications already, you face a steep uphill climb just to fix a shot.

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


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kelly armstrong
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 9:31:32 pm

That's what I thought.

I do know after effects so I might have to do something in there but I don't really have the time.

The head on shot is pretty basic, so I guess my best bet is to mask around the artist while she sings, and put my background behind her?


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Dave LaRonde
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 9:38:34 pm

How accurate does this mask have to be? The more accurate, the longer it will take... especially if you have to animate it.

If you have AE CS5 or later, you have Rotobrush, which would probably work well in this case. Don't try to use it intuitively -- it won't work. Look at instructions & tutorials.

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


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kelly armstrong
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 9:46:38 pm

Is there a way to turn the black into an alpha channel? I only have two days to edit the entire video so roto brushing is just not an option unfortunately...


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Dave LaRonde
Re: black screen question
on Sep 16, 2012 at 10:01:48 pm

It depends on the overall contrast range of the shot(s). Nobody's seen a screen grab so the following is just speculation.

Assuming the subject has no areas that are as black as the background, you can use AE to create a matte. The Extract effect should be able to get you most of the way there. You can also animate garbage mattes on solids for problem areas... provided they're not at the edges.

And if a little falloff at the edges of the subject is no big deal, it will be a lot easier & faster.

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


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Bret Williams
Re: black screen question
on Sep 17, 2012 at 1:53:43 am

Have you tried a screen composite mode? If its zero black (and a sheet won't be) then it'll work well.

Also try a basic luma key.


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Michael Gissing
Re: black screen question
on Sep 17, 2012 at 5:24:30 am

+1 for Luma key. Unlikely to work well without matteing as he talent is likely to have something that is black.

There is no black option in chroma key as black is the absence of both luma and chroma.


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Mark Suszko
Re: black screen question
on Sep 17, 2012 at 1:57:23 pm

Try a luma key on it, also play with the blending/composite modes. If you're going to replace the black with more black (space), a rough matte might get you there. You can't chromakey black, but you can use the extract tool from AE or photoshop on it. You might also try applying a batch action to an image stack in photoshop.

The director/producer for this job needs a dope slap on the back of their head: they really didn't know what they were asking of you when they shot this in this way.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: black screen question
on Sep 17, 2012 at 5:01:34 pm

[Mark Suszko] "The director/producer for this job needs a dope slap on the back of their head..."

Indeed. The act is theraputic for the effects person and instructional for the producer.

A win-win, and fun to do!

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


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