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Smooth out background matte

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Stef Allan
Smooth out background matte
on Aug 29, 2013 at 7:17:50 pm

Hello,

I'm trying to create a background matte for a presentation I shot. I'd like it to be nice and smooth over the course of the whole frame but can't figure out how to do it. What I've done so far is just copy and paste a band but the edges of each layer are not smooth.

I've posted a screenshot that will illustrate the problem. Any help would be great, thank you!


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Stef Allan
Re: Smooth out background matte
on Aug 29, 2013 at 7:52:41 pm

This is in FCP7. I also do have Photoshop, etc. if the answer is there.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Smooth out background matte
on Aug 29, 2013 at 7:59:25 pm

Not really sure what you mean here: a matte would be a high-contrast B&W image designed to create transparency where it's black.

Instead, I see an image that could be fixed just by making a dark gray solid to use as a background. It would be absolutely featureless. Is that what you need?

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


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Stef Allan
Re: Smooth out background matte
on Aug 29, 2013 at 8:11:32 pm

It can't be featureless because there is some texture (mostly digital noise behind the speaker. I'm basically trying to create a clean background that I can matte over the slide screen.



Here's a blank version of the set…I'm trying to grab a column of clean background between the screen and the table to create a frame with which I can cover the screen. I haven't found a good way to do that.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Smooth out background matte
on Aug 29, 2013 at 8:47:15 pm

I had this exact problem, more than once, and what I did was to export a high-rez still (TIF or TARGA) into photoshop, then use the cloning brush to carry the same shades and grain patterns across out to the edges. Re-import that into a new layer, use the crop controls, or the 4-point masking tool you're using, with feathering turned up, and the blend looks good.


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Stef Allan
Re: Smooth out background matte
on Aug 29, 2013 at 8:52:52 pm

Mark, this is awesome. Thank you so much.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Smooth out background matte
on Aug 29, 2013 at 9:39:50 pm

Pay it forward, and help someone else when you can.


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Stef Allan
Re: Smooth out background matte
on Aug 30, 2013 at 5:07:04 pm

Another question follows here. THere is some noise in the shot that I have to replicate in the new background. I'm trying to use the "Add Noise" filter in FCP. I'm getting close but it really is quite a challenge. Is this the best way to achieve the desired result or should I try something else?

Thank you all


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Mark Suszko
Re: Smooth out background matte
on Aug 30, 2013 at 6:24:45 pm

You're probably doing all you can. There are other plug-ins that duplicate or simulate film grain.

If you could find another clean section of footage with the grain, maybe you could try to luma-key it onto some green, then chromakey it, or just take the short sample of clean grain and loop it, changing the blending (compositing) mode to overlay or screen.

I would just get it as close as you dare, then when you add your spokesperson or graphics to it, mix in some gaussian blur to the background layer, which helps hide your grain mis-match and also suggests to the eye that your lens has thrown the background out of focus due to depth of field.


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