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Chroma Key and Video Resolution

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Aaron Ochsner
Chroma Key and Video Resolution
on Sep 24, 2014 at 9:13:58 pm

Let me start by warning you that I am a video production novice, and that I realize that I have a lot to learn yet...

I am using FCPX for chromakeying, and am observing what seems to be a decrease in resolution in my foreground footage after applying the key. The key itself is pretty clean (i.e. I've used the built-in tools in FCPX to fix any rough spots and smooth the edges of the subject), but after making adjustments, the subject itself appears to be at a lower resolution than the original footage.

I know that lighting and a smooth green screen are extremely important, but neither of those seem to be the issue (to me, the novice, anyway).

I am using a Sony Handycam HDR-CX240 (Codecs AVCHD, MPEG-4, AVC/H.264, MPEG-2). I've read that the codec can make a huge difference in keying, as can shooting in progressive or interlaced mode. Maybe I just need a camcorder upgrade though?

Any ideas of where I'm going wrong?

Also any reading material (not FCP specific) suggestions for video editing newbs like myself would be much appreciated. I REALLY need to learn more about codec, at this point I know next to nothing. I think I just need some more ideas of where to start learning... Thanks!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Chroma Key and Video Resolution
on Sep 25, 2014 at 2:23:17 pm

Well, if I'm doing greenscreen, I'd want to be in ProRes 422 or better for my codec, and I'd tell FCPX to convert the footage to that during import. You'll want to check to see exactly which codec you're working in.


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Aaron Ochsner
Re: Chroma Key and Video Resolution
on Oct 15, 2014 at 5:03:04 pm

Thanks for your reply, Mark...and sorry for the delayed response.

I know how to EXPORT from FCPX in different codecs, but cannot figure out how to import in a new codec.

Could I, for example, import an Mp4 or .mov into FCPX, and then export it immediately into ProRes422?

I'm sure there's a better method....

Again, can anyone suggest some good reading material about how different codecs and video formats work, and what their importance is with regard to filming and editing? Would really appreciate it.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Chroma Key and Video Resolution
on Oct 15, 2014 at 10:47:53 pm

There's a preference panel dialog you can change that tells FCPX what format to convert everything to on import, or to leave it as-is. I *think* the default there is proves 422 but don't quote me on that. Have a look-see in your Inspector when creating a new project/Library.


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