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Why shoot footage for green screen sideways?

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Stuart SamuelsWhy shoot footage for green screen sideways?
by on May 24, 2011 at 12:38:23 pm

I see this a lot and assume there must be more benefit from turning the camera on its side than gaining a little hight in the frame.

A quick search through the cow forums revealed it has something to do with image resolution but could someone explain it to me in a little more detail? Im intrigued!

Cheers!


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Walter SoykaRe: Why shoot footage for green screen sideways?
by on May 24, 2011 at 2:01:24 pm

As you noted, rotating the camera 90º to shoot someone gives you more vertical resolution. Since people are taller than they are wide, shooting them landscape (16:9) is wasting a lot of horizontal resolution on the background.

Portrait (9:16) framing matches someone's body more closely, and it gives you a lot more flexibility in re-framing your shots when you comp them in later. If you want to reframe a landscape shot, you often have to scale it up past 100%, degrading the image.

Most portrait shoots actually need to be scaled down a bit to fit in the final landscape comp. If you want to reframe, you can simply leave the portrait version unscaled, or scale it down less than usual. Either way, you avoid the upscaling degradation you'd get with a landscape shot.

One important note that is too often overlooked -- rotating the camera 90º means that the interlacing will also be rotated, so take care during the shoot and during post. Of course, this is not a concern with progressive video.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Darby EdelenRe: Why shoot footage for green screen sideways?
by on May 24, 2011 at 2:54:05 pm

[Walter Soyka] "One important note that is too often overlooked -- rotating the camera 90º means that the interlacing will also be rotated, so take care during the shoot and during post."

Just a follow up on this point. When you bring the interlaced footage into AE it doesn't matter how the camera was oriented when it was shot, the interlacing lines are always lined up in the same orientation relative to the frame of video. The subject may be rotated 90° but as long as you remove the interlacing (as you should with any interlaced footage in AE) everything should work out just fine.

I'm guessing Walter was just reminding you to remove the interlacing, which is a step you never want to skip when working with interlaced footage :)

Darby Edelen


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Walter SoykaRe: Why shoot footage for green screen sideways?
by on May 24, 2011 at 4:05:31 pm

[Darby Edelen] "I'm guessing Walter was just reminding you to remove the interlacing, which is a step you never want to skip when working with interlaced footage :)"

Yup -- Darby said it much more elegantly than I did.

You should always separate fields [link] when working with interlaced video in AE. If you want interlaced output, you should render with fields. Doing both of these will ensure that everything outputs properly.

If you're doing other work outside of AE, just remember to be very careful that you handle the interlacing properly in your other apps, too.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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