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White cyc with compositing, half white cyc, half green screen

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Graham Hutchins
White cyc with compositing, half white cyc, half green screen
on Aug 1, 2011 at 5:37:58 pm

Hello all,

We have an upcoming studio shoot and the majority of our live action subjects need to live in a infinite white space, so go with a white cyc, no brainer right?

The issue is that we will need to incorporate pretty heavily motion graphics/CG/animation and comp more or less every shot with actors in it, so go with a green screen cyc, right?

The issue is that we'd like to capture the practical shadows of our subjects on the white floor, but still have the flexibility to comp in elements behind our subjects as well as move them around in virtual space.

One solution that my creative team, who, by the way, are by no means CG or compositing experts, came up with was to have the bottom half of the studio painted white with a white cyc and then have the top half painted green. This doesn't seem like a very practical solution to me, given the crazy amounts of spill that will thrown onto a white floor.

So apart from a ridiculous amount of roto in a completely white space, how do I achieve the flexibility in comping I need from a green screen? I'm playing around with the idea of using a difference matte and shooting locked off plates to pull out our shadows, but I'm not really 100% confident that would really work.

We're shooting on a VariCam 3700 out via dual link 444 to a cinedeck to prores 4444 and our DP is very experienced with shooting green screens, so I'm not too concerned about getting clean data. I'd like to get a handle on what I need to be pushing for before anyone goes off and paints a half green, half white room and leaves me with a bunch of footage I can't use.

Thank you for your time.

-Graham

OSX 10.6.8
AE CS5
FC Studio 3
Octo 2.26GB MacPro, 16 GB RAM


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Dave LaRonde
Re: White cyc with compositing, half white cyc, half green screen
on Aug 1, 2011 at 9:15:27 pm

[Graham Hutchins] "So apart from a ridiculous amount of roto in a completely white space, how do I achieve the flexibility in comping I need from a green screen?"

I expect you'll have sufficient contrast between subject and background to take advantage of a tool new to recent AE versions.

You run out and buy After Effects 10.5, aka CS5.5. You learn how to use the Rotobrush feature. It is NOT intuitive to use, so you absolutely need to read up on its use in AE's online help, and watch the rotobrush tutorials on the Adobe web site.

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


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Graham Hutchins
Re: White cyc with compositing, half white cyc, half green screen
on Aug 1, 2011 at 9:41:59 pm

Hi Dave,

I'm on CS5 at the moment. Is there an appreciable difference between the rotobrush tool in CS5.5 compared to CS5?

I'm familiar with the tool, although I haven't really dug deep into it just yet.

Thanks.

-Graham

OSX 10.6.8
AE CS5
FC Studio 3
Octo 2.26GB MacPro, 16 GB RAM


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Dave LaRonde
Re: White cyc with compositing, half white cyc, half green screen
on Aug 1, 2011 at 9:55:47 pm

Nope. No difference in how it works between AE 10 & 10.5.

If you can shoot a little test footage, you ought to be able to tell very quickly whether it will do the job for you. Don't forget: it isn't intuitive to use. If you just try using it you'll get stumped fast.

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


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Graham Hutchins
Re: White cyc with compositing, half white cyc, half green screen
on Aug 1, 2011 at 10:16:24 pm

Yeah, test footage would be nice. Unfortunately we don't own the camera and the space we're using is rented.

I'll see what I can get together between now and next week.

Right now I can work with some royalty free stock footage of some white screens, though they're all photo-jpeg quicktimes, so not exactly the same as what we're capturing.

Thanks.

-Graham

OSX 10.6.8
AE CS5
FC Studio 3
Octo 2.26GB MacPro, 16 GB RAM


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Walter Soyka
Re: White cyc with compositing, half white cyc, half green screen
on Aug 2, 2011 at 1:43:32 am

[Graham Hutchins] "One solution that my creative team, who, by the way, are by no means CG or compositing experts, came up with was to have the bottom half of the studio painted white with a white cyc and then have the top half painted green. This doesn't seem like a very practical solution to me, given the crazy amounts of spill that will thrown onto a white floor."

I would be really, really unexcited about this workflow.

I'd rather do full green-screen and fake the shadows.

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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