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Using Colors besides Blue and Green for Keying

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jason kurtisUsing Colors besides Blue and Green for Keying
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 3:45:58 pm

Hi Video Gurus!

I've come up against an interesting challenge with a video. We will be using a puppet in an upcoming production and it will most likely (at least in the current rendering) have both green (dominant) and blue (small patches) in its design. But we want to use a green- or bluescreen for portions of the show. Do any of you have any ideas of how we can make this work with the current color palate?

I know we can use other colors for the chromakey, but blue or green work best with compositing with humans because they are furthest from flesh tones on the color spectrum.

Any advice will be helpful. We have the ability to make the blue a very light blue. We could also propose eliminating blue from the design of the puppet, but then it will not be 100% accurate to the actual coloration of the animal that it represents (though we do have some leeway on this since animals don't normally talk, either). The client wants to hear options before we consider cutting the blue from the design.

I need to make a decision by the end of the day tomorrow, so please let me know what you think!

Many, many, many thanks, people!!!!


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Dave LaRondeRe: Using Colors besides Blue and Green for Keying
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 3:56:48 pm

You can pick any background color you want as long as the color does NOT show up in the subject, and it is as far away from the principal colors on a color wheel as you can get.

Here's an example: green is on one side of the color wheel, and magenta is on the other side. If you key a magenta object on green, you shouldn't have any worries. The converse is also true: a green object on a magenta background.




[jason kurtis] "I need to make a decision by the end of the day tomorrow, so please let me know what you think!"

Can you run a test with backgrounds of various colors? Something in the gold to red to magenta range?
And I hope you're using a camera with good color sampling (aka color resolution).

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


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Michael SzalapskiRe: Using Colors besides Blue and Green for Keying
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:04:23 pm

Do the humans and the puppet occupy the same space? You could have a green screen for the humans and a red screen for your puppet. Alternatively, you could have your puppet's blue or green areas be something wildly different which you then swing back to blue or green in post.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Using Colors besides Blue and Green for Keying
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:10:28 pm

Ooooh, I missed the possibility that humans may be interacting with this puppet. If it's a one-camera shoot, that means tricky dialogue timing when shooting. Not to mention shooting against two backgrounds.

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


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Darby EdelenRe: Using Colors besides Blue and Green for Keying
by on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:50:23 pm

[Michael Szalapski] "Alternatively, you could have your puppet's blue or green areas be something wildly different which you then swing back to blue or green in post."

This would be my suggestion. If your puppet is supposed to be primarily blue and green with little red, then consider using a green screen and creating a puppet that has a red (or other color, not green or any color you need to appear on your puppet: magenta?) instead of green. Then you can use Hue/Saturation to change the red to green after you've keyed.

A test might be in order :)

Darby Edelen


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