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Using masks and Chroma-keying to make a person look like they are sat in a boat.. to be specific!

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Charlie ReaderUsing masks and Chroma-keying to make a person look like they are sat in a boat.. to be specific!
by on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:33:27 am

Hi Guys,

I'm making a music video for a client. The idea is to create lots of mini sets out of cardboard and craft materials etc film them as plates and then place a character within the sets by shooting the character on greenscreen.

At one point, the character is sat in a rowing boat. Really, I want the rowing boat to fit the theme of the rest of the set and looks like its been made out of cardboard so I thought we could just film the mini fake boat as a plate at the correct angle and then place the character in the boat.

Heres a link to some images from the storyboard that show you what I mean: 3057_screenshot20111011at01.05.03.png.zip

(fyi, we're using Veescope Live to chroma-key live so we can see what the character looks like in relation to the set plates as we shoot)

The problem is, making the character actually look like they are sat in a boat by using green screen seems quite hard as the sides of the boat would have to sit around the character.. the character just cant sit on top of the image.

So I was wondering if anyone knew a way we could shoot the mini boat and then mask areas out or position the sides of the boat in after effects that we can place them around the character so it doesnt look like he's just sitting/hovering on an image of a boat.

Obviously, the best way to do it would be to shoot the character in an actual boat in front of the green screen. But we do not have an actual boat and it would also break away from the artificial world we want to create.

I hope that makes sense! If not, please do ask for a better explanation as I really need some help with this!!

Much appreciated!


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Using masks and Chroma-keying to make a person look like they are sat in a boat.. to be specific!
by on Oct 11, 2011 at 6:13:00 am

It's refreshing to see planning ahead of the shoot! I do not see an issue with shooting the way you described. You will need to sandwich the person in between two layers of the boat. Cut a mask on the top layer to isolate the front part of the boat and you'll get what you need.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Charlie ReaderRe: Using masks and Chroma-keying to make a person look like they are sat in a boat.. to be specific!
by on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:06:46 pm

haha well its one of those shoots where a lot of things could go wrong so I really want to make sure everything is sorted before we get in the studio.

That's good to hear. I was worried about the perspective if we used a mask but after drawing it out like you said I think I can see how we'd get the character to sit in front of the image when shooting the green-screen.

Feeling a bit more confident now, thanks!


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Walter SoykaRe: Using masks and Chroma-keying to make a person look like they are sat in a boat.. to be specific!
by on Oct 11, 2011 at 2:24:41 pm

What I would worry about is the interior of the boat -- your storyboard shows the camera looking over the edge and into the boat. You may need to build some of that out for your green-screen shoot, and composite the person and the bench into the shot.

This may make matching perspective a little harder.

If you're doing any sort of camera move on the green screen, you'll want to track it, and it will complicate the shot a bit more.

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
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Charlie ReaderRe: Using masks and Chroma-keying to make a person look like they are sat in a boat.. to be specific!
by on Oct 11, 2011 at 3:07:13 pm

Yeah that I was worrying about that as well. I may adjust the shot slightly so its lower and looking over the front side of the boat but not into the boat itself.

The first shot does look straight down into the boat. I'm thinking I'll have to take some material into the studio and composite the bench onto the shot.

There is no camera movement, fortunately!


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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Using masks and Chroma-keying to make a person look like they are sat in a boat.. to be specific!
by on Oct 11, 2011 at 4:05:41 pm

Do not forget that since it is chroma and you will composite all elements in post, you can always create simple camera moves. If you want to do more complex camera moves that reveal the three dimensionality of the objects, you can always use Free Form like in this tutorial:
http://library.creativecow.net/jelescu_tudor/3D-from-2D-image_AE/1

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Charlie ReaderRe: Using masks and Chroma-keying to make a person look like they are sat in a boat.. to be specific!
by on Oct 13, 2011 at 12:17:22 am

Yeah I think I will add some handheld movement in post. Thanks for the link- a very interesting tutorial


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