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bluescreen nightmare

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Steve GERGESbluescreen nightmare
by on Jan 12, 2012 at 3:47:33 pm

i'm actually working on a bluescreen shot driving me crazy (see image). The problem is that the shot is done and there was no VFX supervisor at the shooting (it is a no budget movie)so i have to find a solution anyway... the problem in this case is the DOF on the cigar.. i do get a good key with primatte but the blurry edge of the cigar disappears as it crosses the TV (key) i couldn't figure out a solution for the whole day... so i'm asking for any good tips/ideas in here..... hope anyone comes up with a good solution (i'm sure anyone will!)

Steve - Art Director -

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Dave LaRondeRe: bluescreen nightmare
by on Jan 12, 2012 at 4:20:11 pm

Congratulations on pulling an acceptable chroma key from a blue screen that isn't very blue. I bet that took a bit of work!

Since it sounds like this problem affects just a tiny bit of footage, go for rotoscoping. Duplicate the footage, remove the key effect from the top layer and trim it up so that you work only with the problem area. Now make a couple of masks: one is hard edged to limit the amount of the shot you see, and one is feathered to match the amount of blur caused by the soft focus. Animate them both to follow the motion of the cigar.

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

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: bluescreen nightmare
by on Jan 12, 2012 at 5:07:55 pm

Or, you can try a Color Range Key since the tones in the screen are quite distinct from anything else in the shot. This will allow for a pretty good selection of the screen. Then you can do a planar track with Mocha, comp the footage you want in the screen on top (mask that to have the lower left corner cut and feathered to match the cigar) and then color correct the blue underneath using your key to match the tomes in the screen on top and avoid any blue spill.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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Daniel WaldronRe: bluescreen nightmare
by on Jan 12, 2012 at 9:07:54 pm

I don't know how long the shot is, but if the cigar is only in that corner of the screen, I would just rotoscope it. Shouldn't take long at all. Like Dave said, duplicate it, keyframe a mask around the cigar, then play around with the feathering to make it look pretty.

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Steve GERGESRe: bluescreen nightmare
by on Jan 13, 2012 at 8:54:15 am

Thanks for everybodys input... i was hoping for a one click solution (as usual) but a combination of all your methods did work out:

Rotoscope a mask around the cigar, feather it, tritone on the image to get the blue of the screen to take the cigar color, added some blur and some noise to match the original noise in the image ;)

Steve - Art Director -

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Andrew SomersRe: bluescreen nightmare
by on Jan 15, 2012 at 10:47:22 pm

The late great Ultimatte Advantedge was good at handling this kind of thing all by itself (sad that ultimatte discontinued support) - IMO Primatte and Keylight are less effective as "one click" plug ins. Instead, use Primatte or Keylight to generate mattes, and then use those mattes as alpha channels and/or in precomps using various transfer modes as needed for color suppression in transparent and soft objects.

For a non - roto approach, see this tutorial that is very useful for blurry and transparent objects:

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Steve GERGESRe: bluescreen nightmare
by on Jan 23, 2012 at 8:57:14 am

i'm getting back on this as i'm struggling with another shot and don't want to open up a new thread.

The thing is: I do have this white corner/track marks placed on the screen that need to be removed. The guys in charge of the shooting were not very clever to use white duct tape as the actor on the right has white hair and alot of white in his clothing. Anyway... both of the actors do get in front of the screen and do move alot (motion blur)

I did try several techniques to get a mask to clear the tracking point out to no success (i did track the shot in mocha for ae with a shape to remove them) this does work to some extent but not when the guys get in front of them (as i colorized the shapes the same coulour as the screen)... i hope this makes sense.

I did try to paint / mask them out by hand but as there is a lot of movement from the actors the mask getts all jittery and not clean (and the shot is 800 frames long, so it's quite a pain in the a**)....

does anyone have a clever / simple solution on how to get rid of thes trackers .... !?? any help greatly appreciated...

Steve - Art Director -

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Ross ShainRe: bluescreen nightmare
by on Jan 23, 2012 at 5:18:10 pm

Some quick mocha tips.

You can create a track layer for the monitor and then add a new track layer above that layer for each actor in the foreground. Set up your layers in mocha like this: furthest from camera goes in bottom, closest at top. Then re-track. This should allow the monitor layer to track through.

It looks like the wood beam "may" almost be on the same relative plane as the monitor. Adding s 2nd contour to that monitor layer, a small shape for the upper left beam corner, might assist if the actors obscure the monitor too much.

Lastly, you may want to check out mocha Pro which would allow a clean frame to be imported and automate the task of removing the markers. This tut might help:

Best of luck,

Imagineer Systems

Ross Shain
Imagineer Systems

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Tye ZahariaRe: bluescreen nightmare
by on Aug 25, 2012 at 11:30:33 pm

I'm not sure if you are still looking for any assistance with this or similar issues but I've found Matte Choker in Ae to be incredibly useful and efficient with getting rid of my white trackers on a blue screen.

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