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Green Screen Music Video

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kieran HumphriesGreen Screen Music Video
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:11:09 pm


I'm cutting a music video made entirely out of stuff filmed in front of a green screen and am trying to figure out the work flow that's going to be the easiest & most effective.

I've shot loads of different elements - wides of each member of the band, close ups of each instrument etc - and the idea is to comp them over one another to create a bit of a collage-feel.

Normally I would use a lot of trial and error when cutting a music video and this is fine in any offline editing suite (I'm using FCP). But in this case I also want to be able to get things looking slick and with lots of movement and animation (as in AE) I'm not sure about the best way of going about it. This is bearing in mind that my rushes also require a fair bit of matting (we had a small green screen), shot stabilization, as well as the keying. Then again, cutting to music/audio in AE can be a pain...

I've thought about a couple of options...

1) Prepping & keying most of my rushes in AE and making Quicktimes with alpha channels which I can then use to cut in FCP (before ultimately returning to AE to tidy it all up).
2) Cut the piece in AE with but to save in rendering issues and to make it a bit more fluid, use still images of each angle rather than video. And then make them video & in time once I'm happy with the cutting.

I'm not sure if either of those ideas are any good but it would be great to hear from someone who has a better solution or anyone who has worked on something similar.

Thanks, Kieran

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Tudor "Ted" JelescuRe: Green Screen Music Video
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:26:07 pm

FCP may not be the best editing program for this type of job. Premiere Pro will allow for a lot more control if you use Dynamic link. You can cut the footage in Premiere (for layered shots with more than one green screen comped together create their own Sequence and use that in the main Sequence) and then create AE comp for each shot. You can then do your fx in AE, save and the shot gets updated in Premiere. For real time preview you still have to render, so make sure you do your timings and cuts before that. In the end, if you need to tweak the cut you can still do it in Premiere.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist

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kieran HumphriesRe: Green Screen Music Video
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 1:30:11 pm

Thanks Ted. I did try using Premiere recently and dynamic link (when it worked) was a plus. On the whole I struggled with it though, so it would be good to hear other ideas if anyone else has any.

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Jeff BrownRe: Green Screen Music Video
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:00:30 pm

Another option (which you have probably considered) is to do a quick/dirty mask & key in FCP, so you can edit the collage sequences. Then do "proper" keys in AE once you have it close to locked.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Green Screen Music Video
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 2:49:22 pm

Here's my suggestion: edit your entire video, green screen shots only. Get the Person In Charge to sign off on your edit. Lock the edit: no more changes to shot selection, pacing, etc. Download Automatic Duck (free). Use it to get your FCP edit into AE; the entire FCP edit timeline comes in as an AE comp. Then pull your keys and add your backgrounds.

The downside: FCP & AE have to be installed on the same machine, or this workflow doesn't work.

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

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kieran HumphriesRe: Green Screen Music Video
by on Mar 23, 2012 at 3:21:22 pm

That sounds good...I'll give that a go.

Thanks for your suggestions (so far) guys!

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