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Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen

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christina ruleTips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 2:32:22 am

Hello,
I have some footage that I'm keying out and one of the subject in the shot has very pal skin and blonde hair. I'm having such a hard time getting a good key without making her look like she's a sea sick ghost. Any tips? The camera quality isn't that great and the lighting could have been a lot better for her skin tone.

Thanks

http://www.christinarule.com


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Dave LaRondeRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 2:04:06 pm

[christina rule] " The camera quality isn't that great and the lighting could have been a lot better for her skin tone. "

Ouch. You have two strikes against you. If you could post a screenshot, it would help people make recommendations.

Generally, such problems can be helped by isolating the problem area with an animated garbage matte and pulling a separate key for it.

Are you well-versed in using Keylight, or is this your first attempt at using it. Keylight isn't the most intuitive keyer in the world, but it is a good one.

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


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Dave LaRondeRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 5:00:24 pm

Sorry, I tried to speed read and it failed. I saw "Green Screen" and "Blonde Hair" and immediately thought "Keying Problem".

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


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keith mcgregorRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 4:55:37 pm

Well, first pre-treat the footage for better contrast and better greens, trying to remove some green from your foreground footage. If you need to, make masks for certain areas and use adjustment layers for those isolated areas. Then look at how noisy your blue channel is and use the 'remove grain' effect only on the blue channel to soften the noise, try not to blur the hair too much, name this comp "preTreat". Take that comp and place it in a new one and pull a hard, core matte. Label that comp "coreMatte". Drop "preTreat" on the make new composition button and pull a softer, edge key in there, call this comp "edgeMatte". If you need to make more garbage masks do it in "preTreat" so it is in all of your comps (removing c-stands, tracking markers, uneven screen parts, and on...) In the edgeMatte comp, refine it for most of the edges and if you can get a good edge around the hair, then good. If not, dupe the edge matte layer, roto a mask around the head or just the problem area, and pull a softer key for that- just concentrating on the hair. Feather the mask a little and you should be good. Use option=4 to see your alpha to make sure it looks good, option=4 to return to the RGB channels. Now after all this, place the "edgeMatte", "coreMatte" into a comp and name this comp "alphaMatte". Take the "alphaMatte" comp and your original footage into a comp name it "key" and use the alphaMatte comp as an alpha track matte for the original footage. Now you are free to apply spill suppression, color correct, any transformations and match with the background! Vóila!
Hope this helps. Cheers!
-Keith
ps- please post screen shots in the future when asking for help so we know how to help you better

Reality? What did you make it?


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christina ruleRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 5:45:50 pm

Hi,
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I'm attaching a screen shot of the one camera thats giving me most of the issues. I am keying out the blonde hair subject separately using key light. She is just filled with green. haah




http://www.christinarule.com


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keith mcgregorRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 8:04:46 pm

Wow! Ouch! In this case I would make her a separate layer just to treat it and key it. Try using color balance to remove some of the green highlights or use the core matte on top to 'hold out' the color effects for the rest of the footage, to reduce the chroma on her while leaving the bkgrnd green. I didn't get such a bad result for 10 min worth of work, but I don't know what it lookies in motion. You are keying in 16 bit right? You should always be at 16 bit when keying and rendering out, as it does a better job of reducing banding and retaining color information.

Now that I look at it, is your footage interlaced? It would be best if you tell after effects there are no fields to interpret (separate fields off in interpret footage dialogue tab) while you key, as the resulting fields make edge chatter, pop and swim. If you can, tell the cam operator to use a progressive setting whenever shooting green screen, and to light better. (I know. I know, camera operators know everything...but you could still try?)
Hope this helps.
-Keith

Reality? What did you make it?


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Darby EdelenRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 8:53:17 pm

[keith mcgregor] "It would be best if you tell after effects there are no fields to interpret (separate fields off in interpret footage dialogue tab) while you key, as the resulting fields make edge chatter, pop and swim."

Is this true? From my understanding of separate fields I would think that setting this to the proper field cadence is important for proper output.

Granted a progressive source would be much better but if the source is interlaced then I believe you'd want to separate the fields.

On to the key!

For your green spill the Despill Bias should do a good job of removing the spill on the subject. Select a color from the face of the woman in the 'Source' view. I usually find that I have to reduce the saturation of the selected Despill Bias in order to get a pleasing result (and avoid turning the subject orange).

If the skin tone of the blonde woman still seems off (it likely will) then I'd recommend checking the Hue of the other subjects in your shot. Human skin tone usually falls within a very small range of Hue (the saturation and lightness vary much more). In your image, for example, it looks like the skin tone (sampled from areas without makeup and low green spill) mainly falls from about 25° to 35° in the other two subjects. Therefore I'd use Hue/Saturation to bring the hue of the blonde woman's skin into about that range.

Darby Edelen


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keith mcgregorRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 28, 2012 at 1:59:40 pm

@darby: Yeah, it's been my experience when keying for web based videos and mixing with progressive bkgrnds I get a better look. (comes from not exporting ntsc from AE) But this was when I was doing DV25 SD from a panasonic DVX100 and going out to the web so the end result isn't interlaced. And just recently I was helping someone out with sony xdcam footage which was interlaced and when they keyed they were getting black fringes on their mattes and when we turned separate fields off it was gone, if we used matte choker it would sometimes increase the density of the fringe. But I dunno, try it yourself and if it comes out fine then don't listen to me, keep with your workflow. Oddly enough I can't find any footage to test with, I seem to only have progressive footage lying around, yay for the future!

@christina: I forgot to mention when I key I never use the final result, I use intermediate, and I always leave it unpremultiplied. I take care of the spill, edges and color outside the keyer and add a little wrap if needed.
-Keith

Reality? What did you make it?


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Darby EdelenRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 29, 2012 at 6:58:53 pm

Yeah, I've never seen an issue keying footage with its fields separated.

My list of culprits for causing nasty fringing would be in camera sharpening filters or chroma sub-sampling. Perhaps not separating the fields caused these to become less apparent?

I'd be curious to see the problem if you run across it again.

Darby Edelen


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christina ruleRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Aug 4, 2012 at 4:40:13 am

Can you recommend anything for the flickering or the footage after you key it. When I key it it looks nice but when I preview it its got a lot of noise and flickers a lot. I notice sometimes when I change the "Replace colour" to "soft color" it helps a litte...

http://www.christinarule.com


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christina ruleRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Aug 3, 2012 at 6:54:26 pm

AWesome! I've never messed to much with the "Despill Bias" setting so i'm definitely going to try this out.

Thank you so much! I'll let you know how it goes.

http://www.christinarule.com


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keith mcgregorRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Jul 27, 2012 at 8:18:50 pm



(if this is a repeat post its the cows fault for kickin me off after a long-winded explanation)

Ouch! I would definitely get her isolated, key a hard core matte, place that on top of the original footage, change the color of the core matte, bring them both into a comp and key that comp to use as a track matte. Hope this helps.
-Keith

Reality? What did you make it?


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christina ruleRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Aug 3, 2012 at 6:52:34 pm

@Keith: thank you so much! I'm sorry I was away from the forums for a few days I was wrapping up another big project. I've always told AE not to interpolate my interpret footage as well. I guess it just slipped my mind this go around, so thanks for the reminder.

I've always used the "Final Result" view when keying. How does the intermediate view differ? When you say you "leave it unpremultiplied. " do you mean you leave the box checked or unchecked? I'm curious about the advantages of this since i've never tried it.

I'm going to try and follow your recommendations for using a lot of pre comps I think this will definitely help out a lot. I have a few questions and just want to clarify somethigns first.

1. My first comp "PreTreat Comp" I'm going to pre-treat the footage for better contrast and better greens, trying to remove some green from the foreground footage and grain from the footage.

2. Second Comp "Core Matte" - When you say pull a Hard Core Matte do you mean just of the blonde of of the entire scene? Would I use keylight for this and if the objective to keyout most of the background green and not to worry about the subject?

3. Edge Matte- This is where I pull a softer key for the edges. In the edgeMatte comp, refine it for most of the edges and try to get a good edge around the hair if possible.


4. Place the "edgeMatte", "coreMatte" into a comp and name this comp "alphaMatte".

5. "key Comp" Take the "alphaMatte" comp and the original footage into the comp. Use the alphaMatte comp as an alpha track matte for the original footage. Apply spill suppression, color correct, any transformations to match with the background.

Cant thank you enough!

http://www.christinarule.com


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christina ruleRe: Tips for color correcting a pale skinned blonde hair female on greenscreen
by on Aug 3, 2012 at 11:41:53 pm

WOW!!! I can NOT believe how well the "'remove grain' (on the blue channel) worked! Thank you so much!!!!!!! I'd image this will increase my render time drastically hahah!

http://www.christinarule.com


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