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Working in 422 with XDCAM footage

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Ray Stanton
Working in 422 with XDCAM footage
on Mar 5, 2013 at 2:53:57 pm

I work on a daily web series and we just got a new Sony PMW-100 camera for our green screen studio. We have the camera set to shoot at 50 Mbps 1920x1080 29.97 in 422 color space (The highest the camera will go.) We used Sony HDV cameras before and they produced fairly ok results but we made the switch to the PMW-100 to utilize a less degrading color space for better chroma-keying. The problem is, we are not seeing any improvement in quality over the HDV, in fact it looks almost worse. There has got to be something we are doing wrong. We are getting a lot of noisy artifacting going on after pulling the key using AE CS6's built-in Keylight plug-in, especially in darker colors, and more so than with the HDV. I understand we are going to loose some detail, but figured it would be a lot less using 422. We tried both dragging the .MXF files off the SxS straight into AE and pulling a key, as well as washing the raw files through FCP 7 and creating .mov files in XDCAM format. It for some reason does not look like the 422 color is being utilized, and there has been no way that we can tell that AE is recognizing the footage for what it is... as it in theory should look at least noticeably better than old HDV footage. I guess ultimately my question is how can we make use of the 422 color space and ultimately be able to pull a higher quality key? Is there a setting or color profile or codec for the raw footage that we are supposed to use? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

We are on a 2012 Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM, Mountain Lion OS, AE CS6 and FCP 7.

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