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Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage

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Chris Oben
Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 4:49:09 am

Shot C300 TrueLog footage recorded direct to ProRes422HQ on a Samurai recorder. Applied look in Resolve 9.1.1 rendered back out to ProRes422HQ

All keys pulled in AE using Keylight show incredible noise in the subject. The screen matte is clean but the Status view is very noisy as is the final result.

Also tried bypassing the Resolve transcode stage and had similarly poor results in Keylight with tons of noise.

Any suggestions?

C.

Chris M. Oben

http://www.chrisoben.com


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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 5:34:38 am

How was the footage shot? 5600K or 3200/3400K? A good technique for 3400K is to shoot with a blue filter, this reduces noise generated from having to white balance color channels.

I would also learn how to pull an inside key and an outside key. This works a lot better than trying to slam the footage with one hard keying setting... it lets you dial in edges more gently. Really poor shots benefit from garbage masking as well.

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Chris Oben
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 6:10:39 am

Thanks for the ideas Angelo. I guess I'm looking for feedback from others who may have had a tough time with C300 footage specifically...

Thats a good keying principle to use an inside and outside key.

C.

Chris M. Oben

http://www.chrisoben.com


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Paul Roper
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 1:42:56 pm

This post won't really help in your workflow, but I have faced the same problem:

Last year I was in the unfortunate position of having to key some footage from a C300. It was shot in the same studio with the same lighting setup as dozens of previous shots (shot with a Panasonic HPX170 or something like that) which always produced a beautiful key, regardless of subject - fine hair, motion blur - whatever.

No matter how I wrestled with Keylight plus some other keyers, I could not pull a decent key from the C300 footage. And we tried getting the output from the C300 in every way imaginable, with everything set to highest resolution, widest color space, various sharpness settings from none to lots, etc. But our conclusion was that for greenscreen work, the C300 is completely and utterly shit. Not what you wanted to hear, but don't feel alone in your frustration with this camera.

Looking at the specs of the camera, it should theoretically produce easily-keyable results. Maybe someone else will chime in with a more constructive suggestion - we wasted many days trying to get the thing to work, but just had to live with crappy results - we couldn't reshoot with a proper camera.

- Paul


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 2:21:17 pm

One suggestion Chris -

Do you have Premiere Pro CS6? I think it was also in CS5.5 - throw it in the Timeline and give Ultra Key a try. I've heard people say that it's a one-click wonder. Here's a quick tute from Adobe:

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/learn-premiere-pro-cs5/creating-a-green-screen-ke...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Petter Stahre
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 4:03:46 pm

While I don't use AE I use my C300 extensively for green screen shoots and has had no problems which I can relate to bad quality from the camera.

I use FCPX together with the built in Keyer and now more often Phyx Keyer suite since release 4.

I find that Phyx Keyer is generally better even though it has less options for fine-tuning than the built in Keyer. I shoot simple corporate videos where I shoot the background and the subject at different locations. Quite straight forward and not much motion blur.

As for the C300 settings I've been using both C-log and now more often a custom made profile based on the EOS Standard profile but without sharpening, lighter shadows and color corrected to get rid of the slight greenish tint that I think C300 always has. Since I don't do heavy grading I found that a ready-baked profile suits my workflow better.

And I've never used any external recorder. But for my work this has produced very good images.


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Petter Stahre
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 8:53:50 pm

Since this thread got me curious and it was a long time ago since I used C-log for green screen I decided to do a little test.

Since I'm alone in the studio I filmed a mannequin while shaking it :) using my preferred custom profile and then C-log (but slightly edited to get rid of some green tint).

I then used FCPX and Phyx Keyer 4. And now I seem to remember why I stopped using C-log for green screen work ... it's much easier getting a clean key if I use my custom profile, at least in my workflow. I've done some basic grading to the C-log shot but still I can't extract as good key, it's quite noisy if I don't use quite harsh settings on the matte.

My custom profile use EOS Standard as a base (which is awful by default, yes I know!) but I've tweaked it a little and it works for my kind of work.

In the video I've scaled the C300 shoots to 200% which means when you look at it in 960x540 pixels (which is the size of my player) then it should be a 100% crop of the 1920x1080 original.

I think if you pause the video you can see that the software has trouble with the edges of the blurry hair when using C-log. It's also moire noise in the fine hair just over the top of the head in the C-log shot.

All is shoot directly to CF-cards (50 Mbits/s). From what I understand an external recorder and ProRes results in less compression artifacts but the color data will be exactly the same (4:2:2 8-bit).

http://www.studiostahre.se/tester/spelare.asp?film=c300greenscreen.mp4&bredd=960

No science ... just a quick test.

One of Canons/Sam Nicholsons launch movies "XXIT" shot with the C300 relies heavily on green screen from what I know. What software and profile they used I don't know but I would still guess C-log since that is what Canon promotes.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 5:39:27 pm

A quick look at your web site reveals you've shot blue screen before. If this is green screen work, know that Keylight likes the green background to be about 2 stops under the highlights on the subject. If you blasted light on the green screen, you won't get a good key with Keylight.

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


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Stefan Hinze
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 19, 2013 at 9:12:50 pm

I don´t wand to sound like a big mouth, but that one is easy!

Footage / Dubblicate / Apply Keylight on upper Layer / Set to Show Matte / Tweek / lower Layer / set Use LUMA MATTE from upper LAYER

Done and the noise is gone (if you tweeked the upper layerKeyFX right!)
Let us know if this works for you!!!

Greetings
;)


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 20, 2013 at 12:12:59 pm

Chris

If you can post a still of green screen footage, I will try to create an example project for you using keylight in a better way. Also choose Intermediate result and not Final result as Final Result will give you noisy results 90% of the time. Then use Spill Suppressor Effect to remove the Green spill over the subject.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

2011 3D Demo Reel:








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Chris Oben
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 21, 2013 at 6:26:06 am

Here is a link to a 24 frame clip of the original C300 footage. It was shot using a TrueLog profile and recorded to ProRes422HQ on a Samurai recorder.

http://chrisoben.com/test/C300_green_screen_sample.mov

I'd love to see a sample project that minimizes the noise in the subject while pulling a clean key.

It's interesting to note the waveform on the monitor screen right. You can clearly see that the green screen was exposed at 50IRE viewed in Log mode.

btw our solution so far has been to send the project to a Nuke artist who seems to have a handle on suppressing any noise in the C300 footage. I am just hoping that AE has the tools to do this and that I simply haven't found the right recipe yet...

Chris O.

Chris M. Oben

http://www.chrisoben.com


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Stefan Hinze
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 21, 2013 at 7:45:10 am

hey, take a look, its not perfekt, but no (little) noise!





Dubblicate the footage / keyLight on the upper one (i addet a kurve to bust some color in it!) / set KeyLight to MATTE OUTPUT / take the lower copy of the footage / and use the upper one as luma matte



the noise is "natural"...

I did it in about 3 minutes... the key is not perfekt, but, there should be a litte "fun" left for you ;)

i realy hope this helps!!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 21, 2013 at 2:27:04 pm

I just looked at the shot in Color Finesse's Waveform Monitor, and I'll be darned if I see ANYTHING in the shot that's above 65 IRE Units. The highlights in the shot aren't that different from the background. The shot looks washed out. There's no contrast in it.

I stick by what I wrote earlier: the highlights on the subject should be significantly higher from the background. Using a waveform monitor, the chrome highlights should come in at 100, the flesh tones at about 75, and the background at about 50.

And looking at the position of the subject and the lighting instruments, you could get that by moving the subject forward about 6 feet, standing him on a little green box, and getting the lighting on the subject a little closer.

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


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Petter Stahre
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 21, 2013 at 4:45:10 pm

I don't know if this is possible in Keylight but if not, here is an alternative using Phyx Keyer which can be bought for AE (199$):

http://www.studiostahre.se/temp/GStest1080p.mov

Just tell me when you want me to erase the link.

What I did was this:
– basic grading (sorry, a bit yellow :)
- since I suspect you don't use camera movement for the shot I created a still image (screenshot after grading) without the singer, using Photoshop ... which is a poor mans version of filming the empty green screen scene which of course would have been better. This was my quick-and-dirty version: test
- I let Phyx ScreenCorrector use that image to analyze differences between your shoot and the empty scene
– I then applied the Phyx Keyer and made a copy of the layer – one layer had settings for the upper body and one layer for the legs and feet.

I'm not satisfied with the shadows, they could benefit from other settings or a third layer, but for the test I stopped there since it's also a matter of how you're going to use the singer.

I would not be surprised if the same method could be applied in Keylight !?


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Vishesh Arora
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Mar 22, 2013 at 8:08:07 pm

Chris

I have keyed the Footage with a combination of several effects.



Check the Project File:

5706_keylightwithlessnoiseresults.zip

Hope you may like the result. If you unable to understand how and why the effects have been used, Feel free to ask again.

Vishesh Arora
3D and Motion Graphics Artist
Films Rajendra

Blog:
http://digieffects.wordpress.com

2011 3D Demo Reel:








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David Markey
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on May 15, 2013 at 6:44:42 am

I just did some quick tests of my own, as I have to shoot greenscreen with a C300 tomorrow. Overall, pretty disappointing for a camera at this price point. I noticed crazy noise in Keylight also. Final Result is especially bad, but even Intermediate was unacceptable as far as noise is concerned.

It seems all the normal greenscreen rules are in effect with the C300, but moreso. It really doesn't like fuzzy areas (soft focus, motion blur, hair), and it really doesn't like underexposure. I read about the 'Expose to the Right' method (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposing_to_the_right), and decided to give it a whirl. I did indeed get less noise by overexposing in camera and then darkening in post.

I tested Cinema Locked and EOS. After correcting the Cinema to match EOS as close as possible (SA Color Finesse, AE CS6), I still felt the EOS keyed better, but just slightly. Cinema seems to have some odd color shifting. Other users concur: http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/archive/index.php/t-287056.html

I didn't test different light sources. Tungsten vs. Daylight might throw some wrenches into the mix.

The biggest improvement I found is to use Neat Video's Reduce Noise plugin to cleanup the footage before pulling the key. I was very happy with that result. Neat Video: 1 Canon: 0


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Stefan Hinze
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on May 15, 2013 at 6:55:10 am

Hey,

take a look at my post "Mar 21, 2013 at 9:45:10 am" in this threat.
I key footage from DSLRs a lot and if you use the technic with the lumaMatte, the key is good!

Hope ths helps!
;)


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on May 15, 2013 at 2:43:45 pm

Folks, a quick check of the Canon web site. Not exhaustive, just quick.

This camera shoots 1920x1080... that's good.
It also shoots 4:2:2 color... again, that's good.

Then I looked at the bit rate: 50 Mbps. Yipes! That is the same bit rate used ten years ago for STANDARD definition footage. This stuff is having the bejeebers compressed out of it! Something has to give.

Compression Techniques have of course improved since then, but Canon chose not to list the codec to which the video is recorded. Thus, I smell a rat, and I'm NOT surprised that poor keys ensue.

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


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Jim Gilson
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Aug 22, 2013 at 8:22:03 pm

I'm using Auto Color, Denoiser II and Keylight and getting excellent results with C300 footage.

"It's OK. They're speaking Chinese" - Firesign Theatre


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Alejandro Jaouen
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Sep 12, 2015 at 2:33:41 am

Thanks Jim. I think it´s a good solution for the worst. That works also for r3d files.


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Michael Fitzer
Re: Horrible result in Keylight on Canon C300 footage
on Dec 8, 2015 at 9:48:47 pm

I spent thousands on this camera and am totally underwhelmed with the keying results however, I'm now using Neat Video's reduce noise plug-in for AE2015 and am thrilled with the results. One extra step but for under $100 it's worth it.


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