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Keying bad quality black screen, possible or retire the footage?

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DeNi SantanaKeying bad quality black screen, possible or retire the footage?
by on Jan 28, 2014 at 5:58:55 pm

Hi there,

I've been trying to key out this black screen (which i felt I had to use with the foreground colours)and have had no luck. I've tried keying, treating the footage with all the colour enhancement techniques I can think of to get a better key. Tried shifting the channels even masking with all of the above but theres still spillage.

The footage is image jpeg sequenced at 4288x2848, 300dpi, f/22, iso-200, I don't know if these details will be relevant.

What I'm asking, is to a much more experienced A.E user if I can salvage this footage as I know the black screen is a bit of a mess. Short of masking and animating every inch of the screen that is... =) I'm also not very confident with A.E even though I love the results I get, but will try my best with your advice.

I've added an image so you can see what I am working with.

And Just in case I also filmed with a blue screen; which worked fine, and this was the result. So this is my goal, visually.

Please and thank you for any input.

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Darby EdelenRe: Keying bad quality black screen, possible or retire the footage?
by on Jan 29, 2014 at 3:42:54 pm

Trying to key from black can be challenging to begin with. In your case you also have to deal with way too much light on your black background, making it more of a gray in several areas.

It might be possible to produce something usable but I expect that it would take a good amount of rotoscoping. Depending on the length of the piece that may or may not be a big deal.

In general for any sort of screen (black, green, white, blue) it would be ideal to separate your subject from the screen as much as possible. This has a few advantages. For chroma keying (blue/green) it reduces spill onto the subject. For any background color it allows you to light the subject and the screen with entirely different setups.

In your case specifically I would've recommended shooting in a dark room (ideally a studio) on a table with the house lights off. Light the subject and don't put any background behind it: let the blackness of the room behind the subject fill out the background.

Even with that kind of solution keying from black can be challenging. You'd have to try and fill as many of the shadows in your subject as possible so that none of the color in the foreground drops too close to black.

Darby Edelen

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DeNi SantanaRe: Keying bad quality black screen, possible or retire the footage?
by on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:55:33 am

Hi Darby Edelen,

Thank you for your advice, next shoot I shall use a dark as a room as possible and film like you suggested. I suppose every mistake is something to learn from! =) I will try rotoscoping a section of the footage, hopefully this will yield better results.

Again thanks for responding.

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