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Terrible Green Screen Results

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Simon Roughan
Terrible Green Screen Results
on Mar 31, 2014 at 1:53:07 pm

Hi everyone,
I have some footage here that was shot on an Panasonic AG-HPX600, Full HD with AVC Intra-100 codec.
It was shot in our newsroom studio against a green screen.
For the life of me, I can't get a clean key with Keylight. The original footage itself is somehow very noisy, especially on the suit jacket and hair. I can't understand why. The lighting is good (at least I think so. It was set up by someone who should know.
Here is a link to download 10 seconds of the material. It is rendered out from AE with Quicktime YUV 8 bit 4:2:2 codec.

http://video.rnf.de/EXAMPLE.zip

If anyone has a bit of time to spare, please look at the material and tell me what I'm doing wrong. And if you can get a clean key, please tell me how you did it.

Thanks heaps,
mfg
Simon

p.s. After Effects CC, up to date.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Mar 31, 2014 at 5:33:46 pm

While the shot downlads, here's a question: why use that particular codec? 8-bit YUV might have been good for FCP4, but standard ProRes 422 probably is easier to work with.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Mar 31, 2014 at 6:15:40 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Mar 31, 2014 at 6:36:06 pm

Yeah, that shot should work fine. Looks okay: little, if any green spill, and the kind of dark green background that Keylight likes. There's just a little white schmutz at the shoulders, which should be easy to remove.

Just for the heck of it, I brought the shot into Avid MC6, and I got an acceptable weatherman-on-the-green-wall key... and it was the first time I ever tried keying ANYTHING in Avid! I don't like Avid, but that's what I'm forced to use.

Are you trying to use Keylight intuitively? If yes, you owe it to yourself to run some Keylight tutorials. You can find them here on the COW. They'll help a lot.

If the problem is simply noise in the shot after pulling the key, just use the keyed shot as an Alpha Matte for the same clip.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Simon Roughan
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 1, 2014 at 5:11:01 am

Hi Dave,
and thanks as usual for your time and input.
I have been using AE for many years, and have never ever ever been able to get good results from keylight, without a monumental amount of pissing about.
Even though that footage is shot with a good camera and a very good lens, in a TV studio, the noise in the (original) pic is for me totally unnacceptable. I have done every keylight tutorial, read every discussion thread, tried every technique, and it still looks noisy and crappy.
Heres the steps that I took with this piece of footage.
bottom layer: crunched it with curves, used remove noise with minimal settings to smooth out the jacket a bit.
Duplicate the layer. Apply keylight. set to screen matte. fiddle around a bit and get a good black/white matte. Use this layer as a Luma matte for the bottom layer.
Duplicate bottom layer again, put it on top, and then mask around the problem area of his glasses arms.
On top, an adjustment layer with channel mixer used as a spill suppressor, and with a "darken" blend mode.
It doesnt matter wether I use this method (layer as luma matte), or with keylight set to intermediate results, or final results, or anything at all. All grey or darker areas have noise and grain. Lots of the edge as well.
Its driving me crazy.
mfg
Simon

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that's the way I like it, baby. I don't want to live forever!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 1, 2014 at 3:30:05 pm

That's a lot of work for what should be a straightforward key. I'd try the Alpha matte technique described above. As long as you have a good key as indicated by Keylight's Status view, it has never failed me.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 1, 2014 at 6:48:53 am

For some reason I can't connect o the link you provided to download the footage. However, there's a trick that always works for me with Keylight- use the Intermediate Result, not the final. Add your own Spill Suppressor and you should be golden, no more noise.

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior VFX Artist


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Simon Roughan
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 1, 2014 at 2:20:15 pm

Hi Ted,
thanks for taking the time.
The server is down, therefore no more active link. And I have tried "Intermediate", but as I wrote upstairs, nothing helps.
I ended up doing the basic keying in premiere with Ultrakey, then through dynamic link tweaking in AE.
I now have something that is acceptable. But I wish for once that it worked like it does in tutorials, where they click and its perfect.
mfg
Simon

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that's the way I like it, baby. I don't want to live forever!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 1, 2014 at 4:01:52 pm

If you're having THAT much trouble pulling a straightforward key, and you work at a TV station, I'd have the engineering staff double-check to make sure the operating system version, application versions and any third-party cards (plus drivers) are all playing nicely together.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Simon Roughan
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 2, 2014 at 7:37:32 am

Oh Dave, if you had any experience of my technical colleagues, you would understand why I laughed out loud when I read that...

You know I'm born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that's the way I like it, baby. I don't want to live forever!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 2, 2014 at 3:36:26 pm

I had to bring it up.

If it's anything like most engineering staffs, a typical response would be, "Is the machine broken? Are there parts that aren't working? They're all working? Then why are you asking me to fix it?"

I'm going to have to fight a similar battle with my own staff, prompted by this thread. When I tried to pull the chroma key in Avid, I activated the eyedropper to pick the correct shade of green from the video.

The color selection window promptly opened. I had to eyeball the green. You'd think engineers would appreciate that software occasionally goes wiggy... and if they're not going to let YOU fix it, then they have to.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Joey Trimmer
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 1, 2014 at 10:13:31 pm

I share your frustration with KeyLight. I always have a better initial result with Premiere's UltraKey. I think Dave's Alpha matte technique is worth a shot though. Otherwise, changing your workflow to key in Premiere and then bring the sequences into After Effects is another way to go. Good luck!

"I'm your density. I mean, your destiny." – George McFly


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Terrible Green Screen Results
on Apr 2, 2014 at 8:05:21 am

Not that it helps you now, but that's why we created the Key Cleaner effect:
http://bit.ly/AE_CC_next_details

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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