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FX alternative to keying poorly lit video?

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Michael Schmidt
FX alternative to keying poorly lit video?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 5:36:34 am

I have a bit of a problem here. I was given video material of people giving statements in front of a poorly lit white screen.

Link

I figure there is no way to key this properly without spending way too much time on it. So I wonder what could be an alternative of treatment that makes this usable, where one would not see the screen anymore, and the impression of a keyed-out person would be achieved?

Oh, and it doesn't HAVE to be done in After Effects. Premiere is my main tool.

Thanks for any suggestion!


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: FX alternative to keying poorly lit video?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 6:01:18 am

There's a technique and it's rotoscoping. I hope you have time and that the client will pay you for it.


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Michael Schmidt
Re: FX alternative to keying poorly lit video?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 6:50:13 am

Thanks a lot for the fast response! Well, I don't get paid for this at all, so it's not really an option to use the roto-brush. That's why I was thinking "outside" standard keying, and maybe just applying some effect that "hides" the background by treating the whole scene, and still remaining somewhat professional.

Thanks!


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Daniel Waldron
Re: FX alternative to keying poorly lit video?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 2:04:41 pm

Her jacket is a great match with the wall so you can't even key or matte without difficulty. Unfortunately, rotoscoping is your best option.

You could take the ellipse tool and draw a mask around your subject, then feather it to make some sort of vignette, but you're only making things marginally better at this point.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: FX alternative to keying poorly lit video?
on Dec 10, 2014 at 6:50:57 pm

Oh, jeez..... that footage really stinks.

Y'know, I wouldn't even bother trying to cut the subjects out. I'd cut AROUND the subjects with a mask, feather the mask, and match a new background to the cutout.

You'd match the background by using a variety of feathered masks to simulate light falloff.

Assuming the subjects don't move a lot, make big gestures and that the camera is rock-steady, it could work pretty easily.

OR -- just put the subjects in a box over another background, using the extra space on the screen for other things.

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


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Matthew Woods
Re: FX alternative to keying poorly lit video?
on Dec 11, 2014 at 4:57:34 pm

Yikes, Thats pretty tough. If the camera is locked off, you could try using Difference Matte. With white on white, and After Effect's poor implementation of the difference Matte effect it will probably need a lot of cleanup if it works at all. It would be nice if Adobe could improve difference Matte. Things like Apple's photo booth do a better job of it on live video.

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Michael Schmidt
Re: FX alternative to keying poorly lit video?
on Dec 13, 2014 at 11:00:04 pm

I wanna thank all of your for your input! You confirmed my fear the problem would not be easily fixable, and I took some of your advice about how to proceed. What I ended up doing was to come up with something like this. There are many soundbites by different people, and I alternate them between left and right - it's not so bad in the end. Since the material was shot in 1080p, and the final video will be 720p I got some leeway. So I was able to zoom in a bit and move around the frame rather freely.

Again thanks!


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