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Any expert in Keying out there?

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albert trevino
Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 5, 2015 at 11:17:44 pm

Hi,

I have a project I am working on that has 31 subjects filmed in front of a green screen sitting on a stool and talking into the camera. No real action or movement.
I don't have the experience with keying as most so I have been trying my best to get a key on these. I watched plenty of tutorials and have a decent working knowledge of how it works.

I am currently using the keylight 1.2 plugin. And from a tutorial on Lynda.com it suggest to use the animation preset of Keylight + Key Cleaner _ Advanced Spill Suppressor combo. It does work pretty good.

I am having issues with the edges of my subjects. There is either a white line (looks like a glow at times) or dark line. I have tried shrink/grow but without looking obvious, it didn't work as good.

I included a screenshot of the issue and a screenshot of the original.


Original:




Issue screenshot:




Any experts willing to help out with this will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
AL


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Claude Rozsa
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 5:19:07 am

Hi Albert, I'm not an expert and do not know the solution, but unless my eyes betray me the lighting on the green screen is not even and especially it seems there's a slight variation of it around your actor. That can be the cause of your problem. If I remember what I've been learned about green screen, you have to have a total regular lighting and a very plane screen behind your characters to prevent any problems.

Claude


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Tero Ahlfors
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 6:15:17 am

[albert trevino] "I have tried shrink/grow but without looking obvious, it didn't work as good."

You'll probably need to shrink and feather the edge. You could also try a light wrap, you can find a tutorial in the COW tutorials.


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Steve Brame
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 11:27:29 am

If you take a good look at your shot, you'll notice that the green screen is brighter in the center of the screen than at the top and bottom. Also notice that the green halo around your subject is much more prominent toward the center than it is at the top an bottom. When you picked a sample color with the Eyedropper, it was probably closer to the darker area. Try picking a color somewhere in between the dark and light areas and as close to your subject as possible without actually selecting them.

My #1 go-to tutorial recommendation to help with difficult keys...

https://library.creativecow.net/articles/rabinowitz_aharon/junk_mattes.php

I personally like and have better success with Ultra Key in Premiere. Might want to give it a try.

You can also duplicate your footage onto two layers. Key the bottom layer to the darker area, then key the top layer to the lighter area. Then mask out the upper and lower portions of the top layer using feathered mattes so that the bottom layer can show through, adjusting the mattes so that the two layers blend smoothly.

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John Cuevas
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 12:53:52 pm

You might want to check out the Screen Equalizer plugin. I've only played around with the trial version, but it worked pretty well.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
ThinkCK

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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John Cuevas
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 1:19:36 pm
Last Edited By John Cuevas on Jul 6, 2015 at 1:33:32 pm

I used the demo of Screen Equalizer and got a pretty decent result without too much work. Needed to create 2 keys, but perhaps if I'd taken a bit more time I could have pulled it off with one.

Here's my quick little test, you'll need to load the trial version to play around with it.

9024_keyingprojectfolder.zip

Just realized that the reason I needed 2 keys was because the quick & dirty background plate I created was really uneven. You will probably get really good results if you find a frame(s) of video without a subject and will only need 1 key.

Johnny Cuevas, Editor
ThinkCK

"I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."
---THOMAS EDISON on inventing the light bulb.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 6, 2015 at 4:36:28 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Jul 6, 2015 at 6:41:32 pm

What kind of camera shot the video? And just as important, to what video codec was it recorded?

I'll take a stab and say it might have been AVCHD or H.264. Either one plays fast & loose with colors. They'll average together adjoining pixels to create one bigger pixel that represents their colors. The the black & white pixel resolutions you expect remain as originally shot.

No kidding on this -- you can think of the picture as black & white, with color overlayed. One of the ways codecs compress the image is to cheat on the color as described above.

Here's my evidence -- you only see the outline where the subject's dress is against green. If you remember your additive color mixing, you'll recall that red + green = yellow. That dress is primarily red, shot against a green background, and at the edges where the color averaging would be most apparent, you're seeing not a WHITE edge but a sort-of YELLOW edge.

How do you fix it? you might have to key the subject's head independently of the body, animating masks on the two, and use a bit of Keylight's Shrink Matte adjustment to get rid of the yellow.

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


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albert trevino
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 2:57:21 am

Thank you everyone for you replies!

Claude,
I see what you see in the variation in the color of the green screen. I was able to work with that type of backdrop before.

Tero,
I will look into what you said in regards to the light wrap. I am curious.

Steve,
I will check out that tutorial. I do want to get better at perfecting keying. Our workflow wouldn't work with using Premiere for keying, so I will have to use After Effects for this

John,
I checked out the screen equalizer and downloaded your sample project. I still saw a line glow around her left arm. I am not sure if the screen equalizer would help in this but it is a very cool plugin! It could take me just using it more and seeing how to get this to work.

Dave,
Not sure what camera it was shot it. It is in MTS format.
Here are the media info specs:

===================== General =====================
Id : 0

Format : BDAV
Format info : Blu-ray Video
File size : 161 MB
Duration (ms) : 1mn 0s
Total bitrate : 22.2 Mbps
OverallBitRate_Maximum/Stri : 23.9 Mbps

===================== Video =====================
Id : 4113 (0x1011)
MenuID/String : 1 (0x1)
Format : AVC
Format info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : High@L4.0
Use of CABAC : Yes
RefFrames : 2 frames
Format settings - GOP : M=2, N=12
Codec Id : 27
Duration (ms) : 1mn 0s
Bitrate mode : Variable
Bitrate : 21.1 Mbps
Bitrate maximum : 22.0 Mbps
Width : 1 920 pixels
Height : 1 080 pixels
Aspect ratio : 16:9
Framerate : 23.976 fps
Colorimetry : YUV
Colos space : 4:2:0
Bit depth : 8 bits
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.424
Stream size : 153 MB (95%)

===================== Audio =====================
Id : 4352 (0x1100)
MenuID/String : 1 (0x1)
Format : AC-3
Format info : Audio Coding 3
Format settings mode extens : CM (complete main)
Codec Id : 129
Duration (ms) : 1mn 0s
Bitrate mode : Constant
Bitrate : 256 Kbps
Channel(s) : 2 channels
ChannelPositions : Front: L R
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth : 16 bits
Stream size : 1.85 MB (1%)


-------------------------------


Here is a dropbox download link to a 1 minute sample of the original video shot:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/903fz0ugg7ncbn0/Subject%20A.MTS?dl=0


Again, thanks for the replies and hopefully having a link to the sample original would help in your future replies and assistance!

AL


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 5:14:19 pm

I'd follow the Good Mr. Cuevas' advice. I'm pretty darned sure he works with more problem keying situations than I do.

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


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mark thompson
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 9, 2015 at 12:05:07 am

Hi,
if you are still working on this ...

I found this very useful:






It is not too long. There are three parts, one is a good guide to filming green screen. The middle part describes how to get a good key. The technique is interesting, they show how to create a garbage matte using a simple key and matte choker. Then how to use Keylight to finish it off.
I tried it on the clip that was posted and it looked pretty good.

mark


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Mark Andrews
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 10:44:15 pm

I think with what you have, I would try creating a duplicate of the original image and adjust it with some curves. Boost the green, and adjust the contrast to give yourself the best image possible to pull your key from. Then when you do pull your key, set the output to give you just the matte. that will give you your black and white image you can place over the original layer. Set the original to trackmatte the Luma from your key you made.

Then you can adjust the feathering either by adjusting either the properties of your key, or by applying matte adjustment effects like shrink and grow to your original image. Those effects will help you eat away the edges you have if you still need to.

Light wrap really only is going to help you if you are comping the image on a background. You feed it the background layer and it feathers, blurs and comps some of the background around the edges to blend the two images. You probably want to leave that for the person doing the comp.


some other random thoughts ...
Make sure you garbage matte out the areas you don't need before creating your key.
You can combine multiple mattes into one by precomping them and using blend modes to combine them.
Use multiple methods to get the results you are looking for.


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albert trevino
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Jul 16, 2015 at 3:06:27 am

Hi Guys.

Yeah, still working on this project. Been trying to watch tutorials and taking in your advice and trying different things. The multi-layer keying using the matte as the upper layer didn't solve the main issue I was having.

One thing I am trying is using the Red Giant Primatte Keyer. It is pretty powerful and has a lot of things built in that you would have to separately like light wrap.
One thing I found that was cool and very useful is using obsolete Color Key with Simple Choker to create an easy dynamic garbage matte.

But as always it completely depends on the shot. This is quite the challenge. Still having issue trying to get rid of the glow on a few of them. And there is one girl that has light brown hair and the format it was shot on is a compressed MP4 video file. Not easy. Might just post examples of that here to get some insight on how I can get a good clean key on that one.

Again... thanks everyone for your valuable input!!


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albert trevino
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Aug 30, 2015 at 2:37:45 am
Last Edited By albert trevino on Aug 30, 2015 at 3:55:26 am

Ok.

I had to take some time away from the project. I am now back on it. I tried a number of different techniques to try to key the difficult ones. I am at a loss.
I don't have near the experience in keying as most of you out there and I am sure it would take somebody out there not very long to get it done.
I am at the point where I am willing to pay someone to key the difficult ones I have come across.

The first one being the one I put in the original post as the example. I have a few more as well with similar problems.

ANYONE... ? I AM BEGGING!! PLEAAAASEEEEE!!! Seriously I will pay to get it done! (Be reasonable with price.)

Just key it and send me the AE Project so I can import the settings for Keylight or whatever plugin you use. If I don't have the plugin, I will buy it.

1st video:

1 minute sample of the actual original source video file. It was in MTS but I used XMedia Recode to change the wrapper to MP4 and removed the audio.
I didn't transcode the video elements, just copied it to the new MP4 wrapper.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ueoli0ef1s9r28f/Video%20001.mp4?dl=0


2nd video:

1 minute sample of the original MOV video. I removed the sound using MPEG Streamclip.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/oboi9f2b4x1fd74/Video%20002.mov?dl=0



3rd video:

1 minute sample of the original MOV video. I removed the sound using MPEG Streamclip.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6oljid4m7v3zktc/Video%20003.mov?dl=0


4th video:

1 minute sample of the actual original source video file. It was in MTS but I used XMedia Recode to change the wrapper to MP4 and removed the audio.
I didn't transcode the video elements, just copied it to the new MP4 wrapper.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xgyjoypvqr02mk0/Video%20004.mp4?dl=0


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Aug 30, 2015 at 12:44:56 pm

I can take a stab at this.


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Aug 30, 2015 at 2:21:41 pm

Here they are. You need to copy the noise reduction and color correction effects as well. Note that two layers are used, the top one has been keyed and set as track matte for the bottom color corrected footage.

9190_matted.aep.zip


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albert trevino
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Sep 27, 2015 at 3:16:35 am

Ok. Again finally got some time to work on this project. I appreciate your file working on these shots.
Unfortunately I couldn't really use it.

The main one I am really having issue with is Video 002 listed from above.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/oboi9f2b4x1fd74/Video%20002.mov?dl=0

He has a reflection on top of his head and also has a glow around him that I tried everything to get rid of.
Tried a few different things to fix that and rendered out sample of it. I found that there is now a glow or whatever under his arms between his torso and arms.

Here is the sample of what I rendered. The background is pretty close to what will be used in the final output of this project.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/aewuhv6zrz0phjd/Video%20002%20%5BKey%20Attempt1%5...


I am very serious what I said I will pay someone to have a clean key on this particular video clip.
If you decide to tackle this and use anything outside of the standard Keylight or RedGiant plugins, I will buy it to use. I just have to know that it is a very good clean key.


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Any expert in Keying out there?
on Oct 1, 2015 at 5:00:50 pm

Hi Albert.
Unfortunately I don't currently have time to do this in more detail, but you can get a decent enough of a key with Keylight. The best thing to do is to use two mattes, one for the head and one for the rest of the body. That biggest problem with this footage is that has this unsharp-mask caused extra edge on the clothing. You can't really get a clean key for both the head and the body at the same time, as you have to choke the matte for the body but there's no choke needed for the head so it ends up looking less than ideal with just one matte. The settings I made were better for the body -- although I didn't have the entire footage to check it on -- so you should be able to use those settings (or something very close to it) for the body, and then tweak the settings for the head separately. Removing the choke will already get you most of the way there. Basically you need two matte layers combined with a soft mask around the shoulder/neck area, precomp that and use it as the track matte.


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