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What Is The Objective For Shadow Casting?

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Max JacksonWhat Is The Objective For Shadow Casting?
by on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:08:23 pm

Hi CC,

I've been practicing chroma keying all week and was wondering about shadows. On better green screen jobs, I can pretty much just drop Keylight in, touch up the gain and clip white and looks great?

However, there is a shadow cast across the floor. It's not green or anything but I was wondering, is it commonly important to remove the shadow as well? I would think keeping it would make it look more natural.

I guess it depends on the background composite's new lighting source, huh? Is that what determines whether the subject shadows are kept or removed?


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Kevin CampRe: What Is The Objective For Shadow Casting?
by on Jan 14, 2011 at 8:51:34 pm

[Max Jackson] "I would think keeping it would make it look more natural."

how natural it looks would really depend on what you were compositing it on... if you were compositing the subject on something flat, like just another floor, then it could look natural. if you were compositing the subject on something not flat, maybe there are boxes on the floor, then it would look unnatural.

so it really depends on how the final composite should look.

typically, i'd try to get rid of the shadow. that way i can create one if i needed it. even if the final composite had a flat floor, it's likely that somebody would say something like drop the intensity of that shadow, or soften it up a bit... and then you're back to keying again.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Max JacksonRe: What Is The Objective For Shadow Casting?
by on Jan 14, 2011 at 9:50:06 pm

Cool, I'll push the envelope and try to eliminate shadows in my practice then. As it sounds that since you never know what the composite scenario might be, it's better to expect the unexpected.

Thanks Kevin.


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Dave LaRondeRe: What Is The Objective For Shadow Casting?
by on Jan 14, 2011 at 9:13:38 pm

I'm with Kevin: if you need shadows, it's easier to fake 'em.

The only exception I can think of is to shoot on a full-blown virtual set, which isn't typically or practically done by people using AE. It would almost always be done in real time in a control room through a video switcher.

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


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