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Removing Tracking Tapes

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Chubak BidpaaRemoving Tracking Tapes
by on May 29, 2015 at 12:12:52 pm

Hey. I have a large chunk of plates where the camera is stationary but the shooter has splattered the green screen with black electrical tapes for tracking, which I don't need:

How do I take them out?

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Dave LaRondeRe: Removing Tracking Tapes
by on May 29, 2015 at 4:29:10 pm

Aw, jeez, the talent's wearing black. A very bad move. A darker shade of green would have allowed both tracking and chroma keying, but it's too late for that.

After applying a hefty Dope Slap to the individual who decided that black tracking marks were a good thing, it will be time to get busy. Grab a big honkin' pot of coffee and set up a cot in the office, because you'll have your work cut out for you. Very time-consuming and painstaking.

This will require rotoscopig by hand. Sorry. I doubt Rotobrush can make the task any easier.

It will be particularly challenging if the footage is highly compressed -- DSLR's shoot highly compressed footage, for instance. Such footage is just God-Awful for effects work. The reason -- 3/4 of the color information gets thrown away! You get just enough color info to fool the human eye... but you won't fool a computer.

Chroma keying is all about the edges. You need nice, clean edges to get a nice, clean key. But because highly-compressed footage makes weird colors at the edges -- 3/4 of the color info is gone, remember -- it takes a lot to get a good-looking key.

So when you rotoscope by hand, you'll have to match the behavior of the key so the edge of the black jacket won't look different as it passes from green background to black background.

Now, that bleak scenario only applies if this was shot on a cheap, crummy camera for effects work like a DSLR or a consumer handicam. If it was shot using a better camera and recorded to a codec that preserved more color information, your task will only be painstaking and time-consuming. It won't be painstaking, time-consuming and bleak.

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

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Chubak BidpaaRe: Removing Tracking Tapes
by on May 29, 2015 at 5:10:03 pm

... My fears have came alive. This was shot on a 6D... the codec is H264.

Thanks. I'm going out to buy a better mouse, and drink a double shot of espresso.

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Michael SzalapskiRe: Removing Tracking Tapes
by on Jun 4, 2015 at 7:37:01 pm

You could TRY with the Roto Brush on the body where it crosses the markers and then let Keylight worry about the hair.

If you've never used the Roto Brush before, don't just start using it! (It's not as intuitive as it looks.) Go through some helpful resources first. This one is good:

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.

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