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white screen keying

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Blake Harringtonwhite screen keying
by on Mar 6, 2010 at 4:54:39 pm

I have footage shot on white screen instead of green and I need to key out the background. If I use a highly feathered color key and and keep the background as close to white I can get the shots looking okay but not great. The biggest problem areas are the shadows under the people. I don't have time to hand mask out everyting and was wondering if anyone had any ideas. Also is there a better plug in for this kind of keying than the ones that are included with after effects?

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Todd KoprivaRe: white screen keying
by on Mar 6, 2010 at 8:14:50 pm

Are you using the Luma Key effect?

Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
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Blake HarringtonRe: white screen keying
by on Mar 6, 2010 at 8:26:30 pm

I was using the color key

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Michael SzalapskiRe: white screen keying
by on Mar 6, 2010 at 9:30:00 pm

The difficulty with keying white is that anything with highlights is going to be white. Are there glasses, jewelry, metal, skin tones, hair, or anything remotely shiny? If so, you will get highlights that will get very close to white.
You can try the Luma key effect that Todd suggested and it will probably work better than the color key effect.
You may need to break your shot up into several different pieces, key each piece with separate options in your keyer and composite them all together.
Is it possible for you to post a still image for us to take a look at?

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Joe ColemanRe: white screen keying
by on Mar 8, 2010 at 12:30:55 am

I like the linear color key for keying out black or white. "Key Correct" plug-ins can also be really helpful for difficult keys if you want to play around with those. If you lose eyes, teeth, etc, duplicate the footage, take the key off the bottom layer and animate rough mask under the face to preserve things that get keyed out.

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Scott RobertsRe: white screen keying
by on Mar 8, 2010 at 9:30:17 am

I'd do the same as Joe Coleman suggests.

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Blake HarringtonRe: white screen keying
by on Mar 9, 2010 at 4:11:43 am

Thanks for all the advice, think I used all of it. I ended up using Color Key a lot, then Luma Key, and a little Primatte. Sometimes by themselves and sometimes together. A couple shots keyed out really well but most had to have a white halo around them. Using masks to get back the inner parts helped too. It's far from perfect but there is no time to roto every frame.

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