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keying out without Chroma Keyer

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Richard Allen
keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 29, 2010 at 12:52:38 am

I’m creating and editing a commercial in Vegas Video 7. I want to cut people out of old footage to use in this composite. I know I could chroma key a subject out if it was shot in front of a solid color but is there an easy automated way to key out a moving subject in regular video. I know I can key fame a mask, and possibly feather it, but that will take a long time to get right and I only have a couple of days to do this commercial.

PS
I have access to After Effects but I’ve only used it a little and it seemed like most things people use it for require the purchase of extra plug-ins, which I wouldn’t have..

Thanks for any help you can give.


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Tony Silva
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 29, 2010 at 4:47:29 am

what? you mean I have to work hard to make this stuff? Sorry, there's no magic button for everything. Either invest some time in roto work, or hire someone who can do it faster than you.


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Richard Allen
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 29, 2010 at 8:37:39 am

It’s kind of funny how email and message boards don’t have a voice. For a moment I thought you sounded cynical. I’ve done this for a number of years and even though I’m not the best at any one thing, I try to stay current on it all.

I’ve seen a lot more “roto” being done on projects so I was wondering was everyone still doing it the long way or was there something I didn’t know about.

Trust me, I wrote a couple of chapters in the book of doing it the long way. I believe it’s the best way to appreciate when something new comes out.


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Bret Williams
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 29, 2010 at 4:49:51 am

CS5 has added some stuff just for what you're doing. I haven't updated yet. If you don't have it, check it out on adobe's site. You could even download the free 30 day trial just for your project.

FWIW, I have been doing quite a bit of work in AE and I think I own one purchased plugin. You DO NOT need plugins to do cool stuff. I don't do broadcast work, but nonetheless. Just check out templates at Revostock or elsewhere and you'll see amazing stuff, usually don't without plugins for the sake of selling the template if nothing else. Some plugins just make things quicker and I wonder why adobe didn't just put one in in the first place. Like videocopilot's free reflection plugin. The reflection effect is about as common today as the drop shadow. Mainly because it adds quite a bit of depth and is easily accomplished without any plugins. But VC came out with a plugin that just saves me the energy.

I remember when there wasn't a drop shadow effect in photoshop. There was in AE, but not in PS. I remember a book I had that was totally dedicated to creating realistic bevels, embossing, textures, and drop shadows. I thought it was so cool. You had to do stuff like duplicate a layer, fill it with black, blur it, mask it, change transparency, etc. etc. And if you wanted to change the look, you had to do all 10 steps again! Ok, this was like 1996, but it don't seem so long ago to me!


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Richard Allen
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 29, 2010 at 8:56:41 am

Appreciate the input.

I wasn’t trying to say that After Effects was worthless out the box. I guess what I should of said is everything I was looking for After Effects to do needed extra plug-ins.

After Effects is a great tool. Sometimes I think too great a tool for quick everyday stuff. But with limit time with it and almost no time to get into it now, I’m not the best person to have an opinion that matters on the subject.

The only reason I added After Effects is I thought if there was something that could automate a rotoscope mask it would defiantly be made for AE.

I guess if I want to get it done, have to do it the old fashion way.


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Uli Plank
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 29, 2010 at 9:34:44 am

Try CS5!

There is both the new Roto-Brush, which makes the task much easier if your footage allows (see Adobe.TV), and there is Mocha and Mocha Shapes, which can track a mask very well.


Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Bret Williams
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 30, 2010 at 5:34:37 am

Didn't I say to check into CS5? All he heard was my plugin stuff. Anyway, yep, roto brush in CS5 looks promising.


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Richard Allen
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 30, 2010 at 9:48:20 am

Bret,
I heard ever word you said. (Notice the "Thanks for the input")

Your were right on the money with the CS5 suggestion (and the first one I might add).
I just wanted to take time to give After Effects it’s propers.

Looks great.
Just can’t touch it.
Still on 32bit OS.
So much for being an old man.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 31, 2010 at 4:24:20 pm

"I’m creating and editing a commercial in Vegas Video 7... I have access to After Effects but I’ve only used it a little and it seemed like most things people use it for require the purchase of extra plug-ins, which I wouldn’t have..."


As long as I can remember, AE has had some sort of chroma keyer in it. I'm stunned that Vegas does not. Have you looked for one in Vegas?

Rather than learning how to work AE, it would seem to be your best bet. If you can't pull an acceptable key in Vegas, I don't know how access to AE will help if you're on a deadline.

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


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Richard Allen
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on May 31, 2010 at 7:15:57 pm

Thanks Dave for your input.
Your right. I’ve been using Vegas since 4.0 and have reliably used the chroma keyer on a regular basis. This is great for things shot on green screen or graphics laid on top of solid colors, but if you desire (like I do) to isolate a subject from a video with a dynamic background you have to frame by frame, hand cut it out(also refered to as rotoscope).

My question was if there was something new that automated the process. I only threw in After Effects because I know this would be the application most professionals would use for something like this.

As it turns out there is such a thing built into the new version of After Effects (CS5).







Bad part for me is CS5 requires a 64bit OS to run on, of which I have none.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on Jun 1, 2010 at 9:53:24 pm

[Richard Allen] "My question was if there was something new that automated the process. I only threw in After Effects because I know this would be the application most professionals would use for something like this.

As it turns out there is such a thing built into the new version of After Effects (CS5). "


If by the term "dynamic background", you mean the background currently behind the subject, then yes, RotoBrush can help: it's flippin' video voodoo.

If you mean a background that changes to something completely different every frame or every x number of frames -- imagine single-frame cuts with a chroma-keyed subject over it -- I don't think even RotoBrush can help you there.

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


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Richard Allen
Re: keying out without Chroma Keyer
on Jun 2, 2010 at 2:11:11 am

Yeah, the first thing.
I have some footage of someone speaking on studio stage with a basic background that I’d like to cut out. The background is not a solid color so I was looking at a way to do this in a short period of time.

As I look at the rotobrush



it's what I’m explaining. My system isn’t setup for CS5, so that didn’t work out but I think the rotobrush is definitely going to be a must have tool.


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