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Canon HFS100 - how to best shoot green screen?

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Matthew Laurence
Canon HFS100 - how to best shoot green screen?
on Jun 25, 2010 at 6:09:55 pm

Hey all,

The only camcorder I have access to is a Canon HFS100 - all in all a really good little camera. However, I am about to embark on a green screen project, and I'm unsure how to proceed best.

What is the best way to shoot green screen footage using this camera? It has no firewire, so I can't go straight out and capture raw footage (I don't have the equipment for that anyway, sadly). But what mode should I use on this camera to capture the absolutely best possible green screen footage for the cleanest key? Assuming my lights are even and everything outside the camera is properly set up, of course.

Most of the articles I could find on 4:1:1 blockiness and chroma keying issues with edge detail are a few years old, referencing like AE6 and such. I assume there have been some pretty impressive moves in keying technology - assuming I'm using AE CS4, should I not worry about the 4:1:1 issue and just shoot AVCHD adn expect that it will look pretty good? The final product is web video, but I would still like to start with the best source material possible.

Any guidance on any or all of these questions would be most appreciated - thanks in advance!

Matt


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Kevin Camp
Re: Canon HFS100 - how to best shoot green screen?
on Jun 25, 2010 at 7:21:46 pm

[Matthew Laurence] "I assume there have been some pretty impressive moves in keying technology - assuming I'm using AE CS4, should I not worry about the 4:1:1 issue and just shoot AVCHD adn expect that it will look pretty good?"

color sampling will always be important to keying... color resolution is an important factor for how good a key will be, the lower the sampling, the lower quality the key will be and avchd is 4:2:0, which is not the best for keying (actually, it's the lowest color sampling available).

however, lighting is probably the most important thing in getting a good key, so if you can get really good lighting, you'll be able to get a decent key.

i would plan on converting the footage to lossless animation prior to working with it in after effects. avchd is h.264 based, and that type of compression doesn't work well in ae, converting to lossless animation will help you out in ae and prevent further image loss due to compression. you can export out lossless animation from an nle or utility... i would probably go the nle route, that way you can trim up the clips so you won't need to key lots of footage that you won't use...

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Canon HFS100 - how to best shoot green screen?
on Jun 27, 2010 at 3:04:48 pm

In addition to Kevin's tips, there's information here that should help: "Shooting and acquiring footage for keying"

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
putting the 'T' back in 'RTFM' : After Effects Help on the Web
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