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Key out green face...am I crazy?

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Nicholas Montgomery
Key out green face...am I crazy?
on Aug 24, 2010 at 10:01:15 pm

Hey all

Fun project I've got here! Footage of creepy dude in cloak running around (looks like one of the wraiths from Lord of the Rings), wearing a green balaclava. I've been challenged to key out the face and replace it with "something cool and spooky". Could be as simple as ethereal smoke...but the real challenge is removing buddy's face properly as he runs, jumps and flips around the screen attacking people.

I'm just starting now, going to try to move around a masked adjustment layer with keylight doing it's thing. However, some shots are better than others (a couple slightly overexposed shots), so keying might be tricky.

Any thoughts? I'd love to post the attempts of the effect as I go for feedback.

Cinematographer / Editor
Synn Studios Inc.


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Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Re: Key out green face...am I crazy?
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:10:51 am

post a few stills to give us a better idea of what you're dealing with

Tudor "Ted" Jelescu
Senior Compositor/VFX Artist
Bucharest, Romania


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Walter Soyka
Re: Key out green face...am I crazy?
on Aug 25, 2010 at 1:41:55 pm

[Nicholas Montgomery] "I've been challenged to key out the face and replace it with "something cool and spooky". Could be as simple as ethereal smoke...but the real challenge is removing buddy's face properly as he runs, jumps and flips around the screen attacking people."

Another challenge will be tracking and matching your face replacement back into the shot.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Michael Szalapski
Re: Key out green face...the director/producer is crazy for not doing proper preproduction or having a VFX person on set during filiming
on Aug 25, 2010 at 3:28:29 pm

Do you have to leave the mouth and eyes in there? If not, perhaps rotoscoping would be better.

- 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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Dave LaRonde
Re:...am I crazy? You could be.
on Aug 25, 2010 at 5:11:29 pm

[Nicholas Montgomery] "I've been challenged to key out the face and replace it with "something cool and spooky"."

I hope you're doing this thing just for fun. Under normal circumstances this is something that would be motion-tracked in 3D, using a 3D application to model and animate a suitable replacement face.

AE would then be used just for compositing, not the heavy lifting... but since the footage isn't ideally exposed, that too could be a problem.

Here's hoping you have endless hours trying to meet your challenge in AE alone.

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


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Nicholas Montgomery
Re: Re:...am I crazy? You could be.
on Aug 26, 2010 at 3:09:55 am

Thanks for the replies!

Here is a clip of what I've got to work with.







This shot is one of the more properly exposed shots, so it wasn't difficult keying out the face.

I've been given a lot of creative freedom with it, so I'm using it as an excuse to do something cool and interesting.

Tried out something last night with it, am uploading it now and will post it as soon as it finishes.

Cinematographer / Editor
Synn Studios Inc.


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Nicholas Montgomery
Re: Re:...am I crazy? You could be.
on Aug 26, 2010 at 3:32:48 am

Here's one attempt so far.







My initial plans were to preserve the eyes so try and alter them, make it appear as though a couple of eyes were peering through the mist under the hood. Kinda creepy.

It still looks off to me, but I'm not sure what it lacks. One thing I'm not quite sure to do is to make the smoke trail as the head moves around. Might try a displacement map.

Any feedback is GREATLY appreciated!

Cinematographer / Editor
Synn Studios Inc.


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