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new to after effects, green screen output video not clear

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nick findlater
new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 13, 2011 at 8:48:08 pm

Hi

I've been using after effects for a month now and have mainly been using other peoples projects and editing them to get a bit of knowledge about how to use the software.

I am trying to create my own project from scratch, but having quite a bit of difficulty.

Firslty I am trying to make a product video for an item we sell. I wanted to make the product rotate 360 degrees. Firstly I thought it would be best to create a 3d object render of it and used a demo version of some software that you take 15 or so images with a camera, import them and it creates a 3d object. I couldn't get this to work.

I then went about setting up the item in question on a turntable and used a green screen and HD camera to record it spinning. This seemed to achieve what I wanted, but the only problem is the video is not...


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Walter Soyka
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 13, 2011 at 9:48:57 pm

[nick findlater] "I've been using after effects for a month now and have mainly been using other peoples projects and editing them to get a bit of knowledge about how to use the software. I am trying to create my own project from scratch, but having quite a bit of difficulty. "

I think that trying to learn After Effects from scratch by disassembling other people's projects is next to impossible.

After Effects is both broad and deep, and I think you need to get a broad understanding of the package overall before you can really go deep on any one area.

Since you're new to After Effects, I'd recommend the following link, in which Adobe's Todd Kopriva pulls together some important introductory materials:

http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2010/01/getting-started-with-after-eff.h...


[nick findlater] "I then went about setting up the item in question on a turntable and used a green screen and HD camera to record it spinning. This seemed to achieve what I wanted, but the only problem is the video is not..."

The video is not what?

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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Jason Mettler
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:09:00 pm

To do a product spinning in AE, you'd need many still shots of something spinning to stitch together. I've hung objects from fishing line and keyed them. Still, it will never be 3D in AE. From straight on it will just look that way. I'd recommend some basic training for AE which you can find here:

http://www.videocopilot.net/basic/

Follow along with the tutorials in your program and mess with settings. You'll get it down in no time!


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nick findlater
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 13, 2011 at 10:35:21 pm

Sorry, I am a new member and the post was sent for moderation before I could reply again.

The video is not very sharp. On the edges of the object there seems to be random pixels that flicker black.

What I am wanting to do is create a spinning object like in this video





Could someone please let me know how this has been done as the object looks like it is 3d.

Thanks for the replies so far and I will take a look at the links.

thanks
Nick


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Michael Szalapski
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 14, 2011 at 2:55:38 pm

Flickering pixels on the edge of a key is common in trying to key low quality footage. DV and especially HDV are very unforgiving formats since they throw away a TON of color information while they're encoding the video. Makes for a much smaller data stream which means the video will fit on the tape (or other storage medium) but also means you're out of luck when you're keying.

You have to be extra-careful to get the lighting right to ensure a clean key. After that it's all down to your keying skills. A good key is often a combination of tools and usually a combination of layers. There are a bunch of keying tutorials here at the COW and a bunch of useful info in AE help on it too, including links to more tutorials.

- 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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Walter Soyka
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:58:55 pm

The images in the linked video were almost certainly produced with a 3D application like Maya, 3ds Max, or Cinema 4D.

I disagree with some of the other posters that this will be necessary for your shot. Shooting your product on a turntable with a green screen as you have done is a fine approach. You can turn the table very slowly (or shoot a whole load of stills with very small and precise rotations) and use time-remapping [link] in After Effects for more control over the shot.

One caveat here is this: the object will still not be true 3D, so as you move the product layer up, down, left, or right in After Effects, there will be no change of perspective as you would have from a true 3D object seen by a real camera. This may or may not pose a problem for your shot, depending on your creative requirements.

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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Dave LaRonde
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 14, 2011 at 5:13:29 pm

If you've only been using AE for a month, I'd like to add additional caveats to Walter's:
  • Getting good green screen footage is not a simple matter of pointing & shooting. You need to LIGHT properly for green screen. There is a wealth of information on it, just a google away.
  • Don't -- repeat, DO NOT -- try to shoot green screens with a DV or HDV camera. They have lousy color resolution (aka color sampling). Shoot with the best possible camera you can.
  • Don't expect to get it right the first time; you'll want to run tests and gain experience in shooting and keying before you do it for real.
  • Getting a good key is rarely a matter of a couple of mouse clicks and you're done: it easily can involve multiple instances of keying effects, masking and rotoscoping.

Green screen work is deceptive -- it looks like a no-brainer, but that's just because the results can look really good... but it often takes a good deal of effort to get to that point.

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


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Jason Mettler
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 14, 2011 at 4:45:58 pm

So it sounds like you have two issues: the right key and also creating a 3D image. The image in your video is done with 3D software. The best way to fake it in AE is to have photos of each side and put all 6 sides together in 3D space to make a box. Then it can be animated as a whole.
Hope that helps.


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nick findlater
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 14, 2011 at 7:59:52 pm

Hi

Although I've been using after effects for a month I've done all videocopilot's basics tutorials and I've done 10 or more of his other tutorials.

I don't think I am going to get a satisfactory video with the green screen as I am taking close up product videos. Perhaps the green screen is better if you're taking a video of someone talking or something similar? Could someone point me in the direction of a guide on creating a 3d product (like used in the video) with one of the 3d programs? When doing a search on google, all I'm getting is stereoscopic 3d results.

Also I don't know if the camera I am using is good enough for green screen. It is a Sanyo Xacti SH1 which is full hd 1080p

thanks
Nick


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Dave LaRonde
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 14, 2011 at 9:28:58 pm

[nick findlater] "I don't think I am going to get a satisfactory video with the green screen as I am taking close up product videos... I don't know if the camera I am using is good enough for green screen. It is a Sanyo Xacti SH1 which is full hd 1080p"

No. Absolutely not. That camera is totally inadequate for chroma key work. The reason: it's an HDV camera, and those abominations for effects work have abysmal color resolution, aka color sampling. They're just as bad as DV cameras in terms of color resolution. Watch this podcast, and you'll see why:
http://macbreak.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=70596





[nick findlater] "Could someone point me in the direction of a guide on creating a 3d product... with one of the 3d programs?"

Like After Effects, you can't simply pick up a couple of tricks to get you by in a 3D application. As evidence, our 3D animator took graduate school courses in 3D animation.


Unless you enjoy long hours of intense work and study for months on end, it's tough to get good at this stuff. But you have a job, too, right? Well, you can forget that timetable, too.

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


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: new to after effects, green screen output video not clear
on Jan 15, 2011 at 4:17:02 am

Your best bet to get a product video is to have it on your turn table in front of a white or black background, light it well (full coverage with minimal/no shadows or highlights) and hit record.

Forget the 3D program, AE and all the whiz bang stuff for this project.

Now that you have your video out of the way, you can spend time to learn motion graphics and/or cinematography and greenscreen post production properly.

Figure taking 2-3 months (part time, but regular effort) to learn how to light and key greenscreen footage well. Sure you can do it within a couple days, but to do it well is another matter.

To do the product in 3D motion graphics will take a beginner at least a similar amount of time. You need to select a 3D modeling program, learn the interface, then learn several key concepts: camera and lighting, modeling, texturing (product logos), animation, and rendering. Each concept will require several days devoted to that topic at least in order to know enough to do your product video well.

If you are going to continue learning AE, then also learning a 3D modeling program is not recommended unless you have a very high technical aptitude. It also doesn't necessarily make sense to invest time or money into a 3D program unless you are going to continue using it for other projects.

If you do want to go down that road, I recommend getting the latest 2.5x beta version of Blender 3D (skip the 2.4x series releases as there is a completely different interface). Or you could get a trial of modo or cinema 4d which both have a base price of $1k. All three can produce great results if you know how, and all can produce crappy results if you don't.

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video


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