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4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons

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Phil Radelat4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 11, 2011 at 8:37:42 pm

After discussing keying options in this thread: http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/2/998418#998418

I'm curious to know if there's a site showing the quality difference between 4:4:4 and 4:2:2 keys. Unfortunately there aren't any affordable full color keying options at this time for small budget productions, so I'd like to see just how bad the damage is with 4:2:2. I'd love to see a comparison of an identical image (or identical set of images) keyed 4:4:4 & 4:2:2, and I suppose you can throw in 4:2:0 just for fun.

Does anyone know if any links where one can see such a comparison? Thanks.


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Dave LaRondeRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 11, 2011 at 9:54:55 pm

I don't know of any comparisons other than this one:







....and it's more of a description of color sampling/resolution than a comparison.
But I CAN tell you that I chroma key all the time in 4-2-2 without any problems.

The reason no good comparisons exist: cameras with 4-4-4 color resolution are flippin' EXPENSIVE!

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


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Phil RadelatRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 1:51:03 am

Yeah, well, that's was kinda the point of the whole tapping the HDMI port thing. I can't see why you can't have a port that can directly feed out to raw full res data coming off the sensor. If you have that then using something like the Decklink and an appropriate storage setup pretty much negates the need for a full res camera.

As I mentioned in the other post, unlike Sony, Canon, and Pana, Nikon doesn't make a video camera, so it would be no sweat off their backs to put a full res port on their cameras. That certainly would be sweet for me. :-)


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Phil RadelatRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 2:19:25 am

BTW, that video wasn't really what I was looking for, I meant a real-world full res key or source data at 4:2:2 and 4:4:4.


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Dave LaRondeRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 4:05:38 am

Whaddaya mean? that thing perfectly explains the difference.

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


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Dave LaRondeRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 4:25:25 am

Okay, you MIGHT need something better than 1920x1080, 4-4-4 video. You might be George Lucas hiding under an alias. How much better do you need?

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


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Phil RadelatRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 5:25:05 am

Oh I don't need an explanation of it, I perfectly understand the issue. I want to SEE the difference between the two in actual footage.


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Thomas SmetRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 12:21:34 pm

just make some in After Effects. Create a green/blue solid in the background and then create some particle effects or animate a few still image layers. Then render out two clips. one at 4:4:4 and then one to a 4:2:2 format. There you go instant footage to test out.

Of course this isn't the same as shooting with a camera but it is better then nothing.

I find it ironic that for years many of us were so desperately grasping for 4:2:2 color and now today we have people referring to it as not good enough. Considering people can get darn good keys off of progressive 4:2:0 it is really getting nit picky to compare 4:4:4 and 4:2:2.

The other ironic thing about most cameras that shoot 4:4:4 such as Red is that they are single sensor which means every other color pixel is interpolated. So basically it isn't that was more detailed chroma wise then 4:2:0 with some sort of chroma reconstruction filter or even basic chroma smoothing.

Unless you have access to a 4:4:4 camera it may be best to not get hung up over 4:4:4. You will drive yourself nuts thinking you have to have it when it may be out of your reach for a long time.


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Phil RadelatRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 4:08:11 pm

Oh I'm not hung on 4:4:4, I just want to see what can be done with 4:2:2, as it's the only option that appears available to small productions. I want to see how problem areas like hair are going to come out.


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Thomas SmetRe: 4:4:4 vs 4:2:2 Keying Comparisons
by on Apr 12, 2011 at 4:23:33 pm

Try out my suggestion then and create some footage to test. Use some particle effects in AE to create your own greenscreen footage. Since most cameras have some sort of processing or interpolation going on it really is the only way to see exactly what goes on when you key.


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