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Green Screen [DSLR] - Epic Rap Battles Of Hiissttoorryyyyyyyy

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Michael Cassidy
Green Screen [DSLR] - Epic Rap Battles Of Hiissttoorryyyyyyyy
on Aug 24, 2018 at 7:06:51 pm
Last Edited By Michael Cassidy on Aug 24, 2018 at 7:08:56 pm

TLDR: I'm looking for some advice on Canon 70D settings for work with Green Screen and some pointers about zooming from a full body shot to a close up face shot.

Hi there ☺

I have a pretty modest Youtube channel (6 figure subscribers) all based around football (Soccer). I'm blessed to say video making has become my job but ALL of my videos are of rehashed/manipulated images of already existing football players etc, hence, I very rarely use a camera and my skills are negligible - Channel is here:





I'm looking at introducing a spin off of the Epic Rap Battles of History series with a similar project but about footballers. Their videos can be found here



and their "How it's made" footage can be found here





So I bought a huge green screen, nailed it up in my garage and the set looks amazing, 4 softbox lights for the subject (me) and Green screen , chroma floor etc.

I just did a test run of some footage with my Canon 70D + EFS 17-55m lens and the whole thing is looking great for full body shots (camera is probably about 10 feet away from my position mark on the stage with full body in shot, and I'm stood 5/6 feet away from green screen).

The issue comes when I want to do a close up shot of my face / top half of my body. From the current position of the camera, when I zoom in for a closeup of my face in post, the image is absolutely HORRIBLE (no... not because I'm horrifically ugly :). The image is grainy, distorted and soft.... There is absolutely 0 definition.

As you'll see in the ERB footage, it's quick edits, snappy close up's to full body outs... I question whether this is achieved because A: they have an amazing camera, B: because they shoot a character once in full body and then once zoomed in on the face, or C: they just have one 'distance' of footage, i.e. full body and then in post they can do what they want with each piece of footage i.e. zoom in to a face closeup without losing any clarity..... This last option is the IDEAL scenario I'm after with my DSLR.

At the moment, I am doing all of this myself i.e. I'm operating the tripod mounted 70d via a connected laptop which sits on a table just out of shot, hitting record, doing the line/movement/dance and then stopping it.

I went on afew tutorials about the best settings for my 70d. One reputable source said 50 / 5.6 / 320 - Another said 160 - 3.2 / 160 - I'm shooting at 1920x1080, 24fps, All-I compression and have 2 8mb/s 64gb SD cards.

So, as a total newb, my questions are as such:

A: Are there any specific settings which are favourable to a DSLR recording green screen, keep in mind I'm recording full body shots moving (dancing) quite quickly as well as needing incredible clarity on the mouth and face.

B: I feel like an idiot for asking this, but, does a 70d have the ability to capture fine facial details from 10 feet away from the actor so that I can, in post, zoom in and have a sharp bright image of the character face? Or is it the case that I need to zoom in on the camera during the shoot? to capture the best quality of the detail which is neccessary - If the second, this is obviously problematic as I'm the only one on set to do the shoot and can't zoom into my face without leaning out to the laptop to change the settings.

Cheers in advance for your help


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Chris Wright
Re: Green Screen [DSLR] - Epic Rap Battles Of Hiissttoorryyyyyyyy
on Aug 25, 2018 at 1:59:13 am

i'd recommend high shutter because its harder to key blurred objects like hair, fingers. then add motion blur in post.
i'd do optical zoom lens not digital zoom as that will degrade footage. or move camera closer to subject. 4k helps for punch ins though if zoom lens unavailable.


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Steve Crow
Re: Green Screen [DSLR] - Epic Rap Battles Of Hiissttoorryyyyyyyy
on Aug 25, 2018 at 2:45:40 pm
Last Edited By Steve Crow on Aug 25, 2018 at 5:40:17 pm

Yes I would agree. By zooming in on post from the full body to face detail you are enlarging and therefore softening the image. The examples you posted probably used a 4k camera so that softening doesn’t occur. High shutter speed to reduce motion blur will help you. For now with a 1080p camera you may have to shoot each scene twice, that's basically what they do in Hollywood except maybe 4 or so angles and focal lengths. (establishing, wide, two shot, close-up, over the shoulder etc)

Steve Crow


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Green Screen [DSLR] - Epic Rap Battles Of Hiissttoorryyyyyyyy
on Aug 27, 2018 at 1:09:20 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Aug 28, 2018 at 4:39:21 pm

You got shooting advice, but not any effects advice. If you shoot on a green screen, you'll need a background to replace the green. I bet you have one.

But you're going zoom in on the subject. The subject gets bigger.... AND SO DOES THE BACKGROUND. Completely synchronous with the subject.

How are you gonna do that without it looking fake?

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Green Screen [DSLR] - Epic Rap Battles Of Hiissttoorryyyyyyyy
on Sep 12, 2018 at 6:35:34 pm

If you shoot in 4k, you have more options for re-framing the shots in post while still keeping decent resolution. But my advice is to shoot the full-body shots, then manually bring the camera in closer for the close-up takes, rather than zooming.

As to zooming with background, that's not really an issue. You set up the subject/background relationship to taste, then you either render out a submaster, which you re-import and then zoom into in post any way you like... or do it in one step by putting the two halves into a comp or group, then applying the global moves to the comp. This is trivial in AE or Motion, but can also be done within the NLE itself.

To "sell" the zoom, you will want to do one more thing inside the comp, which is to apply some mild, almost imperceptible focus blur to the background and also scale it up just a tad, to convey the perspective and parallax change caused by the change in camera distance to subject.


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