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What color / shape of 3D tracking markers should I use on a green screen set?

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Donald Davis
What color / shape of 3D tracking markers should I use on a green screen set?
on Jul 17, 2018 at 2:52:23 am

Hello all!

I would like to hear some advice from the community on what type of tracking markers work best for both camera solving and for keying on a green screen set. I have done a great deal of research and have found varying opinions, and also no information whatsoever in some cases.

Most importantly, the color of the markers.

I was advised by Hollywood Camera Work to use green tracking markers so they disappear with the key:




However, I am concerned about the contrast and worried that if the lighting isn't just right, I might lose the track point clarity.

What I'd really like to know is why Weta Digital uses pink pieces of tape on their green screen sets, as seen in The Hobbit behind the scenes. https://coub.com/view/5xxwz

I know it's high contrast so you'll get a good camera solve, but when someone or their hair goes in front of them, it's a mess to remove without losing the edge quality.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!


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Mark Suszko
Re: What color / shape of 3D tracking markers should I use on a green screen set?
on Jul 17, 2018 at 2:40:58 pm

Just an observation; you don't *have* to make the composite and the tracking work *at the same time*. People may obsess about perfecting the key first, but really what you want is to nail the tracking solve first, then plug that track data into the composite and tweak the color timings and exposure, etc. to perfect the actual key later.

So I suggest lighting relatively flat, and bright enough to render the markers well, because you can tweak the lighting effects somewhat in the color correction step later. For making the initial motion solve, feel free to blow out levels, etc. whatever it takes, so the markers are easy to track, and don't worry that the actor looks terrible at this stage. One could also reverse the key and use that to generate a clean green plate before actually compositing the talent.


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Chris Wright
Re: What color / shape of 3D tracking markers should I use on a green screen set?
on Jul 17, 2018 at 2:41:11 pm

if you have poor lighting, the 2nd best option would be blue markers that you can still key out.
easiest shape is 'x' and just randomize its rotation. i don't think weta had any pink hair characters. predator's key was orange.


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