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Old December 15th, 2004, 07:00 AM   #1
 
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Does FCP HD greenscreen effect just stink or. . . HELP!

I'm using a green sheet as a BG to do keying effects. Can't get the key to work well at all. I'm using just the software in FCP HD to do it.

When I used to work on a PC, I used the same sheet and did keying in Speed Razor off a Matrox Digisuite LE card, and it looked fine. Is this because hardware based keyers are going to be better than software based, or should I be able to get clean keys with FCP HD?

Of course, it's not a pure flourescent green like normally used in keys, but again, it was find for the matrox system.

Yes, I played with all the different types of key filters in FCP HD, used all the sliders . . . pretty much the same results with any of the keying filters.

Advice Please?!

Thanks a bunch!
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Old December 15th, 2004, 08:46 AM   #2
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See if my Final Cut Pro Quick Tip might be of help to you.

Final Cut Pro 3.0 Quick Tip #5
Keying explained
by Stephen Schleicher

http://www.creativemac.com/2002/09_sep/tutorials/fcpqt5.htm

Granted the title says 3.0, but the method is exactly the same in later versions.

In fact you can find nearly 50 FCP Quick Tips over at my site.

Cheers!
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Old December 15th, 2004, 07:13 PM   #3
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Laurence,

Just finished a green screen project with FCP HD and it looks fantastic. We also use a proper green screen though.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 07:37 PM   #4
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I just used FCP to do a green screen also and it looks great! I used a green plastic table cloth I got at a party supply store. I used the Chroma-Keyer filter and mucked with the settings until it worked out. Sure, I did have to use the cropping tool and the garbage matte a time or two.
I'd say keep up the experimenting. It worked for me. Let us know if you get hung up.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 08:11 PM   #5
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I was able to get most of a green screen effect with some interviews shot in front of a whiteboard!

I had no intention of doing a green screen affect when I started, but I thought I'd just try it out and see how it would turn out. What I ended up with was not a crisp separation of the subject, but rather a kind of glow all around my subjects head and clothing, quite pleasant actually.

One thing I stumbled on when doing this, before even trying the keying, I had applied the 3-way color corrector to warm up the faces that were a bit green from the florescent lighting in the room. I found later that doing this correction made a huge difference in my ability to surpress the background with the keyer. In fact without the correction, I couldn't really do it at all.

Don't know why the color correction made such a difference, but it did.


Mike.
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Old December 17th, 2004, 08:14 PM   #6
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I am only experienced in doing GS in FCP HD. From what I've read on the topic, I would expect the hardware green screen to give better results than software (subject to your software GS skills and budget for plug-ins). The reference article I know of for techniques on FCP Chroma Keying is:
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/chroma_key_fcp_hd_monahan.html

This is an excellent article that has examples of how things should look along the way as well as pointers to where you can get the highend plugins.
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Old December 25th, 2004, 02:09 PM   #7
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------One thing I stumbled on when doing this, before even trying the keying, I had applied the 3-way color corrector to warm up the faces that were a bit green from the florescent lighting in the room. I found later that doing this correction made a huge difference in my ability to surpress the background with the keyer. In fact without the correction, I couldn't really do it at all.

Don't know why the color correction made such a difference, but it did.

Mike.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've found that the lighting setup for the original scene makes a huge difference. A trick I learned is setting up totally separate lighting for subject and green screen. i.e. linear flourescents to light the green screen to give it an even (very important) tone, and a regular warmer light setup (incandenscent, whatever) for the subject. the two light setups should be directed away from each other so that you have two distinct color temperatures. This makes the subject pop out from the background, and software's work much easier. I think this is the same principle for why the color correction helped so much.


Hope that helps.
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Old December 25th, 2004, 02:51 PM   #8
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In Final Cut 4+, use the 4:1:1 color smoothing plug-in beforehand. In FCP3, adam wilt's website has a free one. nattress.com has a better color smoother plug-in than either, but that costs money.

Inserting the color smoothing plug-in before the key filter should help keying with DV footage.

EDIT: The article linked to already mentions the color smoothing plug-in.
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Old December 28th, 2004, 10:54 PM   #9
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Though I am a firm FCP advocate I had trouble with their color keying especially compared to Combustion's... it was ridiculous how easy and accurate that was...
not that I'm a shill...
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