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Old May 16th, 2005, 02:06 AM   #1
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How to black out the background

Just filmed my friend's piano recital today. I had a multi-camera setup, and for one of the cameras, I had it aimed from behind the piano, looking at her face as she played... a lovely shot.

Although the room was dark, unfortunately a person in the audience, and some of the background wall can be seem. Is there any way to cleaning darken, or eliminate the background without effecting her face and the piano?

When I have time, I'll post a capture from the video... but it would be nice if I'm able to do this... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 04:21 AM   #2
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I am guessing that you are using FCP, seeing as this is the Editing on a Mac forum.

Check out the 8-point garbage matte. Matte around the stuf you want, and the rest will go black.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 08:48 AM   #3
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Ya, sorry, I should have been a bit more specific on what I have.
I am using FCP, and have After Effects.

I thought about the matte, but she moves around alot in the frame. Is there some way to track her through the frame without having to plot every movement with a matte? There is little bit of difference in coloration between her and the background... I was hoping there might be a kind of greenscreen technique I could apply... I'll try and post a picture tonight to show what I'm working with

Last edited by Matthew Kent; May 16th, 2005 at 04:07 PM.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 04:29 PM   #4
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YOu aren't going to be able to do any kind of green screen effect as there isn't one color to get rid of...it is a person (or people). The only way to do this is to mask them out.

After Effects will go a far better job that FCP. And to ensure the same shade of black, use another shot, or sections of the same clip (duplicated and on another level) to key to and get black from.
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Old May 16th, 2005, 05:13 PM   #5
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If this is a locked off tripod shot, mask around the pianist but make it wide/big enough so he/she kind of moves around 'inside' the mask. Feather the mask of course.

On a bottom layer, you can apply color effects there. You could try using the 3-way color corrector as follows:

Goal: Reduce brightness/gamma and saturation based on saturation. High saturation colors like flesh tone would be darkened and less saturated, hence less noticeable. This assumes the flesh tone of that one person is among the most saturated colors in the background.

In limit effect, limit the correction to saturation. Drag the bottom part out wide (that controls softness), and drag the left slider a little left of the middle.
In the top part of the filter, drag the saturation and the gamma slider down. The gamma slider in the middle slider.

You might also want to drop another filter on... such as
3-way color corrector Bring gamma down, don't limit effect
Gaussian or other blur, to achieve fake depth of field

2- A picture would be excellent.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 01:38 AM   #6
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Just so everyone can see what I'm talking about, here's a capture of the my friend playing from the angle I'm talking about...

http://tcck.hopto.org/tcck/images/moka.jpg

I like what I've read so far, this weekend I'll play around with it and see if I can make this work... thanks for the great suggestions! I hadn't thought about the blur mask, but that might be a better alternative than trying to create a definitive (possibly artificial looking) mask.

Just as a sidenote... one of the three cameras I used was a Panasonic GS120, and I still can't get over how beautiful its low light captureing is... the saturation is amazing, and almost zero graininess too!!!

Last edited by Matthew Kent; May 17th, 2005 at 01:53 AM.
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