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Old March 7th, 2011, 07:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: St. John's Newfoundland Canada
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Replacing background

Hey everyone,

I recently shot some hair tutorials that will end up as a dvd set. The problem is the makeup guy/art director didn't want it to look like we shot in a salon. He wanted to shoot against a white wall. The obvious problem that he didn't understand was shadows from the talent on the back wall. The ceiling wasn't high enough to bring the lights high and I didn't have enough space to compensate on the shoot, so I wanted to know if there is a way to remove the background and replace it. I took a full shot of the white wall with nothing else in it just in case I can fix this. I'm using FCP 7. Thanks in advance for any help.

Darryl
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Old March 7th, 2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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Re: Replacing background

You can possibly color-key some of it out. Of course you should matte out the big areas first before you apply the key.

White is a lousy key color -- it's everywhere in a shot, since it's the main highlight color, as well as in areas like people's eyes. And the wall shadows won't be white, in any case.

This is not going to be fun to fix. Matting around hair is about as bad as it gets.

I suggest getting a copy of After Effects (or borrowing somebody else's machine with a copy), since it has much more powerful color-key tools than FCP.

And here's a great free FCP matte plug-in. Takes some practice to use, but works very well:

50 Point Bezier Matte

Another idea -- crank UP the white levels instead, and matte out anything not white -- go for that "in the matrix" look.

Good luck.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #3
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Re: Replacing background

Thanks! I'll try it right away.
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Old March 10th, 2011, 11:28 PM   #4
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Re: Replacing background

Should have mentioned -- try the Luma Key filter instead! It may solve your problem, or at least be a better solution.
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