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Old March 11th, 2006, 10:12 PM   #1
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Ideal HD100 settings for Green Screening

I have a green screen specific shoot next week and have been trying to come up with the ideal setting for our HD100's. This will take place on a sound stage at a local studio with lighting and proper green backdrop provided; we will be bringing our cameras set to shoot. We decided to shoot with both of our cameras, one wide full body and the other waist up, so that we can later choose the one that ultimately is the best fit to incorporate when keying / editing into the final project.

The talent and screen will be professionally lit with the talent doing a small amount of hand gestures, etc., but no major motion. Although we are shooting HD, the end result is for SD as well as web delivery roughly 1/2 the size of SD, likely just above 320x240, some variable or another.

I'm considering using a modified version of Paolo's recent camera settings for it's color matching, (we have had VERY good results with this as a starting point elsewhere), and stretching the black a bit, etc.. Although... I wonder if keying would be cleaner with something more geared toward that end result. Any thoughts? A better question might be... what would you use given ideal lighting and that delivery (SD/Web-computer)?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 01:58 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Daniel Patton
A better question might be... what would you use given ideal lighting and that delivery (SD/Web-computer)?
I don't think there would be any reason to get weird with camera's color settings... the green needs to stay green.

You'd dial your sharpness down so there's a smooth roll off into the green and not sharp artificially enhanced edges.

When you're shooting a single person with little motion you can flip the camera sideways to double your resolution by filling the frame more fully - always helpful when keying. People might look at you like you're from Mars. Shoot at F4 or so - where the lens is sharpest.

DON'T throw a magenta rimlight on your subject to reduce spill - all current software is designed to handle green or blue spill well. DO put a colored rimlight on someone if you're comping them into a scene that has a colored light that's supposed to be hitting them from that angle.

DO bring the backgrounds you're comping people into along with you so you can match set lighting properly. I once asked a special effects DP how often he had the backgrounds in advance and he said "always".

If you could record via the composite that would be cool.

Go in ahead of time and shoot some quick tests with different scene settings and see which are comping the best.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #3
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Much appreciated Joel. And please don't take offense by my reply here, you have some great advice, it's just not our first green screen shoot. However it is our first shoot with truly digging in and trying new settings.

We have been shooting with our cameras sideways for a couple years now, it works great, agreed. And although I feel it was almost essential when shooting with our SD camera (for most any delivery), it’s maybe unnecessary when shooting an HD camera intended for SD or smaller playback. If we cannot pull a good key out of an uprighted HD100 for SD or smaller delivery, then we are doing something very wrong. Regardless, with all of the tweaks that can be done with this camera, I'm open for any suggestions for improvement in regards to settings.

I have the sharpness set down to -7 right now, as was the plan from the start. I was actually looking for thoughts on Paolo’s use of the DSC matched settings for the camera and "green screen", as well as black stretch, etc. when shooting intended for keying. From what I have seen firsthand of Paolo’s color matched settings it should be an improvement over the factory settings, but I still can’t help but wonder if it’s the best choice for this intended shoot? In all of the threads at DVinfo that talk about shooting clean key with this camera, I have not seen any that talk about specific settings with this intention.

I think it would be beneficial as a community to work out a good solution / settings for keying with the JCV. This is very different than whether or not to shoot Cine and Normal Gamma as with most projects, this on average has a more consistent post process. When shooting for key the end result IS the key (obvious enough). ;)

Either way, I guess I will have something tested and true this week before our shoot regardless, I'll share what I find. Thoughts and ideas for settings are still very appreciated.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #4
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Set up your screen and lighting first, then adjust the camera. To ask how to set the camera up for chroma keying is putting your cart before your horses.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #5
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Set up your screen and lighting first, then adjust the camera. To ask how to set the camera up for chroma keying is putting your cart before your horses.
Yes... and no. But thank you for your reply anyway.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Daniel Patton
Either way, I guess I will have something tested and true this week before our shoot regardless, I'll share what I find. Thoughts and ideas for settings are still very appreciated.
I sat in on an F950 shoot. They went straight to the computer of course... F950's don't even have tape drives.

They got out their DSC Labs chart and dialed the camera into neutral colors with the widest dynamic range and leave the color correction in post. To quote Steve Wright (author of a compositing book and who was there) "You're a data capture technician - try to get the most information you can back to post."

They lit the talent to match the background they were comping into and they try reduce spill with flags and floor covering when shooting anything other than full shots.

You just want a good clean image.
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Old March 13th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #7
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Check out this podcast. It explains colourspace and green screen shooting.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...10543&s=143441
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Old March 14th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tim Dashwood
Check out this poscast. It explains colourspace and green screen shooting.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/M...10543&s=143441
Waddya know - same set of guys I learned my greenscreen stuff from. Same F950 as a matter of fact - well they didn't shoot this stuff with the F950... but I know they are planning future episodes on it. This is also why real resolution matters... not that anyone here ever doubted that. :-)
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Old March 15th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #9
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Thanks guys, all good info.

The shoot went down today without a hitch. We did use Paolo's DSC matched settings and "tweaked" from there. The place was so well lit, flagged and padded that everything was smooth as glass. I will share some raw files after project release (2nd week of April).
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