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Old March 19th, 2013, 10:14 PM   #1
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What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

I'm looking at doing green screening for my next project, I have enough room (going to use my garage during the summer - after a rigorous cleaning) for setting up a studio with lights for the actors.

But beyond the screen, stand and lights (best colour temperature?)... what else do I need to do a proper greenscreen that looks realistic? Can I just use AE/PR-CS6 or are their plug-ins that make it faster/better?
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Old March 20th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #2
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

1. Smooth, wrinkle-free background. 2. Very even lighting on the screen that doesn't spill onto the subject. 3. Some people find that green-gelling the screen illumination sources helps. 4. Keep shadows from the subject from hitting the screen. 5. Keylight (provided in AE) works great. Here is an Adobe TV tutorial: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/digital-vi...r-effects-cs4/
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Old March 20th, 2013, 11:08 AM   #3
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

What Battle said, and;

Head to toe is much harder than head to knees, because,

The greater the distance between the subject and the screen the less green spill on your subject. Look it up, green spill is the enemy of clean keys,

Once you've tested your screen lighting, your shots, and your keying, (I'm suggesting you test this before you get your full crew and actors there), think about what light on your subject will match the background you intend to use. That will really sell the key!

In addition to the excellent Keylight in AE, do check out the Ultra keyer included in Premiere, it's very good too.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

I've done a LOT of green screen work. Even lighting without any shadows will help you obtain a key that will keep hair detail, etc.

To help with even lighting, you can use the Green Screener app: Hollywood Camera Work - Film Directing, Film School, Camera Blocking, Cinematography

I bought it and it works well. You can also use a waveform monitor as well, but if you have a smartphone this works great too and is easy to use.

Keylight in After Effects works great. Keying in Premiere isn't going to be as nice as keying in After Effects. Premiere is an editing program, not a compositing program. In my opinion, you'll obtain much better results in After Effects.

Run tests first, to figure it all out before you bring in actors. You'd hate to mess up a job and have to redo it.

Hollywood Camera Work has a great DVD series on green screen stuff. You'll learn a lot.

Also, Mark Christiansen has a great book out called After Effects Professional Studio Techniques that helps too.

Find a good tutorial on Keylight. There are proper ways to do it.

There is no such thing as a single-button press good key.

What camera are you going to use?

Hope this helps.
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Old March 20th, 2013, 10:34 PM   #5
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

That's for the input guys...

Talking to some local filmmakers some suggestions where...
Shoot & Record at least 4:2:2
Red Giant Keying Suite over the CS6 tools (but to perhaps wait until the Adobe upgrade annoucement at NAB).

Thoughts?
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Old March 20th, 2013, 10:55 PM   #6
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

If you have a high-end camera that does 4:2:2 that's great...not all do,of course. Have no experience with the Red Giant app, although I have used others of theirs in FCP and they were fine, and Red Giant has a good reputation.

Just my two cents --- there's nothing shabby about KeyLight, it's a 3rd party app included with AE. It has a lot of tweaks and a good reputation.

Perhaps you might run a test to see if it meets your needs before springing for what might be redundant software...but it's your money, of course!
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Old March 20th, 2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

I'm looking at getting a new camera that can do 4:2:2 as I currently have a GH2 and I think it's 4:2:0
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Old March 21st, 2013, 08:31 AM   #8
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

For what it's worth, proper lighting and placing talent the proper distance from your green screen will have a bigger impact on getting a clean key than shooting with a 4:2:2 camera will.
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Old March 21st, 2013, 09:39 AM   #9
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

Hi Graeme,

About the lighting, the green background and the talent will be lit individually. Get the light across the green to be as even as possible, avoiding hot spots or darker areas.

Then light your talent, and keep several feet between them and background. I like to add a small light above and slightly behind to light head and shoulders to provide some separation from the background.

Premiere CS6 now includes the UltraKey effect, which seems to be getting dismissed in this thread. It works very well, and is realtime on a decent system with Nvidia GPU. So I would try that before messing with After Effects or purchasing additional plug-ins.

Regarding the 4:2:2, yes it helps, but as mentioned, with proper lighting you can get a good key with 4:2:0 gear. There are a few ways to get 4:2:2 footage - one is to use something like the Atomos Ninja 2 portable recorder, which takes the live uncompressed HDMI feed from the camera and records directly to the Apple ProRes codec with 4:2:2 color and mild compression. Another option in studio is to take the live feed from the camera into a capture card on the computer, such as Matrox MXO2 Mini or BlackMagic Intensity, both of which will record to 4:2:2 I-frame codecs at high data rates, or even uncompressed (overkill for most). Then the footage is already on the drive, ready for immediate editing. Also allows you to quickly drop that footage into editor and check the key quality so you can adjust lights if needed. You'll know if that last take was good right away!

I've only shot a green screen job once professionally - the rest of the times has been for my kids for school projects or fun, but getting excellent results in the basement with minimal expense. Green sheet and some of those metal bowl reflector clamp on lights from the hardware store. I do use the "Reveal" light bulbs by GE, provides a cleaner light that doesn't have the red cast.

Have fun!
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Old March 21st, 2013, 12:32 PM   #10
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
For what it's worth, proper lighting and placing talent the proper distance from your green screen will have a bigger impact on getting a clean key than shooting with a 4:2:2 camera will.
Quite right. Also, getting some experience before plunking down for new equipment will serve you much better! Shiny new gear is fun, don't get me wrong, but it's what you do with it that counts. Rentals can also be a very good way to try out that next camera.

Then read what David said again!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Pulera View Post
...About the lighting, the green background and the talent will be lit individually. Get the light across the green to be as even as possible, avoiding hot spots or darker areas.

Then light your talent, and keep several feet between them and background. I like to add a small light above and slightly behind to light head and shoulders to provide some separation from the background.

Premiere CS6 now includes the UltraKey effect, which seems to be getting dismissed in this thread. It works very well, and is realtime on a decent system with Nvidia GPU. So I would try that before messing with After Effects or purchasing additional plug-ins.

Regarding the 4:2:2, yes it helps, but as mentioned, with proper lighting you can get a good key with 4:2:0 gear...
Jeff's is also very good advice. TRY SOME SHOOTING before pulling out the credit card. I've shot greenscreen from painful analog days in TV studios to the present, and have gotten excellent keys from cameras like Canon 5dMII and 7d; I'd expect your GH2 to be similar. 4:2:0 or 4:2:2, your lighting and amount of green spill will have much more effect on your keys than upgrading your camera.

My recc to try Ultra was dismissed by another poster. Don't get me wrong, Keylight is great, it meets a high standard. But workflow is king in post, and if I can get a key with Ultra in Premiere my life is simpler, and I get more sleep. I *really* don't like bouncing around between post applications if I don't have to.

Ultra is no slouch, either. Adobe bought a co. called Serious Magic several years ago, but Ultra appeared as a Premiere plugin with CS5, I think. It's about the best keyer you'll find inside an NLE, and is worth a look.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 12:27 PM   #11
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Re: What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?

Here is the basic setup I have been using for a temp green screen area while I rehab my main shooting area. Been shooting mainly waist ups .
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What do I need to do a proper GreenScreen?-temp-green-screen.jpg  
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