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Old January 26th, 2011, 02:02 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: London, England
Posts: 16
Green screen & silhouettes

Hey guys,

I'm shooting a 10-minute short film which will be performed by dancers in silhouette. These silhouettes will then be superimposed against an animated background in post. In theory, I suppose it would be possible to shoot the dancers in silhouette against a white backdrop and use luminance values to control the visibility of the silhouette layer, but in real life, I'm never going to get a 100% perfect black silhouette and any slightly brighter/greyer areas in the image are going to cause holes and other variations in the transparency of the silhouette layer. I don't fancy having to tweak all this in post, so I've decided it's probably a safer option to shoot the dancers against a green screen and to harvest their silhouettes from the resulting matte.

We'll be shooting in a local theatre, with the green screen attached to the fixed cyc at the rear of the stage. There's a bank of 18 x 500W floods fixed on the cyc, so the green screen should be nice and bright and evenly lit. What I'm wondering is as I'm only after the dancer's outlines, will it be better to shoot them as close to silhouette as possible or should I light them as I would on any other green screen shoot?


James Winslett
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