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Thread: Help: 3D greenscreen environment question

  1. #1

    Default Help: 3D greenscreen environment question

    Hi, first time poster, big time question.

    I work for a marketing consultation business in New Jersey; we just recently got the video end of the company fully up-and-running with a boatload of gear from B&H. Now that we are expanding our video department, my boss really wants to move beyond just a simple fold-out greenscreen for his regular videos.

    His vision is to have a two-walled greenscreen environment in our studio that he can walk around in head-to-toe, a'la the 3d greenscreen recap moments of Sportscenter. I understand that this would not only require installation of a cyclorama, as well as 3d repainting of the room, but my main concern comes in the execution of editing.

    To do have my boss move around in a 3D environment with a following camera, I imagine it would take WAY more than just After Effects and a few tracking dots on the wall to be able to actually execute it properly. So my main question is, is this feasible for a small video production crew and what kind of technology would we need to execute this bold of an idea?

    Any help that can be issued would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2


    I don't know what "Sportcenter" is. I am in the UK. Is there a YouTube clip which shows it?
    I am not sure what "3d repainting" is. I am guessing it implies that not only the walls are green, but so is the floor and any props (e.g. tables/chairs).
    What version of AE might be used? The camera tracking options in 'After Effects' underwent a big upgrade in CS6.
    I am not sure what level of 3d'ness is required. For example, if the background ?(onto the green walls) depicts a scene which does not contain anything which changes (arising from changes in perspective because of the position of the camera); then the background should be relatively easy.
    Whilst it is free and perhaps not awfully good, I might recommend looking at the 'Voodoo' camera tracker, which I believe can create the relevant data for an AE camera.

    Sorry I have not offered a solution, but I am interested to learn what you finally decide to do.

  3. #3


    Thank you very much for responding to my inquiry, I didn't expect anyone to get back to me so soon.

    I wrote that post while half-asleep last night, so allow me to clear things up.

    Sportscenter is an American television program that does full greenscreen recaps of [American] football plays in a 3D environment, which is set up with two walls and a floor, all of which are greenscreen.

    By 3D repainting, I meant painting the pair of basement walls green, as well as the floor.

    At the office, we're using AE CS6; indeed the motion tracker is phenomenal on that program, but in terms of panning the camera across the two walls, I'm still very unsure about constructing a convincing background that will look seamless. Not only that, but we don't exactly possess a program capable of rendering 3D environments (outside of AE).

    I'll certainly look into Voodoo--if it's something that will get the job done, by god I'm willing to give it a shot. Granted, this will take several months, but my employer is intent on seeing this happen, so we will see.

    Again, thank you very much for your reply. It's nice to know this sort of thing isn't an impossible feat for anyone outside of Industrial Light & Magic--but a tremendous one, nonetheless.

  4. #4


    Sorry I still do not get your problem. Maybe you could give links to example videos. If it's just 3D modeling you could have a look at blender.

  5. #5


    This may not make much sense, but it might.
    Quote Originally Posted by XXLRay View Post
    Sorry I still do not get your problem. Maybe you could give links to example videos.
    I agree. It is almost impossible to imagine what is wanted. And made worse, because I have almost no practical experience of doing this; but am interested in trying.

    We probably agree the following 2 points are mutually exclusive; i.e. you can't do both at the same time.
    1) Making everything green helps the softwere to separate the foreground (the Presenter?) from the green background and floor (which is replaced, of course, afterwards).
    2) Having fixed (unmoving) points in a scene will allow software to 'track' the movement of the camera.
    Afterall, one cannot have an entirely green screen if there are visible 'fixed' markers.

    A further issue arises if we want to include a CGI 3d object into the same scene. In particular, if the 'real' person is to walk around it (ie: or goes in front, or behind or passing, and cast shadows etc). The original camera tracking would have been done with respect to the fixed background, not with respect to the 'real' moving person. Perhaps one method is to use 'real' artificial green prop; so the 'real' person would walk around a 'real' green object, in order to mask there body as they go behind it.

    Depending on how much screen area the 'real' person occupies may affect the accuracy of the Camera Tracker. Perhaps an ideal studio had the equipment to record/playback the camera's movements. Thus allowing the 1st shot to be used for the Camera Tracking software; and the 2nd shot to include the 'real' person.

    Despite all this, it is then necessary to integrate that Camera Tracking data into the chosen CGI/modelling application (I think the app 'Cinema 4D' can use the data). I don't think I have seen any good examples of this just using AE.

    XXXRay's suggestion for Blender may be worth considering, as it also contains an integrated camera tracker,

  6. #6


    Putting aside the complexity of the 3D tracking. Try not to have a sharp corner as this could cause a shadow. Use some sort of bendy material to curve any sharp edges including the floor edge, doing this will save a lot of time later. The key (pun intended) to green screen work is getting an even colour to key from. You will of course need raised lighting, this would probably be best done by hanging them from the ceiling so they don't get into the shot when the camera is moving around.

    Take a look at virtual studio software for help with the 3D side of things.

  7. #7
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    San Diego, Ca, USA

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