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Thread: Chroma Key Kit

  1. Default Chroma Key Kit????

    Hi,
    I am looking at getting a chroma key setup on a budget and a second hand HD Camcorder with MIC input. It will mainly be used for presenting to camera with short video blog articles and also 3 minute drumming tuition videos.

    Any suggestions on doing this on a budget?

    Also, are there any good Adobe After Effects tutorial sites?


    Cheers

    Ian
    Last edited by Malinois; 11-12-2013 at 04:47 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malinois View Post
    Any suggestions on doing this on a budget?
    ....
    Also, are there any good Adobe After Effects tutorial sites?
    Zillions.

    But I'm confused. You want to go cheapy cheapy on the kit yet you have AE which costs a fortune?
    Tim

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    I finally got chroma key working properly by trial and error and the real secret turns out not to be the software but rather a) a proper backdrop that isn't all wrinkled and b) consistent lighting across that backdrop.

  4. Default

    Like you say backdrop and lighting are key to this!

  5. Default

    Hi,
    The reason I have access to AE is that my daughter is a fashion design and photography student for whom I bought CC.
    She uses photoshop and illustrator every day and occasionally get a sneaky lookin on AE. It costs 15.00 per month for the whole package.

    I am getting lots of confusing advice from the web on cameras which ranges from me being able to use my Galaxy S4 to me needing nothing less than a 2k camera.

    Going in circles.

    Ian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malinois View Post
    The reason I have access to AE is that my daughter is a fashion design and photography student for whom I bought CC.
    She uses photoshop and illustrator every day and occasionally get a sneaky lookin on AE. It costs 15.00 per month for the whole package.
    Lucky her

    Quote Originally Posted by Malinois View Post
    I am getting lots of confusing advice from the web on cameras which ranges from me being able to use my Galaxy S4 to me needing nothing less than a 2k camera.

    Going in circles.
    That's the web for you. I've just been shooting some green screen with a Panasonic X900. Two lights with softboxes on the screen. Two 300W tungsten on the talent and another as a backlight on them from separation. Talent many feet (6-10feet) in front of the screen.
    Should be good? Welll, cetainly better than I've managed in the past but:
    1. Despite plenty of Duck tape the screen still had stretches causing a few creases (incidentally teh screen was about 5 foot in front of an exterior window and with the curtains closed and the muslim doubled over the exterior light could still be seen adding yet another variation to the consistency.
    2. Because of the size of the room - a typical UK living room (the camera was in the next room) O couldn't really get the softboxes far enough away from teh screen and so this produced inconsistent lighting of the screen.
    3. Despite the backlight and the distance I still had green spillage, some very noticable (on gold reflective surface which was not, as far as I could tell, angled to reflect the background this surprised me somewhat.

    Howevre the results were better than last year's attempt where I had the screen at the back of our small conservatory, the talent in the (about 6 feet in front) doorway and the camera outside all making best used of exterior light.

    So I'd agree wholegheartedly with Zam aout the lighting and setup being crucial.

    However the software is also important. Trying to key this with the Chroma Key FX in Vegas was poor - rather difficult to get the undulations in the screen out and a black mesh "veil" would only appear blue if I did so. I find better results are obtained using the Secondary Colour Corrector where you have much better adjustments for the value and range of hue, saturation and luminance.

    But having upgraded to Sony Vegas Pro Suite, I tried out the Chroma Keyer in Hit Film 2 Ultimate. What a joy to work with. Without ajustment it makes a much better job than I can achieve in Vegas and I can tweak awau like nobody's business with parameters like soill replacement and spill suppression and 101 other thingies. I haven't achieved perfect results, but, as stated above, I hadn't learned to set up properly. I would expect AE to be even better.

    So, the software also has a lot to do with it.

    But as with it seems everything to do with filming, the more you put in up front, the easier the later stages become (and hence more time for creativity).

    As for the camera, given the right sort of lighting all modern cameras are capable of a decent image. I am happy to be corrected on this but I would have thought that progressive footage will key better than interlaced.
    Credit to you for recognising you want an external mic (assuming you need to record live audio - this isn't necessarily a given) but how are you going to monitor it? Too few camcorders have audio out/headphone jacks - something to check for.
    Tim

  7. Default

    Cheers for the reply. I have a Zoom Q2 HD that I can use on audio only plus one of my drumming friends has a Zoom H4 that we can use.
    If I am just presenting to camera I have an Audio Technica Lavalier mic that I used with my Kodak Zi8.
    So I think we have sound covered.

    Re lighting. I already have one single bulb softbox. I am looking at getting two more 5 bulb softboxes off fleabay with individual bulb switches for adjustment to light the screen.

    Cheers
    Ian

  8. #8

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    Hair is a pain. If long hair, then just tie it back. Put some distance between them and the greenscreen and no green on the subjects, naturally.

    Light the screen evenly and the rest is all good.



    After that, keying is a mixture of science and voodoo.

    Her is an example of something I haven't finished. It's 50% complete in terms of the key which is a bit 'loose.': https://vimeo.com/paulrwalker/review...422/50bb3d12fe
    Password: Anjo
    "80% of success is turning up" - Woody Allen

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by gorillaonabike View Post
    Hair is a pain.
    I may guess that any part of the outline which is not sharp will cause problems. Perhaps hair spray can be useful to prevent the worst excesses of complex/ragged hair outlines.
    Might there be some general advice about clothing? A thick wool sweater may, for example, give a more difficult background than a smooth t-shirt.

  10. Default

    Hi,
    Thanks again. Hair won't be a problem. I'm bald and my drumming mate has short cropped hair.

    I am looking at 2 different powered softer units on EBay. I assume the more power the better as you can swich on individual bulbs.

    As for cameras. If it weren't for the 30 minute stop time on DSLR I might go down that route.

    Otherwise I am thinking Panasonic due to the wide angle lens. Do I need the 3mos models or with a standard one do? Judging second hand prices I am looking at 180-300 for the camera.

    Cheers

    Ian

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