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Keying Out a Blond Woman Standing Too Close to the Screen - Help, I'm dying here!

Apr 2, 2012 6:00 PM

Hello there,


So I've been giving this footage to key out in After Effects as a test. In theory I can use any other Adobe software that I want to help out, but I think it looks a lot better if it I achieve my goal purely with AE. I've got the entire Adobe CS5 Master Suite, by the by.

Now I'm using Keylight 1.2, have read through the entire PDF manual and am also using Simple Choker....but no matter what I do, the results around the edges (partiuclarly the hair) are just terrible. I'm inclined to blame the footage itself since I don't think it's been lit well and the subject is way too close to the greenscreen so that there's more spill then can be compensated for - but maybe I'm missing something? I'm reluctant to tell the person that their footage is crap as they're a potential employer and my getting a steady gig is on the line. Please help!


A Few Things to Know

  • I got the tightest matte I could by doing an auto-trace junk matte, so there are no problems further then maybe a dozen pixels from the subject.
  • I really, truly have tried to solve this myself by reading the manual and checking out several dozen tutorials (both video and written).
  • I'm not in a position to request different footage or a re-shoot, though I wish I were.
  • In the past I've used plain old Ultra-Key in Premiere I've gotten great keying out results on over a hundred videos that were shot in my living room with a teal wall, prosumer camcorder and three lights from a hardware store. I don't think it's unfair to say that this footage was poorly shot!
  • I tried Ultra-Key in Premiere on this and got shoddy results, albeit different looking shoddy results. Plus, as I say, I think it's important for the test that I pull this off inside After Effects.
  • This is time sensitive, hence my panicked disposition!


My current Keylight Settings

Keylight Settings.jpg

My current result (with lots of flickering edges, vanishing and reappearing hair on the left side and...hoo boy)

Current Result.jpg

And yeah, it's a bit silly. My full name is already crazy easy to find online so I can only hope I'm not sabotaging my life by making it available here!


What Happens if I try Despill Bias (linked to Alpha Bias), which is what the manual suggests

DeSpill Bias Results.jpg

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2012 7:04 PM   in reply to Obracken

    The most important thing is to not try to do the entire shot with only one matte.


    You've got a garbage matte, and that's good. Now, make a core matte that preserves all of the model but the edges. You can make this core matte by using the Keylight effect and then choking the result.


    Then, just use the Keylight effect on the thin region between the inside of your garbage matte and the outside of your core matte. That's where you need to fiddle with the details of the Keylight effect.


    In fact, you might even cut the edge matte work into two pieces, one for the easy work of the lower frame (the shoulders) and one for the hard part: the hair.


    Also, you can hide a lot of bad keying work by having the new background be similar to the hair and greenscreen color.


    Finally, don't forget the Refine Matte effect, which can help a lot with matte edges in motion.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2012 7:07 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Oh, and you should do yourself a favor and buy this book: 032171962X


    The chapter on keying describes how to do what I just outlined, and it does so in clear and comprehensive detail. (Full disclosure: I'm the book's editor, so I might be biased.)

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 2, 2012 10:59 PM   in reply to Obracken



    I saw a four part tutorial yesterday that deals with the topic of multiple masks and creating core/garbage mattes -  and also might help you with the hair issue you are having. Go to the following link, and search for "Multi". as I said, there are four parts. I hope they help.




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