> I find that a lot of green screen stuff I see doesn't really sell in part because there are very distinct and hard boundaries between the talent and the background
Light wrap is your friend:
For other tips for keying, including tips for acquiring footage for keying, see this; there's a lot of good information here:
Excellent insights, as always. Gave a quick glance at both links, will definitely be digging in to do some reading in both areas. Thanks for the help.
Not averse to grabbing an extra plugin if it really carries it's weight but I like the fact that they discuss the concepts with and without. That always helps me understand the principles better, without which even the best plugins are of limited value.
So what's new and exciting on your side of the street?
Okay, I should have seen that one coming.
Okay, the light wrap techniques make sense. It's essentially what I was trying to convey in my original post, so I'm glad I'm on the right track.
While the implementation seems easy enough, in the process of reading up I saw referenct to, among other things, the Red Giant keying suite including Key Correct Pro, Primatte Keyer and Warp. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts regarding Primatte vs AE Keylight, and also on how much bang for the buck Key Correct brings. Don't mind spending the money if it's worth it, but don't want to throw money at plugins just to be doing so.
I'll leave it to others to recommend specific plug-ins and utilities beyod what comes with After Effects.
Regarding making a light wrap: I made a video about this process for the After Effects CS6: Learn By Video course. Let me see if I can make that video available for free... Even if not, I used roughly the same approach as described in that article on the ProVideo Coalition website.
I have competed the "Learn by Video" course for CS5 now. Lots of great tips and tricks. I really enjoyed it. It would be great if the Light Wrap video could be made available.... :-)
I am looking forward to taking the rest in - piece by piece!
Understood on the recommendations. I'm spinning that off to its own question as it's more product suggestion than tips & tricks.
Regarding the video, that would be very cool. I'm using CS4 but I suspect the techniques are much the same.
Christopher Duncan wrote:
On the surface, green screen stuff is supposed to be easy. Get a clean shot that keys well, drop it into your comp and you're done. However, seems to me that getting the clean footage to place is only the beginning in order to have something that truly looks natural.
What you're asking about is the art of filmmaking. Most amateurs don't understand light wrap, lighting motivation (matching source type and direction and color) or simulating depth of field in the composite. However, most keys do not require such elaborate techniques and attention to detail. This is the difference between simulation and a simple background replacement; the difference between creating a scene and creating a weather show. The needs are different.
What you're asking about is the art of filmmaking.
Yep. Anything worth doing is worth doing to extremes!
While I'm not making a living with the visual arts at present, I've paid the bills as a musician, written a couple of books and these days work as a software developer. Whatever art I pursue, I want to achieve the highest production values possible.
And that's the cool thing about technology these days. Tools like Adobe are relatively inexpensive. Combined with a decent computer, you can absolutely create Hollywood quality material. It's not like the old days where a musician couldn't afford to buy that million dollar Neve console, let alone a recording studio. With the power that PCs give us, the limitations aren't physical or monetary. It's all down to talent and skill.
I don't have much of either of those at present, but that's a problem I can solve.
> It's all down to talent and skill.
... and patience. Lots and lots of patience. There's a reason that the list of compositors/rotocopers/etc is so very long at the end of a movie.
Rotoscoping. Wasn't that one of Dante's 7 levels?