4 Replies Latest reply on Sep 17, 2008 7:30 AM by ChrisPoisson

    Key first or Grade/CC first

    shooternz Level 6
      I have a series of scenes with fairly critical skin tones and looks. (Skin Product TVC)

      Whats best....should I Key subject before I apply Grade/CC Effects or vice versa.

      Note: I have already done rough keys to the bgs in Premiere to check how the comps and looks "approximate".
        • 1. Re: Key first or Grade/CC first
          Andrew Yoole MVP & Adobe Community Professional
          Always key before grading. Grading could effect the quality of the key, and the key itself could change the footage and upset your grade.
          • 2. Re: Key first or Grade/CC first
            Navarro Parker Level 3
            Key first! Always.
            • 3. Re: Key first or Grade/CC first
              Level 1
              I take original footage, if it's interlaced I separate fields using the best technique available given time constraints, which is usually ReVision FX Fields Kit, double the frame rate of the comp, apply any other image enhancement and deartifacting plug-ins I've got time for, then render out a double frame rate copy in a lossless format for keying. IOW if I've got NTSC interlaced original footage I render out a field separated copy at 58.97fps for keying.

              If it's progressive footage I may still try to improve, cleanup, and deartifact the footage as best I can, render out a lossless copy, and then key, composite, bring into the final project and then color grade. If the color is way off I'll do some general correction before hand.

              There's always an exception. If the key is horribly lit or has other problems I'll sometimes color grade the original and make a much improved copy concentrating only on the key color (usually green or blue) and then render that copy to a lossless format and use that copy to generate a matte which I use as a track matte for the original or improved copy of the original. This usually takes much less time than trying to fix a poorly shot original. IOW, I fix the green, pull a key from the fixed footage, then use that as an alpha track matte for the original footage, then composite, then color grade (as a final step).

              Hope this helps.
              • 4. Re: Key first or Grade/CC first
                ChrisPoisson Level 1
                Hey Rick,

                Great method, thanks.