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I think you're chasing your own tail. You might be able to use channels and a bunch of manipulation to key out his head but you're going to have to roto out the shirt. You may have to roto everything.
Take a look at the individual color channels. It's probably easiest in Photoshop. If you can't find any with significant contrast between foreground and background elements you'll have a very hard time pulling a color based key. This image was created from the blue channel in just a few seconds.
That's my worry. I did manage to do a reasonable removal with the Magic Wand in Photoshop, but one-frame took about 40-seconds. The footage is 50-minutes long so 29.97x60= 1-minute....hmmmm that's 89910 frames, anyone else who may have a solution?
Thanks for your input Rick, it is appreciated.
Here is my feeble attempt.
How: create a simple travelling mask and keyframe the movement of person try avoiding too few bezier points for easier, this is helpful for keying purposes so that the keyer has less areas to key out and in the end you can additionaly adjust mask expansion and feather at your needs >> Keying: i used at least 4 instances of color key and play around with color, color tolerance and feather of each instance >> add matte choker, adjust >> ad simple choker, adjust.
NOTE: Ae does not update changes very well, means every slider adjustment must be done by little increments, so adjust a little, release, adjust, release, to get the preview done this is pretty awful but it works somehow.
COMP PREVIEW MUST BE SET @ FULL QUALITY otherwise at half resolution results vary very heavy - thats the next flaw, hopefully better in CS5
You may also get some improvement by cranking up the green component. Apparently it's present in most of the background, but not in the area on the left, which would still have to be masked somehow. BTW, if you look for a "magic wand" in AE - Digital Film Tools' PowerMask can do something similar. You define a reference frame with masks and it tries to track the contours across time. It costs money, of course, but may be worth a spin.
OT Btw. the Ace looks similar to Obi-Wan ;)
Has anyone used Power Matte? If so, do you think it may do the job?
If so, I'll see if I can get it on Ebay, $200 is a lot, but could be worth it?
BTW, he's whup Obi-Wan anyday ;)
I have only dabbled with the trial version, when the plug-in was new a year ago, but it seems to do a good job at what it is being advertised for. Of course some manual cleanup will still occur... And 200 bucks is not much, if it saves your job. Of course that's assuming it's a paid gig...