Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Green screen chroma key - the Askar details

Received this question in the Youtube comments for "Test Scenes for Askar"

i read that it wasn't possible to chroma key with HDV format. how you do this?

Difficult to give a long answer in the Youtube comments area - so here is the place.
The forums I was reading said it was possible but I borrowed cameras and did experiments because I do not take what I read as the final word. For this scene I borrowed a "real" greenscreen sheet that a local studio imports from China and sells for $100. Careful lighting of scene and sheet with film lights each side angling in so shadows do not hit the screen.

It helps to get the camera as far away from the green screen as possible then zoom in - you can then get the actors away from the screen. We did this in an ordinary classroom. Shot on Canon HV20. Editing was so easy - used the now unfortunately discontinued Ulead Mediastudio Pro 8 software. I selected the "bluescreen" preset then clicked on the green area with an eyedropper tool and hit 100% with the slider control. No masks, no separate tuning of various colour channels, really just one click on the default setting for dummies and instant gratification. I understand that most Video Editing software has this "bluescreen" setting but the screen does not need to be blue - green(this case) and red work just as well and there is an eyedropper control cursor to click on your screen colour to get the process started.

I think that to get "composite" shots to work, we need to get it together with hi-definition and pro greenscreen material and careful lighting.

We ran out of time for the main shoot and I needed to visit the "mystic" actor at her home and we did her closeups there. Same camera and greenscreen cloth but I could not borrow the film lights so I used halogen work lights as sold at $30 each by hardware stores - these go well as low-budget film lighting.

No comments: