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DIY Greenscreen suit


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#1 G . Stephen Bruno

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 10:19 PM

Hello, I was going to ask this in a VFX site, but i like you guys, always helpfull, so... here's the problem:
I am producing a project that will call for a greenscreen suit, and I was wondering if anyone here has had to use one. Also, would you have any DIY tips on fabricating a suit.

Basicly, I need to have a animated character walk through live action brush and I need to have the brush move when passed through. I figure the suite would be a great way to pull off the effect. any tips?

thanks in advance

Edited by G . Stephen Bruno, 05 February 2006 - 10:24 PM.

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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:55 AM

Hello, I was going to ask this in a VFX site, but i like you guys, always helpfull, so... here's the problem:
I am producing a project that will call for a greenscreen suit, and I was wondering if anyone here has had to use one. Also, would you have any DIY tips on fabricating a suit.

Basicly, I need to have a animated character walk through live action brush and I need to have the brush move when passed through. I figure the suite would be a great way to pull off the effect. any tips?

thanks in advance



I haven't done all that much chromakeying but won't that be a veritable key nightmare...putting a greenscreen suited person into a green, brushy setting? Also, that implies you'll ahve to be outside and you'll want very flat light on the suit to key it well, which might be tough outside in the woods or brush. Just some things to think about, I'll let the experts on that give the real advice.
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#3 Daniel Rheaume

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:54 AM

I have no real idea how to do this...but I'd like to know myself! This has always interested me.
The one thing I think I will say though is this:

I don't think it would be quite as difficult a challenge to have the brush as it seems. Rather than an outdoor setting, you could built a set. Have a small outdoor type thing you can light however you want. Self contained like a sandbox. :)
Would that work better than on location shoot?
-Daniel
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#4 Robert Hughes

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 11:12 AM

Perhaps you could find a puppeteer to wire the bushes to move in a similar fashion.
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#5 G . Stephen Bruno

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 11:42 AM

Perhaps you could find a puppeteer to wire the bushes to move in a similar fashion.


Thats my back up plan. Similiar to the Discovery Channel's dinosour specials. there are other scenes that call for the suit though, Our character will interact with other elements. A dog, maybe holding an apple, etc...
Does anybody know where to purchase a suit for this., maybe even just sleeves, gloves, and slippers.



thanks guys, I appreciate it.

Edited by G . Stephen Bruno, 07 February 2006 - 11:45 AM.

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#6 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 12:53 PM

the suit probably won't work. because any brush/branches moving behind the person won't properly show up. you'll end up clearly seeing the person's "movement signature" in the final composite (though that would be an interesting effect in itself). but i guess it is possible to work, depending on the shot and what the brush is like. also, green would be an unwise choice if he's surrounded by plants. you would want to use a red suit.

off the top of my head, i think the effect would best be achived by using puppeteered rigging-- have some people walk backwards, holding long, thin, sturdy, chromakey red poles that are bent in a way to catch the brush and make it move as if someone was walking through. there are rig-removal/wire-zapping plugins that do a very good job of automatically removing green/blue/red rigs from the shot, as long as they are pretty thin. the software analyzes the image and is able to "fill in the gap" of where the wire/rig is... but only because it's thin. though something like moving branches would really test the plugins' abilities, if not exceed their capabilities. i would definitely run a test.

generally, complex vfx like an invisible man are achieved though multiple effect techniques executed through multiple shots, with the effect technique chosen specifically according to the challenges of each particular shot.

hope this helps,
jaan
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#7 G . Stephen Bruno

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 01:05 PM

the suit probably won't work. because any brush/branches moving behind the person won't properly show up. you'll end up clearly seeing the person's "movement signature" in the final composite (though that would be an interesting effect in itself). but i guess it is possible to work, depending on the shot and what the brush is like. also, green would be an unwise choice if he's surrounded by plants. you would want to use a red suit.

off the top of my head, i think the effect would best be achived by using puppeteered rigging-- have some people walk backwards, holding long, thin, sturdy, chromakey red poles that are bent in a way to catch the brush and make it move as if someone was walking through. there are rig-removal/wire-zapping plugins that do a very good job of automatically removing green/blue/red rigs from the shot, as long as they are pretty thin. the software analyzes the image and is able to "fill in the gap" of where the wire/rig is... but only because it's thin. though something like moving branches would really test the plugins' abilities, if not exceed their capabilities. i would definitely run a test.

generally, complex vfx like an invisible man are achieved though multiple effect techniques executed through multiple shots, with the effect technique chosen specifically according to the challenges of each particular shot.

hope this helps,
jaan



Any advise helps
yep, i slapped the back of my head for the green aproach, an also since a late fall might still be present, I am now looking at Blue, im not worried about the sky, I will gargage matte. I plan to have the character look like a 2d sketch, not invisible, so backround is not an issue, rather, forground movment to create a realistic feel. I am thinking we will track the key from the suit/feet, with the added drawing in the back. The puppeteering is a great idea and with the budget what it is (3-4k), it will most likely come down to that.

stll though, out of curiosity, has anybody had to work with a suit, any tips on lighing?

thanks,

Edited by G . Stephen Bruno, 07 February 2006 - 01:14 PM.

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#8 Tim Tyler

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 01:40 PM

Try to find the old Cinefex issue for 'Predator' and see what they did.

Ultimately you'll likely need to use a combination of techniques, and you'll have more success if you can shoot in a studio environment with motion control.
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#9 Mark Allen

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:32 PM

I don't have enough information about your shot to comment on the approach specifically.

However, if you end up haveing to need blue material, you could try this place: http://store.yahoo.c...hromkeyfab.html

As far as the approach - after you board your shot, think of how you could split it onto as many different layers as possible.

Can the bushes be on a totally differnt layer as the background? Even if you have a huge screen you place in front of them, or shoot some branches on a separate screen.

The problem you'll have with the suit is that it isn't exactly the character, so you are going to have to be doing tons and tons of clean up roto. If you have the labor force for that - no big deal. In someways though the suit could end up causing more trouble than if you wired the brush to move.

Also consider just doing the brush in 3D as well and have it mixed in. You could base the bush 3D on actual live 3D.

The more you mix things up - the harder it is to find the effect.

Just ideas.
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#10 G . Stephen Bruno

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 01:13 PM

Thanks for the link and idea Mark and everybody.

That is a good idea to have the brush (which is now going to be tall grass) it's own layer. Then i will mix between the three layers. I am going to buy a small roll of the fabric and see if I can throw somthing together.
Im sure no matter what we do, there will be roto work to be done. Especialy with the 3-4k budget, Im sure the matte wont just pull through on the first try, so that is somthing im prepared for. here is a quick draft of how I want the shot to look.

Posted Image


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#11 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 02:17 PM

Thanks for the link and idea Mark and everybody.

That is a good idea to have the brush (which is now going to be tall grass) it's own layer. Then i will mix between the three layers. I am going to buy a small roll of the fabric and see if I can throw somthing together.
Im sure no matter what we do, there will be roto work to be done. Especialy with the 3-4k budget, Im sure the matte wont just pull through on the first try, so that is somthing im prepared for. here is a quick draft of how I want the shot to look.

Posted Image



man, that looks like a potential roto nightmare. you might want to consider shooting it in passes... a few shots of the foreground and midground grass in multiple layers, with red/blue screen blocking off everything behind, then one with the red/bluescreen suit with the grass in foreground flattened down so it doesn't overlap the guy in the suit, and then the same without the guy in frame as a bkgd plate (for inconsistencies between the suit and animated guy's edges).

what format are you shooting on? because the lower the color sampling, the more hoops you're going to have to jump through when shooting to pull a good matte without lots of handwork in post.

hope this helps,
jaan
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#12 Mark Allen

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 04:19 PM

You have a 3D character right?

3D grass is not as hard as 3D character. Animating it could be semi-automated by collision or null deformers etc.. Probably easier and cleaner than the roto.
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#13 G . Stephen Bruno

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 04:34 PM

You have a 3D character right?

3D grass is not as hard as 3D character. Animating it could be semi-automated by collision or null deformers etc.. Probably easier and cleaner than the roto.


yeah Mark, Im working on testing that now, I figure I'll map the grass with shots from the scene. thanks for the Great advise.

Jaan, due to the low budget, we are probley going to shoot DV on a DVX100. This is a Music Video for an independent artist, so no huge numbers on this one. A great steping stone for me though. Thanks for all the help guys, It's why i keep coming here.
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#14 Mark Allen

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 06:29 PM

DV on a DVX100


yikes - even more reason to avoid a screen key - especially on something with linear lines like a blade of grass.
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#15 G . Stephen Bruno

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 06:40 PM

yikes - even more reason to avoid a screen key - especially on something with linear lines like a blade of grass.


so if we shoot with the DVX100, I think it might be a DVX100a, If that even makes a difference, we should avoide trying to key at all?

any (within the price of DVX) alternative suggerstions?
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#16 Jaan Shenberger

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 08:03 PM

so if we shoot with the DVX100, I think it might be a DVX100a, If that even makes a difference, we should avoide trying to key at all?

any (within the price of DVX) alternative suggerstions?



if you're keying in after effects, then try to get "key correct pro" (redgiantsoftware.com) or dv matte (dvgarage.com). they have a special mode for dv25 footage that sorta premultiplies the chroma channels with the luma channel in order to try and derive a cleaner edge key. i believe the key correct pro one also uses some vectorized interpolation for even cleaner edges. but keep in mind that these "cheats" that these plugins use are not nearly as good as shooting 4:2:2 or better. and how helpful the "cheats" are will depend on what your particular footage is like. i'd highly suggest that you test, test, test.

you could also shoot on s16 and then get a direct to hard drive 10-bit lossless HD transfer from bono. if you're shooting exterior day then you could shoot on a slow stock for minimal grain. your keys would end up being cake, especially considering that you'd get to downrez to SD and hide any minor sloppiness in the key. and if you're doing this for your reel, then just going for the gusto and going the s16 route might end paying off more in the long run. 15 min or less footage should be about $300 for the transfer.

best of luck. and post it on the forum when you're done!

forgot to mention that if you shoot on film then you'd have to plan for synching and lip synch in post. there are numerous ways to handle this and probably lots of info online.
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#17 G . Stephen Bruno

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 11:46 PM

Yeah jaan, If i was shooting in S16 Im sure i would have a bigger smile on my face. But this time I think Ill have to make lemonaid, if you know what i mean. I do plan to key and layer in AE and I have Ultimatte plug-ins, but the ones you suggested are well in my price range. So, I might think about adding to the effects folder. Anyway, thanks again for the replys and when i get this baby together Ill bump this thread back up so you can have a look.

best,
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