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Greenscreen on DVCAM


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#1 JP BEATTIE

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 07:39 AM

I have a shoot to supervise early in the new year. We're going to have an effects heavy scene with two people in a car, and the outside being greenscreened and replaced later. I've been told we're going to be using the Sony DSR-500 DVCAM camera. I'm worried about keying the shots, concerning the compression involved with DVCAM. We will be using prefessional lights etc and a pro greenscreen, but will the video format stand up?
Also, would it make any difference if the footage is captured via componant or firewire?
Any help would be appreciated.
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#2 David Cox

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 11:57 AM

DVCam is not ideal for green screen work because the recording format stores lower resolution colour information. This will lead to less satisfactory edges to your composites.

A better solution would be to use a recording system that allows at least 4:2:2 recording (which still has half resolution colour) such as Digi Beta. I am assuming that if you are shooting DVcam that a 4:4:4 (full colour resolution) camera and recorder, such as an F950 and SRW1 recorder is out of the question.

Realistically capturing via component or firewire is less of a problem than what the recorder does to the image once its got it. Staying digital is preferable though, as component connections could introduce noice or other errors if not correctly checked.

For shooting inside cars, an important issue is the flatness of the green screen. The more uniform the colour of the green across the screen, the more chance the compositor has of capturing reflections from glass and motion blur from hands moving across the screen. Alternatively you might choose to remove the glass and add refections later, but this can be a bit of a fudge for certain angles.

David Cox
Baraka Post Production
www.baraka.co.uk
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#3 JP BEATTIE

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 07:53 AM

Thanks David,
yes I thought this might be the case actually. Digi Beta is out the question, we have all DVCAM and DVC-PRO cameras and players.
Thanks anyways!
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#4 Michael Most

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 01:43 PM

Thanks David,
yes I thought this might be the case actually. Digi Beta is out the question, we have all DVCAM and DVC-PRO cameras and players.
Thanks anyways!


If you're shooting on a stage, or under controlled conditions, you might consider recording directly on a computer, using either a less compressed codec - DVCPro50 comes to mind - or an "uncompressed" codec. You would likely need a full sized computer with a capture card, and a camera that has either SDI out or component analog out, which most pro-level DVCam and DVCPro units do. And if you want to go uncompressed, you would likely need a disk array (although a 2 drive Firewire 800 array would suffice). But either one would yield far superior results when compared to DV recording.
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#5 David Cox

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 02:27 PM

DVCPro50 is a 4:2:2 recording format so should give you results very close to digi beta, if not the same.

Hope that helps!

Good luck with your shoot.

David Cox
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 January 2007 - 02:29 PM

I'd see if you can get the Panasonic SDX900 (DVCPRO50) for the greenscreen shoot, if not the entire shoot.
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