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greenscreen video options?


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#1 michael pierro

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 04:15 PM

Hi there,

I'm working on a relatively low budget project that is going to be quite heavily greenscreen based. The original plan was to shoot with minidv, but we're looking into other, affordable, format options.

We were thinking dvcpro50, does anyone have any compositing experience with that or any other video format that is on the cheaper side?

Thanks,
mp
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 06:48 PM

"Cheaper" is a matter of what you have access to. I've used DVCPRO 50 before with the SDX900, but also do quite a bit with analogue Betacam SP because a client already owns the gear. The HVX200 can record in DVCPRO50 mode.
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#3 CJ Henke III

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 12:49 PM

MiniDV is under estimated because everyone thinks that the lower quality, means a poor end product. In reality, it all depends on your cinematographer. Real professionals can take a simple DV camera with advance manual settings and a 35mm lens adapter and make it look like film and professionally done at that. If you are using greenscreen for most of your project, then DV would be easier to create a more realistic background. When you work in HD or a better quality, you are going to have to make a better quality background image, that can be much more time consuming. In HD as I work, you must put twice as much effort into the shot composition-ing to make it look believable.


If you are a student, then just shoot in DV, if you are attempting to go the festival route and your end-product is amazing, then you will be able to find a sales agent who will get you funds to transfer your video to film and up-res the lower quality footage to 2K. DuArt takes DV to 2K HD for $1,000 or more pending on the length. Also,Film transfers and transportation are what makes indi projects jump in budget.
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#4 Michael Nash

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Posted 29 November 2007 - 09:30 PM

MiniDV is under estimated because everyone thinks that the lower quality, means a poor end product. In reality, it all depends on your cinematographer. Real professionals can take a simple DV camera with advance manual settings and a 35mm lens adapter and make it look like film and professionally done at that. If you are using greenscreen for most of your project, then DV would be easier to create a more realistic background.


The problem isn't the "look" of Mini DV, it's that the compression creates artifacts when you try to pull a matte. No matter how artfully shot, a clean matte edge requires clean color channel info, and DV color is highly compressed.
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#5 Kenn Christenson

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Posted 03 December 2007 - 05:28 PM

I've been using the HVX200 for green/blue screen work for over a year now - and I highly recommend it for that purpose.

I shoot all the work I do in either the 720PN/24 for 1080i/24P formats. 1080i will give you a cleaner matte. If you can afford the HVX, I'd definitely go that route. DV - even professionally shot DV - cannot overcome the lower resolution and compression when you're trying to pull a clean matte.

Don't make yourself crazy - stay away from DV for any sort of compositing.
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#6 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 12:47 AM

Hi there,

I'm working on a relatively low budget project that is going to be quite heavily greenscreen based. The original plan was to shoot with minidv, but we're looking into other, affordable, format options.

We were thinking dvcpro50, does anyone have any compositing experience with that or any other video format that is on the cheaper side?

Thanks,
mp


I use my HVX-200 and love it and yes the 4:2:2 color sampling is way superior for green screen work
to Mini-DV but honest to gosh even the chroma key option in Final Cut Express is so good that I use it
often for green screen shots with Mini-DV and get some terrific results. You probably could do some tests
pretty inexpensively. Of course a project heavily reliant on green screen may be different than the quick
shots that I get using Mini-DV but maybe your testing can help you find the answers that will fit your budget
and story.

By the way, I bought a 9' x 20' muslin green screen from TubeTape.com
http://store02.prost...reen/Categories

and have been quite happy with it. I'm giving them a plug because I like the product, it was priced
decently (for $89.95 to me it's worth owning rather than renting one) and they're an advertiser on this site
or they were when I bought it because that's how I found them.

If you do get a muslin backdrop, you may hear people complain about the problem with wrinkles. I'm sure
that you don't want to spread a 180 sq. ft. fabric across your ironing board or attempt to steam it on your
clothesline.

I brought my green screen to the drycleaners after it had become heavily wrinkled after a shoot out of town.
It was nice and clean so I explained that I didn't want to clean it if I didn't have to, in order to protect the
rich color, but I would like it pressed if possible. They said sure and charged me fifteen bucks and put it on a
big hangar. That worked out and it's really nice to have on hand when I need it.
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#7 Walter Graff

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 12:01 PM

Contrary to what most say here, my expereince is that DV cuts keys perfectly well and no less than formats that smaple at 4:2:2 for the small screen. The three factors are well lit screens (or a working knowledge of how to light a screen, the subject, etc) and a good piece of software to pull the key along with color smoothing plugins like Nattress filters, and knowledge of how to operate it properly. The third factor is what I stress. I have even done perfect keys using pink backgrounds with DV. But I think many folks have put down DV because they do not know the intracacies in the chain of chromakeying and think there must be a better way so blame the format. There is, but as I said my experience has shown me that I can cut keys just as well with DV as I can with higher color sampling fomrats. I show this clearly doing just that on my DVD "Greenscreen for idiots" and have shown groups this at my seminars on greenscreen which I have another coming up in NY in February where I will use a consumer camera and show that I can cut just as good a key as I can with a high def camera. I know I am not alone in this as some of my friends who do extensive broadcast compositing work say that it requires a bit more work with DV but is perfectly doable. As many discussions on this board have said many times, it's never about tools but learning how to use them. If that's what you have to work with you can do it well. It's done all the time.
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Visual Products

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