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The Green Screen Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques

Book Description

Make movies and videos with green screen compositing technology with The Green Screen Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques. This unique guide is a comprehensive how-to of professional production techniques, step-by-step instruction, and tips that can save you time and money. Learn when to use green screens instead of blue, find out how the pros operate in professional studios, and get amazing results—even on a shoestring budget.

Topics include matting and keying basics; setups using fabric, portable background panels, or paint; lighting and digital camera essentials; broadcast TV hardware switchers; professional HD and major motion picture compositing; multiple-colored screen composites (background, foregrounds, and objects); directing storyboards and talent; working with virtual sets; motion tracking; and much more.

  • See how to plan, set up, and execute your shots to reduce fixes in post

  • Choose the right keying process for your project

  • Master basic shooting setups and live broadcast keying

  • Understand proper lighting and how to match subjects to the background

  • Create a working storyboard and learn how to select and direct talent

  • Composite your footage and fix problem shots

  • Work creatively with virtual sets, motion tracking, and match moving

  • Master techniques that apply to all compositing software and plug-ins

The DVD includes sample footage and all project files to accompany the chapters in the book.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. About the Author
  4. Foreword
  5. Introduction
    1. Who Should Read This Book
      1. What You Will Learn
      2. What You Need
    2. What Is Covered in This Book
    3. How to Contact the Author
  6. I. Exploring the Matting Process
    1. 1. Mattes and Compositing Defined
      1. 1.1. The Road to the Modern-Day Traveling Matte
        1. 1.1.1. The Early Days
        2. 1.1.2. The Traveling Matte Is Introduced
      2. 1.2. How the Sodium Vapor Traveling Matte Process Works
      3. 1.3. How the Modern-Day Blue and Green Screen Traveling Matte Process Works
    2. 2. Digital Matting Methods and Tools
      1. 2.1. Green vs. Blue Screen (Finally Defined!)
        1. 2.1.1. Real-World Examples
        2. 2.1.2. Jonathan Erland at the Academy
      2. 2.2. Difference Matte vs. Chroma Key
      3. 2.3. Hardware Matte Compositors and Chroma Keyers
        1. 2.3.1. Ultimatte Hardware Compositors
        2. 2.3.2. Grass Valley Switchers with Chroma Keyer
        3. 2.3.3. NewTek TriCaster STUDIO
        4. 2.3.4. Pinnacle Studio MovieBox Ultimate
        5. 2.3.5. Reflecmedia LiteRing
      4. 2.4. Compositing Software and Plug-ins
        1. 2.4.1. Video- and Image-Compositing Software with Keyers
        2. 2.4.2. Final Cut Pro 6
        3. 2.4.3. Avid Media Composer Adrenaline HD
        4. 2.4.4. Adobe Premiere Pro CS4
        5. 2.4.5. Adobe After Effects CS4 with Keylight
        6. 2.4.6. Third-Party Keying and Compositing Plug-ins
          1. 2.4.6.1. Ultimatte AdvantEdge
          2. 2.4.6.2. Ultimatte RT
          3. 2.4.6.3. Primatte Keyer Pro 4.0
          4. 2.4.6.4. dvMatte Pro 3 Studio
          5. 2.4.6.5. Conduit
          6. 2.4.6.6. Boris Continuum Complete
          7. 2.4.6.7. Primatte Chromakey (for Photoshop)
          8. 2.4.6.8. Ultra 2 (Adobe Ultra CS3)
    3. 3. Basic Shooting Setups
      1. 3.1. Basic Setups for Shooting Green Screen
      2. 3.2. Green Screen and Blue Screen Materials
        1. 3.2.1. Painted Walls, Cycs, and Floors
        2. 3.2.2. Digital Matte Keying Fabrics and Materials
          1. 3.2.2.1. Composite Components Fabrics
          2. 3.2.2.2. Rosco DigiComp Products
          3. 3.2.2.3. Lastolite Collapsible Chromakey Blue and Green Screen
          4. 3.2.2.4. Generic Green Muslin
          5. 3.2.2.5. Reflective Media
    4. 4. Basic Compositing Techniques
      1. 4.1. Overview of Matting Compositing Techniques
        1. 4.1.1. Software Chroma Keying, Matting and Compositing Process
          1. 4.1.1.1. Basic Chroma Keying with Final Cut Pro
          2. 4.1.1.2. Using a Third-Party Plug-in with Final Cut Pro
          3. 4.1.1.3. Matting and Compositing Layers in After Effects
      2. 4.2. Overview of Layer Masks, Mattes and Roto-Masking Techniques
        1. 4.2.1. Creative Alpha Mattes
        2. 4.2.2. Roto-Spline Masking
    5. 5. Simple Setups on a Budget
      1. 5.1. Shooting Green Screen Outdoors to Save Money
      2. 5.2. DIY Light Kits on the Cheap
      3. 5.3. Shooting with Inexpensive Background Materials and the NanoSoftLights
    6. 6. Green Screens in Live Broadcasts
      1. 6.1. Visiting a Typical TV Newsroom
        1. 6.1.1. The Studio's Green Screen
        2. 6.1.2. The Ultimatte Hardware in Action
      2. 6.2. Live Broadcast with Virtual Sets
    7. 7. How the Pros Do It
      1. 7.1. A Tour of Cafe FX
        1. 7.1.1. Traveling Back in Time with HBO's John Adams
          1. 7.1.1.1. Breakdown of a Composite
      2. 7.2. Indie Filmmakers Tackle Big Effects
        1. 7.2.1. Hydralab's Marvel in Miniature:Machine
        2. 7.2.2. Pendragon Pictures 1800s Version of H.G. Wells'The War of the Worlds
  7. II. Setting the Scene
    1. 8. Choosing the Right Matting Process for Your Project
      1. 8.1. Should I Choose Hardware or Software Matting/Compositing?
      2. 8.2. What Kind of Shots Do I Need?
        1. 8.2.1. Single Interviews and Talking-Head Shots
        2. 8.2.2. Action and Full-Body Motion
        3. 8.2.3. Creative Shots and Lighting for Effect
    2. 9. Proper Lighting Techniques
      1. 9.1. Lighting the Screen and Foreground Subjects
        1. 9.1.1. Green Screen on the Go
          1. 9.1.1.1. Reflecmedia LED System
          2. 9.1.1.2. Kino Flos
          3. 9.1.1.3. Litepanels: A Compact Option
        2. 9.1.2. Studio Lighting
        3. 9.1.3. The Importance of Using a Scope
      2. 9.2. Shooting Green and Blue Screen Outdoors
    3. 10. Matching Your Subjects to the Background
      1. 10.1. Creating Simple Composites
        1. 10.1.1. Lighting and Camera Angles
      2. 10.2. Integrating Props with Sets
      3. 10.3. Tracking and Matchmoving Green Screen Shots
        1. 10.3.1. Tracking Handheld Background Footage
        2. 10.3.2. Tracking the Green Screen Insert
        3. 10.3.3. Using Multiple Backgrounds to Alter the Mood of a Scene
    4. 11. Digital Cameras and Camcorders
      1. 11.1. Digital Camcorder Basics
        1. 11.1.1. Interlaced vs. Progressive Scan Formats
        2. 11.1.2. Image Sensors and Sampling Ratios
          1. 11.1.2.1. The Truth about HD, 2K, and 4K
          2. 11.1.2.2. An Interview with Panavision's John Galt about 2K vs. 4K
        3. 11.1.3. The Lens
          1. 11.1.3.1. Correcting Barrel Distortion in After Effects
      2. 11.2. Scoping Your Camera
    5. 12. Storyboarding and Directing Your Talent
      1. 12.1. The Importance of Previsualization and Storyboarding
        1. 12.1.1. Haven: A Case-Study Production
        2. 12.1.2. Dead End City: A Case-Study Production
      2. 12.2. Pre-Post": Working as a Team with Post-Production on the Set
      3. 12.3. That's Why They Call It "Acting"
    6. 13. Interacting with the Background and Objects
      1. 13.1. Shooting with Color-Keyed Props and Furniture
        1. 13.1.1. Compositing the Shots with the Virtual Set
        2. 13.1.2. Using a Secondary Key Color on Props
      2. 13.2. Shooting to Retain Wanted Shadows
        1. 13.2.1. Shadows on Green Screen
  8. III. Compositing the Footage
    1. 14. Getting a Great Matte
      1. 14.1. Bad Lighting + Poor Production = Dreadful Mattes!
      2. 14.2. Good Lighting + Solid Production = Great Mattes!
      3. 14.3. Best Practices in Software Keying and Matte Extraction
    2. 15. Color Balancing the Subject and Background
      1. 15.1. Matching Foreground Plate to Background
      2. 15.2. Processing Both Foreground and Background Plates
      3. 15.3. Making Adjustments in the RGB Channels
      4. 15.4. Changing a Scene's Lighting and Environment
      5. 15.5. Creating a Classic Movie Effect with Lighting Tricks
      6. 15.6. Real-World Post-Production: Haven
    3. 16. Fixing Problem Green Screen Shots
      1. 16.1. Common Problems with Poor Shots
        1. 16.1.1. Poor Lighting Issues
        2. 16.1.2. Case Study: Poor Lighting
        3. 16.1.3. Shot Too Dark
      2. 16.2. Fixing Mistakes
        1. 16.2.1. Correcting Difficult Spill
        2. 16.2.2. Fixing Transparency Issues
        3. 16.2.3. Fixing Reflectivity Issues
    4. 17. Working with Virtual Sets
      1. 17.1. What Is a Virtual Set?
      2. 17.2. Using a Basic 3D Virtual Set
        1. 17.2.1. Creating or Modifying Your Own 3D Virtual Set
      3. 17.3. Virtual Sets in Real Time
      4. 17.4. A Nonvirtual Set for CG Animation
    5. 18. Motion Tracking and Matchmoving
      1. 18.1. Motion-Control Hardware
        1. 18.1.1. Camera Rig Options
      2. 18.2. Motion-Tracking and Matchmoving Techniques
        1. 18.2.1. Simple Panning Motion Track
        2. 18.2.2. Handheld Motion Track with Green Screen
        3. 18.2.3. Planar Tracker Video Insertion
    6. 19. Complex Composites
      1. 19.1. Combining Green Screen Background with Blue Screen Foreground Elements
        1. 19.1.1. Multiple-Color Matting Project
      2. 19.2. Compositing with Particles and Simulated Camera Moves
        1. 19.2.1. Step 1: Correcting the Green Screen Plate
        2. 19.2.2. Step 2: Matching the Background to the Green Screen Plate
        3. 19.2.3. Step 3: Adding the Particle-Generated Snow
    7. A. Products and Services Mentioned in This Book
    8. B. About the Companion DVD
      1. B.1. What You'll Find on the DVD
        1. B.1.1. Support Files
      2. B.2. System Requirements
      3. B.3. Using the DVD
      4. B.4. Troubleshooting
        1. B.4.1. Customer Care