Not to be put off by my last green screen effort; yesterday saw me do a traditional corporate talking head green screen shoot with the boss of the Balanced Lifestyle Group.
Tried two set ups the day before; one with my reflector green cover and the one I settled on was my green cloth and frame. Bit of a tight squeeze but using my 1000w tungsten light to light the green; the living room light and my small camera LED light to light the subject.
Using my learnings from last time; used my camera's waveform to get the green as bright as possible and the subject well lit but below the greens luminance by at least one stop. I probably went too over board with the greens brightness but I wanted to be sure.
After black balancing the camera; it needed a white balance to get back some normal colours due to the mix of light in the room. Didn't quite get that right as the green was more in the yellow than I would have liked but it was evenly lit.
The small camera light did a great job in lighting the subject - quite surprising from such a small light. No apparent grainy/mushyness footage that I have experienced before. Made sure the subject was as far out of the black zone on the waveform as I could go without effecting the balance between her and the green.
Final footage was clean and using Keylight in After Effects it pulled a key almost with just one click. No chattering edges. Followed a tutorial as not used After Effects before. Masked out as much green as possible before duplicating the layer. Pre-composed the top layer and turned off the bottom layer. Added Keylight to the pre-comp. Fine tuned the key. Switched off pre-comp and then added a Hue Saturation effect on the layer below. Using the green channel; desaturated the greens - moving the range to get all of it - in my case more yellow!
Then used the pre-comp as a track matte for the bottom layer and hey presto done. Colour corrected the bottom layer more to match the mainly white background she was going to be comp'd against. Then applied light wrap to this layer using the background layer.
After a recent shoot for RBS' Burns night BDD I have learnt another hard lesson with my camera. It takes no prisoners in low light. I forgot to black balance, and I under exposed resulting in a muddy looking picture after colour correction. So written a list of steps I need to follow in order to not fall into that trap again:
1. Choose lens
2. Choose composition
3. Black balance
4. White balance
5. Check exposure; screen, waveform - minimal blacks, mid tones halfway, whites topping out - increase light not gain
6. Check focus; use focus card
7. Film grey card
Simple steps that will make for much better footage - going to type this up and stick to camera.
I have decided to make the opening titles be a camera pan inside the radio, across the frequency 'dial' showing not only the FM numbers but also Borderline Shorts Presents, Retirement, passing the indicator and out to reveal the radio being switched on. Going to use Cinema 4D for this and build a complete radio which will replace the prop used on the day.
I've recorded a rough version of the radio presenter's narrative to get an idea of timings. The first part was around 75 seconds long. With 10 scenes to cover that's around 7.5 seconds a scene which is more than plenty. Scenes being:
1. Radio being switched on
2. Leaving house
3. On train
4. Walking up to office
5. At desk
6. Looking at, signing retirement card
7. Leaving office
8. On train
9. Arriving house
10. Switching off radio and lights
Will record the second half tomorrow and work out timings
Script sent to Patrick Mounteney our Radio Presenter.