The HDSLR revolution has given us breathtaking film quality HD videos but when it comes to visual effects, especially with green screen, we chose to use a high end video camera.
Our client, Toniq Creative Management, brought us in to produce a launch video for Originex, an Information Communication Technology company with offices in Malaysia and Singapore.
The idea was to film a ballerina emerging from a red cloth (Originex’s corporate colour) draped over her. This symbolizes the rebirth of the company.
I was pleasantly surprised when I found out I will be directing famed dancer, Suhaili Micheline who was a finalist in reality TV series, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ season One (she’s also a renowned choreographer, dance lecturer at the Aswara National Arts Academy and international performer).
Originex wanted a motion backdrop that complemented Suhaili’s performance so we had to use the green screen technique (chroma-key). We know a HDSLR like the Canon 5D MK II or 7D shoots with 4:1:1 colour sampling.
If you’ve read this far, it goes to show you’re really interested in film making. So, if you’re having trouble understanding colour sampling, check out this enlightening article: Understanding Colour Sampling.
This compressed colour space would limit colour-keying during post production. We chose the FS100 because of its ability to capture images at 4:2:2 which would give us a cleaner ‘key’, without any ‘moire’ or other artifacts related to HDSLR footage.
One of the biggest contributing factor to the successful removal of the green background is proper lighting. For this, we are grateful to have cinematographer Chiau Ran who expertly guided his grips to light up both the large green backdrop and Suhaili.
Suhaili did multiple takes under the watchful eye of choreographer Llewelyn Marsh and I. Llew from Toniq was a pleasure to work with. Suhaili Was graceful and watching her move was like looking at poetry in motion.
We had some issues with the red drape as it attempted to snag on Suhaili’s ballet slippers. One challenge was making sure none of the green from the backdrop spilled onto Suhaili’s skin, which would make compositing more difficult.
Another concern was if she appeared forceful enough when emerging from the drapes. Did it say “I’m born anew”? Concepts like these may seem innocuous but it makes a big difference as a launch video.
To ensure a good and problem-free key, talents should be advised:
- Not to have anything green in their attire.
- To tie back their hair and have any fine, loose pieces of clothing or accessories securely fastened to their body.
- Not to wear anything transparent.
In terms of lighting and cinematography, the grips (assistants) should:
- Use separate lights for the backdrop and talent.
- The green backdrop should be evenly lit, without any bright spots or burnt out areas.
- The talent should be standing at least 6 ft from the backdrop, or at least out of the lights which are meant to light the backdrop.
- Material for the backdrop should not be reflective to prevent any ‘spill’ of green onto the talent’s skin.
The footage from the FS100 was later composited successfully with Adobe After Effects CS 5. It was then edited with music and the company logo in Grass Valley Edius 6.
This video was then featured in Originex’s corporate launch ‘A Tribute To Our Partners’ in which we were also the videographers.
Sony cameras like the NEX-FS100 can be purchased from our equipment provider Tegas Broadcast & Multimedia