Monday, March 26, 2012

The Berenstain Bears


I am nearing the end of my stay at Fox 56 Wolf TV. Coworkers must consider me to be in the “in” crowd now because they are sharing stories and talking to me like I matter; it was a momentous celebration in the office preparing for my upcoming departure (not really).  I still have one to two weeks left though, so maybe I can get them angry at me before I go?

The workload was a bit low for me this week, so I was able to fully appreciate my life. I wasn’t stressed over pending deadlines, I finished all my work with plenty of time to spare, and all in the world was rather peaceful. I even had the chance to smoke a cigar this week (not at work) for the first time in around three months.


My primary boring focus this week was Keylight 1.2 in Adobe After Effects. Sadly, I wasn’t able to nab any of the footage to show you what I was doing but I can easy explain the process considering it is kind of routine in the biz. The same Keylight program is available from the Foundry in Final Cut Pro but it is marketed as Keylight 2.0.

At Fox, their job for me was to key out, refine and soften the edges of all the green screen footage they had for a wedding proposal they planned on broadcasting at a later date. Earlier this week, they filmed a young man on a green screen saying loving things about his girlfriend, memories, personality traits etc… at the end asking her to marry him. I had to weed through the footage, looking to find acceptable clips to use because he was nervous and stuttered a lot, sounding as if he had a social conniption, half the time. I had to get this young man out of that flurescent green environment, maybe this was why he was tweaking out.

In After Effects, Keylight 1.2 is the typical way one would go about "keying" out green screen footage. “Keylight is an award-winning production-proven blue and green screen keyer.” And after a little bit of research on my own, I found that Keylight is used for many movies with green screen special FX. I watched a YouTube video which showed a scene from Harry Potter highlighting the power of keylight.

My first task was to make a simple garbage matte around the young stuttering man planted in the middle of the screen. He didn’t really move much and wasn’t really at all animated so I didn’t need to worry about him moving out of my garbage matte.

There were multiple settings to adjust after I did my initial garbage matte and color key. It was my duty to make sure the clip to his body was done as naturally as possible. After the initial color key, I used clip white, clip black, clip rollback, screen softness, screen shrink, and screen gain to make the edges recede a bit. The main looked a little dark as well so I turned up the screen contrast and brightened the clip so he looked as crisp as possible. My advisor said “good job” and quickly corrected another file after me to “show me up.” The one he corrected definintely looked a little better considering he had about 15 years experience on me but nevertheless, the difference was barely noticeable. “You did great for the first time, grasshopper,” he told me. I told him I wasn’t a grasshopper.

After all the files were keyed correctly, I rendered an uncompressed .mov file with an alpha layer embeded to make sure transparency was saved within the clip.

My work was done for the week.

On the way home, I called my grandma and wished her a happy birthday.

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