Issues with video/color quality and chroma key

dmart08 wrote on 5/12/2016, 2:40 PM
I'm having a couple different problems with a video I'm working on. I've Googled and YouTubed as hard as I can, but haven't been able to find the answers I'm looking for. I'm a beginner and I'm doing my best, so please don't eat me alive.

Issue #1: I'm working with high-definition video files, and set my project properties to match the properties of those files. Everything looks great in the preview pane, but once I render the project, the contrast of the video gets all jacked up, and looks garish. The quality definitely doesn't look HD, either.

Here's a picture of what I'm talking about:

And here are the project properties and rendering settings that I'm using, along with the properties of the videos being used in my project:

What am I missing, here? What can I do to preserve the colors and quality of my video?

Issue #2: No matter what I do, using the chroma keyer for my green screen causes the other parts of the video- especially the black areas- to be grainy. There's also a distinctive crackle around the edges of the area that's showing through, which is very distracting.

Here's a picture that shows what my green screen looks like without the chroma keyer plugin, alongside a shot with the plugin selected:

When I adjust the selected color to be the same as the darker green that's actually in the background (instead of neon green), the problems only get worse.

Are there any FX or other tricks I can use to improve the chroma-keyer-friendliness of the green screen I'm working with, so I can preserve the dark colors that aren't being keyed out and have less crackle around the edges?

Thanks so much for reading!


Marco. wrote on 5/12/2016, 2:59 PM
Any chance to upload a frame grab out of your green screen video? It would be easier to see what works best if we could try ourself.

I sometime suggest to abuse Color Corrector Secondary as keyer. In some cases the chroma keying of Color Corrector Secondary outputs better results as legacy Chroma Keyer does. Color Corrector Secondary offers much better mask adjustments.

For your issue # 1: Did you also check the rendered video inside Movie Studio instead of inside an external (software) player?
dmart08 wrote on 5/12/2016, 4:08 PM
Certainly! Here's a screenshot:

Do you happen to have access to a more in-depth tutorial on how to use Color Corrector Secondary for chroma keying purposes? I wouldn't even know which preset to begin with, or how to manipulate it.

You mean opening the project and viewing it in the preview pane, right? I tried it just now, and the colors look fine!
musicvid10 wrote on 5/12/2016, 9:02 PM
For #1, try adding the Studio RGB Levels filter before rendering.

Marco. wrote on 5/13/2016, 6:42 AM
Here is a Sample Project for download. It demonstrates how chromakeying works by using Color Corrector Secondary.

The only "secret" behind is, instead of selecting a color to replace another selected color region, just set the "Alpha" slider to zero. Any fine tuning is same as for regular secondary color correction (adjusting the mask).

That said, in this certain case I find that way of color keying doesn't help either. Result isn't good. The keyers of Vegas Pro and Movie Studio are pretty poor, unfortunately.

mike_in_ky wrote on 5/13/2016, 1:55 PM
Your "Sample Project" was saved on version 13. I have 12 so it won't open correctly.
Marco. wrote on 5/13/2016, 1:58 PM
Sorry, don't have an earlier version installed.
dmart08 wrote on 5/13/2016, 2:03 PM
Alas, no dice. I added Studio RGB to Computer RGB on all my video/graphics layers, and tweaked it so that it looked close to the original footage, but the render still came out looking neon as hell. You can see my rendered video on the left, with my Studio RGB settings on the right:
dmart08 wrote on 5/13/2016, 2:08 PM
Thanks so much for this! Sounds like it could be a simpler fix for projects that- well- aren't this one. I appreciate you trying your own hand at my screen capture, too.

Any ideas on how I could change the filming environment and/or green screen setup in the future to record video that'll respond better to the keyer? Do I need more light? Lighter-colored clothing? Should I just hire Andy Serkis as my actor instead?
Marco. wrote on 5/13/2016, 3:03 PM
Vice versa. It needs "Computer RGB to Studio RGB" in Movie Studio because your player will do the studio RGB to computer RGB conversion then.
Also you often can apply this fx as "Video Output FX" so it will affect your whole project in one go.
Marco. wrote on 5/14/2016, 2:58 AM
I find your green screen lighting isn't that bad. And from my experience it will never be perfect anyway.

The only withdraw I see in your frame grab is, the most problematic part appears close to the object's edges. There are the most darkest and most uneven parts of the background. But it is critical exactly these parts (close to object edges) should be as even and as saturated as possible. When set up the lighting always care most about the areas around object edges.
Instead – and escpecially in your very case where you have a fixed object – neglect the corners. It is very easy to use a matte (in Movie Studio the Cookie Cutter FX does a good job in many cases) to cut out poorly lighted and uneven corners. But you can't do this close to object edges.
Also try to put your foreground object as far as possible away from the background.

That said, if you often do chroma keying I would consider buying a separate plug-in for chroma keying as the ones in Movie Studio/Vegas Pro are just poorly designed. The very downside is a good chroma keyer is more expensive than Movie Studio is. There is a BCC Unit containing a very good chroma keyer and HitFilm Ignite offers one of the best software chroma keyer I ever used. But both cost about 200 bucks.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 5/14/2016, 8:03 AM
Try placing the Sony Chroma Blur before the Chroma Keyer in the FX chain. Set it for medium (half way) and it will smooth out the jagged edges on the keyer.

Also you never showed us a picture of the mask but make sure that your mask is totally black & white with no grey. You said the blacks get noisy and this is an indication of a bad mask that's not solid black & white.

Marco. wrote on 5/14/2016, 8:13 AM