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Chromanator's Future Update Plans?

Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 6:35pm

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tmaynard

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Hello, I am going to buy Chromanator today, but before I bought it I was wanting to know as much information as you could give me on upcoming updates to Chromanator. (Such as Chroma Key, I heard something said about it in another topic.) Sorry, If there has already been a topic concerning this subject. If there has then please post a link, I am just curious to see what the future holds for Chromanator. Thanks.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 6:41pm

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Marek

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I believe, since all 3 of the new programs use the same engine, updating alamdv3 will help chromanator directly. At least that's what I heard smile
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 6:47pm

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tmaynard

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Yeah, It would seem to make scince. I hope so anyway. Im really hoping for a Chroma Key update.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 7:08pm

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rmw

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feelthapain, the colour difference key will work Alot better than a chroma key, as the colour difference key doesnt only use chroma but other aspects of your video aswell.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 8:58pm

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tmaynard

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Really? I wasnt sure, I have been using Premiere's chroma key and I have been getting better results with it then I have been with Chromanator's color difference Key. Im mainly having problems with spill around the object im keying stuff around. (Such as green still staying around parts of the objects hair thats sticking out, and pretty much all around the object.) I used spill suppression but still come up with some problems. With Premiere's chroma keying I didn't have this problem so I was thinking that the chroma key is whats giving me the good results. Once I buy Chromanator(in a couple hours) I will post some comparison shots from the premiere composite, and then the chromanator composite, and maybe someone could help me out. Hopefully, Im just messing up somewhere.
Posted: Thu, 10th Jun 2004, 10:29pm

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Simon K Jones

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Playing with the Key Grade tools can often help to enhance a greenscreen. The hue key can also prove useful. However, I've found our colour difference key to be very effective even on really rubbish greenscreens, so I'll definitely take a look at your examples and see what I can do.

We plan on keeping Chromanator up-to-date for a good long while, and development of AlamDV3 and DigiGrade will only help, as any enhancements made to the G6 engine gets fed back into the previous programs too.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 2:49am

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tmaynard

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Thanks A lot Tarn, I should have the comparison pictures up within the next couple of minutes. I hope you can help me out. Also, the key grade and the hue key tools are used prior to keying out the greenscreen to help get a better key, correct?

Thanks.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 4:50am

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tmaynard

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Here is the comparison pictures from the two composites (Premiere, and Chromanator)

http://www.geocities.com/feelthapain/compositetest.html

There is text on the site that will explain the two composites. I hope to hear some good news.

Thanks.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 5:42am

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Simon K Jones

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Could you should us a picture of the greenscreen shot before it was keyed, too?
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 6:34am

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tmaynard

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Why sure! Don't worry too much about the shadow on the right side next to the head, thats not really the problematic area, Its just keying most of the other green out without cutting parts of his head/hair off. I dont know if its my camera, the screen or what. I thought the greenscreen was perfect except for the little bit of shadow on the right side beside his head. But I seem to have perfect results when I did the quickstart tutorial files. I just bought this program, anxious to see what it can really do, and now its just coming up blank.. I really really hope you can help me fix this.

Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 7:24am

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Simon K Jones

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I had a go with that image, and ended up with this:



Bear in mind I was working from your jpeg image, which will be lower quality than the original footage.

To get that I used a few key grade tools to enhance the greenscreen, plus a couple of extra tools in the key toolset to tidy things up a bit. I saved the setup as a preset, so if you import and use this preset, it should help a bit. Click here to download the preset (might need to right click and choose 'save target as').

Judging by the picture your provided, there are a few issues that are making the keying more difficult. The image is noticeably grainy, which could be due to a few things. It could be that your camera can't capture clearer video, but it could also be due to the slightly flat lighting. Try throwing some more light on the screen - currently it's a little murky and lacking contrast. If the screen was brighter, the actor would stand out more from it. Setting correct exposure on your camera is important to reducing grain, too.

The use of the key grade toolset was to make the greenscreen more the colour of a standard greenscreen. A good trick is to apply your colour difference key, then tweak and fiddle with the key grade tools. This enables you to watch the green spill grow and shrink as you alter the settings.

I hope this is helpful - let me know if you have any questions or if you want anymore help.
Posted: Fri, 11th Jun 2004, 7:38am

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tmaynard

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Thanks A lot Tarn, Its seems you had much better results then I did, So It will probably come to me with practice.

Unfortunatley, You made something clear to me that I have been denying. The picture being grainy. My camera was bought 2 years ago, and it is a Digital 8, meaning no DV tapes, all 8mm (Im guessing that DV gives you a better picture).

As I have been playing with Chromy and the test files, I have noticed that the test videos, have a better resolution?... I guess thats what you could call it. They are just a sharper picture in total, also giving much better results in chromy.

It seems to me now, that my only resort to get a better key is to buy a new camera. sad

Much much thanks Tarn for all the help!!! The support for the CSB Digital products is well worth the price of the program itself!
Posted: Mon, 21st Jun 2004, 11:54am

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Simon K Jones

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The test videos are mostly all shot with a Canon XM2, which is a 3CCD camera that produces very nice results.

When it comes to greenscreen compositing, the better your footage the easier it will be for Chromanator to do its job. Lighting and setting up your camera correctly plays a big part as well as the technical spec of the camera itself.
Posted: Mon, 21st Jun 2004, 8:21pm

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Gibs

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There is really no difference between Digital8 and MiniDV, at least the consumer minidv cams. My friend has a mindv, and I have a Digital8, but they produce footage that looks exactly the same.

And yes, the reason the picture is grainy is because you didn't use enough light. You can buy 500 W halogen lamps from stores like Home Depot for $10. Reflect them off a white piece of posterboard, and you can get decent looking footage.
Posted: Wed, 23rd Jun 2004, 2:00am

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Axeman

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Well, there is some difference. At the very least, the resolution is different. Digital 8 is 640 X 480 and MiniDV is 720 X 480 (NTSC).

But as you say, the consumer models of both formats are almost invariably 1-CCD cameras, which means they are taking in pretty much the same color info regardless of format. MiniDV does record more of the info, but in many cases it is difficult to see the difference.