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Absolute Beginner With Big (well in my mind!) Ambitions

Posted: Tue, 21st Jul 2009, 7:18pm

Post 1 of 12

SamArmstrong99

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Hello to everyone ... first poster so bear with me

Ok, need some really basic advice here, I am looking at buying CompositeLab as I run, here in the UK, a 13-15's Amateur Rugby league and I'd like to create a virtual "sports desk" probably using a pre-prepared one where we could emulate a newsroom detailing scores etc, weather for the weekend, news & gossip etc for our players..

That's where my problems start as whilst my aspirations are high I am a 110% novice and have never deone ANY video-editing or green screen work whatsoever ... in fact I only bought a Panasonic TM10 camera two days ago unsure .

Having watched the trailers etc I believe that Composite is the right product but am I aiming too high too soon? As a beginner would this seemingly wonderful product allow me to do what I seek with my very very limited skills?

Having read some of the comments on this forum I feel there is a wealth of knowledge out there to help me get what I want for our players and I would appreciate any feedback you can offer.

Thank you all in anticipation of your assistance.

Sam Armstrong
League Secretary
NW Counties 13-15's ARL
www.nwc13-15arl.co.uk
Posted: Tue, 21st Jul 2009, 9:03pm

Post 2 of 12

spydurhank

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The news room, you can either buy looping backgrounds on the net or you could create one from scratch "matte painting" in Photoshop or Gimp. Come up with a basic idea of what you want the newsroom to look like then you can google for images to use as refferance material if you decide to create a news room matte painting from scratch. They're not as hard to make as it sounds if you decide to do that.

The compositing part is easy enough with Compositelab. It would help you to check out the video tutorials in the "support" section.
Posted: Tue, 21st Jul 2009, 9:33pm

Post 3 of 12

SamArmstrong99

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Thank you very much for the very quick reply Spydur.

I have seen several virtual sets online and assume/hope that these are compatable withe the software ... not sure I am at the stage of creating our own just yet.

We are keen to be seen as a benchmark for other leagues within our age groups and see the virtual newsroom as a way of continuing to be innovative. My fear, as may have come over in my initial posting, is that I may be being too ambitious and I guess am looking for re-assurance that it's achievable with the software and limited prior knowledge.

Has anyone done anything similar and how did they feel it went?
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 12:51am

Post 4 of 12

spydurhank

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Well. there are several ways to composite video clips together, this software can do them all I believe.
As far as importing and making sure that a video is compatible with the lab programs... they only work with .mov and avi files for better video quality. All you need to know is, what format your video is in and whether or not you need to convert it to .mov or avi which can be done in almost any video editor. So yes you can import any video you like as long as it's in the .mov or avi format.

As far as compositing, I feel that the keying part is actually rather simple since you can have a video as your background or a single photo and also as long as you have your green or blue screen lit properly and spaced away from the actors. there are a ton of guys on this site that are beyond good at chroma keying.
Check out the "tutorial" section for info on keying since it also involves grading techniques to match your greenscreen footage and actors with the background, in your case, your news room.

I suggest you download the demo and check it out for yourself. It's easier to learn than you think. Just so you know... there is no magic button to fix anyone issue that you may run into. Once you get the hang of the settings you'll see what I mean. So plan your shots out before hand... The better prepaired that you are before you shoot the easier it'll be on you when you begin compositing... again, think about proper lighting on your green screen and actors as well as spacing.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 1:24am

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Axeman

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Rating: +1

I think it is definitely achievable, though you should expect to have some time spent in a learning curve. The software is fairly simple to get the hang of, I think, though you should also be aware that the prime factor in getting a good key easily is the lighting in the shot. There will be some learning curve in understanding how to film a good greenscreen as well.

This dvd would be well worth getting to help you understand the basics of setting up a greenscreen and filming it well. CompositeLab does have a nice set of tools to help you deal with problematic footage, but in general, how well the greenscreen is shot translates directly to how well your finished shot will look after compositing. And even moreso to how easy it is to get a good composite.

Not sure if you have anything to use as a greenscreen at this time, but as spydurhank mentioned, please download the demo and fiddle about with it a bit. There are greenscreen clips to be found online I'm sure, that you could use to experiment and learn, but if you can't find any readily, let us know, and I'm sure someone around here has some you can mess around with.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 6:50am

Post 6 of 12

SamArmstrong99

Force: 0 | Joined: 21st Jul 2009 | Posts: 5

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Thank you both for the comprehensive answers ... I think you are both quite right and the only way we will truly know is to bite the bullet and give it a try.

What does give me confidence is the fact that a complete newbie like myself has come on to the forum and immediately been helped. My very vague post wasn't an easy one to answer but having had support on that I am sure that, should I have a more specific problem, then I will find the answer on here ... thank you guys y
You have swayed me and I am going to give it a whirl!!!

Fingers crossed.

Next panic ... avi or mov when my Panasonic uses something called AVCHD? Good thing is that now I know there are people out there to advise I am not too daunted about that being a problem!! Yoohoo ... again thanks guys.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 6:55am

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Axeman

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I prefer .mov personally, but either one will work just fine. .mov was developed by apple, and .avi was developed for windows, but either one is completely compatible with either platform at this point. It may likely just come down to what video editing software you have. Some programs will only export to one or the other, so your decision may be made for you. What editing app are you using?
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 7:00am

Post 8 of 12

SamArmstrong99

Force: 0 | Joined: 21st Jul 2009 | Posts: 5

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As explained Axemen ... am 110% new, new camera, no editing software (do have Corel's VideoStudio11 but not sure whether that will be up to the job or whether that is a swear word on here hahaha) but we are prepared to buy what we need (within limits) as we recognise that technology is the way to grab the attention of our players.

Am always open to advise and appreciate your inputs!!
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 7:12am

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Axeman

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Right; what platform are you running? If you are on Windows, then the undisputed champion in the realm of affordable video editors is Sony Vegas. They have an assortment of packages to fit your budget, but I understand that any of them are well worth the money.

If you are on a Mac, (I am) I'll just say straight out, avoid iMovie if at all possible, and go for Final Cut Express.

I'm not familiar with VideoStudio, but generally the software that comes bundles with the camera is less than impressive. It could be good though; I don't really know.
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 7:17am

Post 10 of 12

SamArmstrong99

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Windows Vista on a Packard Bell laptop with 3GB Ram, 250GB Hard Drive & ATI Radeon graphics. Have heard of the Vegas package and will have a look on the Net to see what the best price I can find is.

Appreciate the help Axeman.. thanks
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 8:34am

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Simon K Jones

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FXhome Team Member

Good luck with the project, Sam! As others have recommended, give the demo a try to see if it's the kind of thing you need.

These forums tend to be pretty friendly. Your first post might have been a little vague, but it was also honest, which is always valued. Problems only arise when complete beginners seem to think they're already Steven Spielberg. smile
Posted: Wed, 22nd Jul 2009, 12:02pm

Post 12 of 12

spydurhank

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Tarn wrote:

Good luck with the project, Sam! As others have recommended, give the demo a try to see if it's the kind of thing you need.

These forums tend to be pretty friendly. Your first post might have been a little vague, but it was also honest, which is always valued. Problems only arise when complete beginners seem to think they're already Steven Spielberg. smile
Um wait... you mean I'm not? biggrin