General Specialist recently posted some excellent advice for better chromakeying. Read on for our Top 10 Quick Tips culled from those suggestions, as well as a tutorial on chromakeying in Adobe After Effects.

1. Keep It Blurry
Turn off all in-camera sharpening and skin detail settings. Seperate the talent from the screen and strive for a shallow DOF. Seperation also helps control light spill.

2. Resolution and Framing
Shoot as high rez as you can afford. Disregard TV safe areas and framing, you need that extra 10%. Tilt the camera 90 degrees for shots of standing people and flop the image in your comp during post-production.

3. Blue or Green Screens?
It depends. Green is a brighter color channel with less noise than blue. Blue is better for blonde hair. Blue light spill is also less sickly looking than a green cast.

4. Don’t Depend on Imagination
Don’t assume that the talent or crew understands what you are after. Good storyboards will save you time and frustration. It’s hard to act in a vacuum, so give the talent something to look at and interact with.

5. Garment and Costume Colors
Greens, browns and khaki are all no-no’s for greenscreen work. Jeans and blue colors are just as uncool for bluescreen.

6. Proper Props
Ensure that shiny props don’t reflect the color of your screens. Or don’t use shiny props.

7. Lighting is Key
Get a crew that knows how to light if you are unable to, proper lighting is more critical than ever for chromakey work. You cannot fix the lighting in post, don’t bother trying. Get it right the first time.

8. Preview On Set
Provide some method of previewing at least a rough version of each comp as you shoot. Your talent and lighting crew will thank you and hopefully reward you with better performances.

9. Chroma Sampling and Codecs
If you can afford it, capture a 4:4:4 image without color compression into a codec that doesn’t discard any of that info. For DV keys, blur the U and V channels before pulling a key, or use software that does this for you.

10. Progressive Frames, not Fields
Shoot progressive instead of interlaced if at all possible. If you are forced to shoot interlaced, properly deinterlace the footage before keying it.

Read the whole enchilada at General Specialist for more tips, detailed explanations and picture examples.

For those keyers still wet behind the ears, here is an excellent tutorial on chromakeying in After Effects. And there are many useful tips and nuggets dispensed in this tutorial on Motion Control systems by Mark Roberts Motion Control (highly recommend watching that one).

(Via HD For Indies)