Chroma Key with HVX200

Posted by rhildreth 
Chroma Key with HVX200
February 15, 2007 10:54PM
Hello everyone,
I have a chroma key shoot on Monday and am interested in trying an HVX200. I have been tinkering with it a little but wanted to ask if any of you have done this and your work flow. Because of 4:2:2 I know I want to use either Pro50 or ProHD (preferably). Also my subject will just be a talking head with a little body movement (walk on/walk off and some hand gestures) What format is best to shoot 720p 60fps???? Also in the menu-scene file-operation type, should this be FILM CAM or VIDEO CAM at 30fps?

Also I will be using a FireStore-100 and notice it writes the files as .mxf can and how do I convert these to QT to import into FCP 5.0.4?

Are there any GOTCHA's I need to watch out for so I dont screw myself? I think I will shoot with my BETA just as a backup;-)

Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 15, 2007 11:02PM
I have keyed footage shot with the HVX. 23.98, 60p...didn't matter, I got a good key from both. I used SHAKE to do this.

We shot FILM CAM using the 24PN setting. But really, the format you shoot depends on the format you are delivering. Base it on that.

The firestore records a different format that you then have to tell it to convert to MXF...which is the standard in which the P2 cards record. To import into FCP, use the following workflow:


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Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 15, 2007 11:07PM
funny you ask this. ill be shooting a reflecmedia chroma setup on my hvx all weekend. will post notes as i figure things out
Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 16, 2007 08:33AM
I did a very successful HVX chroma shoot last fall.

Point number 1, though: TEST, TEST, TEST!! I spent the equivalent of 2 days shooting and keying test footage to setup the background and lighting properly.

I used DVCPro 50, anamorphic.

Then I keyed with DV Garage's DVMattePro, which is awesome. It pulled great keys from within FCP for a very reasonable price. DVGarage's other product - DVmatteBlast - also works great, especially because it uses the GPU to do the effect. ie, it's very fast, like realtime. This software will key 4:1:1 DV footage very well, BTW.

The 2 products key a bit differently, and I recommend both.

However, there was one shot that, oddly, keyed better with the FCP internal keyer (which in general I despise). Oddly, because the talent was wearing a sort of fuchsia blouse - opposite on the color wheel from the green background. It keyed poorly with dvMattePro, but I finally got it to work just fine with FCP's keyer.

The moral: The HVX is great for this. But know your software, be sure to light properly, and be flexible in post. And prepare to spend some time tweaking.

Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 16, 2007 09:02AM
use dvc Pro50. It works the best for chroma keying. any other setting you will get the stairs look on your subject. It will eat up your P2 card but if you use FS-100 you should be okay. got to for other suggestions.

Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 16, 2007 01:06PM
Thanks a bunch! everyone. The final composite will be composited in AE then into Flash for the www. I have heard that if going to Flash I should keep everything at 30fps. Any thoughts?

Shane thanks for your turtorial it answered many of my questions.

Yes Wayne, please post or email me your thoughts and findings after your shoot over this weekend. I will be shooting Monday at 1pm.

Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 16, 2007 03:27PM
fyi: the dvGarage stuff also has a version for AE.

good luck!

Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 16, 2007 03:43PM
You should dowload a copy of Veescope Live and use it. No guessing. Right now its in beta but works great.


Michael Horton
Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 16, 2007 03:48PM
That looks wild and useful, except in my case i use a PC laptop on location. Oh well. But a chroma preview does look very useful.


Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 18, 2007 10:48PM
ive been shooting green with my hvx all weekend. the best results ive had have been using the stock cineV mode with the following mods.

detail: -3
chroma: +2
mater ped: -2
matrix: normal

as a side note. ive been working with the reflecmedia light ring and reflective screen. which if youre in a small room or pressed for setup time is a treat. but i find it's process a bit too limiting from a creative lighting standpoint for real world chroma work
Re: Chroma Key with HVX200
February 19, 2007 05:54PM
As long as you shoot to the card and NOT to tape you will be fine.
Evenly lit background with the foreground subject as far away from the greenscreen as possible (to avoid spill) will also help. If there are fast handmovements from your actors I would recommend you shoot it on 60fps as well to make your keying experience less painful.

If you have access to Shake use that.
Its faster and more accurate FCP and After Effects for example.

I would strongly recommend that you do not use DVCPRO for luma-keying.
DVCPRO is basically the same format (8-Bit 4:1:1) as Mini DV and thus defeats the purpose of shooting on the HVX in the first place.

Green screening the very low-end digital formats such as DVCPRO or DV is not only timeconsuming but it also produces worse results.

The format the HVX202 usues when you shoot straight to the card is the highres 10 bit 4:2:2 format and that is the one to use.

Johan Polhem
Motion Graphics
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