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Chapter 7. Getting Creative with Keys > Clothing and Props are “Key”

Clothing and Props are “Key”

You can get very creative with your props when shooting actors in a studio that will be used in conjunction with a 3D animated virtual world. If you want it to look like you actor is jumping onto a computer-generated object, have him jump onto an object of the same proportions during the studio shooting. This means that you should have him jump onto a box or crate of approximately equal size or proportion to create a realistic effect. The important part is to completely paint any props or objects that you do not want visible in your final scene the same color as the background chroma walls. If you choose to have a real object appear with the actor in that virtual world, you would shoot the object as-is during the filming of that scene.

Clothing is a very important factor when you're shooting scenes over a chroma wall. We solved (or minimized) the problem of not dropping out skin tones by shooting over chroma blue or green walls. These colors (or similar color values) must also not appear in the actor's clothes. If similar color values do exist, those portions of his clothes will become transparent or keyed out as soon as the chroma key effect is applied to the video clip. Think back to the weatherperson scenario just described. I saw a weatherman on a small local station do the weather without realizing that he had blue designs in his tie. When he walked in front of the blue “weather wall” (where the maps are digitally imposed), you saw portions of the maps appear in the blue portions of his tie. This looks pretty bad considering that no one has transparent portions of his torso.


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