Just a Test

As I've been cutting Grundy together (I think you'll find there will now be a real back and fourth between Dream Lover and Grundy posts), I decided to start doing a bit of playing around with some color correction to make sure I'm not totally screwed. After shooting one scene outside, it became extremely clear to me that I did not want any scenes of this film taking place outside to be shot outside. So, to the green screens I went.

Green screening is always a very scary thing. It's deceptive in how easy it looks, and alluring in the idea that you can just put anything in at the end of the day. But it's really not the case. So, as I've been chipping along, I decided to just grab a temp background and make sure that I was correct in my imaginary spacial shooting. Ready? Here we go!

A screengrab from the original footage, totally untouched, uncolored, as it was on the camera. Our star is looking down an alleyway while approaching a T intersection in the alley.

Here is Christopher, with the green removed. Notice we lost the dirty shot of Neville in the right hand corner, but he's still there- just a shadow. If we popped a white background in, it would still be that edge of Grundy's shoulder. You can also see if you click on the image to enlarge it, at the top of Chris's forehead there is a speck of green coming through his hair.

We've now played with the colors. A bit of desaturation on Christopher to take out the color, popped a bit of orange over him to match the artificial light we'll be surrounding him with. The desaturation has also pretty much completely taken out that green noise that was left over in his hair from the green screening. Fortunately, I'm making a film that relies on desaturation, so using this technique means I can cut corners. A super colorful movie would have to go about it a much different way.

Here's our temporary background image. No way this is actually ending up in the film- it's just for reference. I ended up just googling "dark alley" and browsed around until I found something that looked like it was shot at an angle and level that wouldn't make it seem like Jimmy had one leg way shorter than the other. Just temp background for reference!

After some editing.... We've really darkened it down, which has actually helped take this really cumbersome and cartoony image, and made it seem a bit more gritty and real. Darkness always helps. Popped some orange in their to mimic the supposed streetlights (here's our artificial light playing in heavily for us) and desaturated the whole thing so it wouldn't pop too much! Which leads us to...

The "final" temp mix of everything. I put all of this together in about four minutes just to make sure my ass was covered, so when we get to the real cutting, hours will be spent matching saturations, brightness, and lighting in an artificial scene with moving backgrounds. However, for a temp view, I'm now feeling pretty good about my green screening, and happy with the decision to shoot on a stage for scenes like these!


A Wonderland of Thought said...

Considering you don't like green screens, you did quite well!

I am interested to know, what is it about shooting outside that you don't really like?

It would seem that it is going along swimingly! I hope that there hasn't been too much stress for you! Srtess never helps anything!

Remember to breathe! Take some time to relax each day (i find a cup of tea helps!) and be sure in yourself and what you want, that way, you can't go wrong! :)

<3 A Wonderland of Thought

Mattson Tomlin said...

I actually love shooting outside and using fantastic natural light. Unfortunately, this film is just a bit too stylized.

For all of our interiors, we were able to put a lot of effort into stylized lighting, so it was clear that, despite being indoors, we are in a stylized, not-quite-ours world. However, once we went outside, that finite degree of control was totally lost, no matter how intensely we could light it (and given our lighting kit and access to power, we couldn't do too much.)

Hence, the decision to shoot indoors for outdoors isn't so much because I don't like shooting outdoors- it's because I don't like the realistic aesthetic that was breaking the mold of the rest of the film in this particular project.

Thanks for swinging by and the well wishes!


jriggity said...

looks like its gona work Just fine man!

well done.


Mattson Tomlin said...

thank you, sir. Always fantastic to have you and especially to hear words of encouragement from your end.

Oliver said...

WOO! It's so cooooool!!!

This is why I like reading your blog: I learn a lot about films and hey I enjoyed reading through and seeing the development from the green to the really cool dark alley setting.

Absolutely brilliant.

Wishing you luck here, as always! =]

(Damnit I wish I was as cool as you are. My schoolwork's setting is always in the laboratory, which many people find boring and uninteresting, sadly.)

annie said...

Come to Northampton!

Mike "Kigen" Suazo said...

Looking good, loving the feel of the movie and the technique is really getting good!

Jack Joe said...

This is pretty well done. Cool job!

Ted Fisher said...

Hi Mattson,

I'm going to show this link to my students. Many of them are just starting to experiment with chroma keying, so this will be a valuable lesson.


Mattson Tomlin said...

this is great news!

Donald said...


I saw your comment in Jriggity's blog, where you referred to yourself as a master of keying. And what do you know, you're right! I could use help with that...

There are several scenes in Blue Alien Summer that don't have proper keying and look rough around the edges. Some things had to actually be shot practically because I just couldn't figure out how to get what I really wanted.

My question for you is, do you think it could be a matter of what the ISO is set to that determines a good or bad key?