Green screen compatible apps?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Hey, I was wondering if anyone knew if any of Apple's post-production applications are green screen compatible. I need to add backgrounds to a few of my shots. I am working on a project for school, and this would be a big help. Thanks

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 4
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CAHP19 View Post


    Hey, I was wondering if anyone knew if any of Apple's post-production applications are green screen compatible. I need to add backgrounds to a few of my shots. I am working on a project for school, and this would be a big help. Thanks



    I know After Effects does keying, but I don't know what your budget is. I know an app in Final Cut Studio does keying too, but I use only After Effects.
  • Reply 2 of 4
    buddhabuddha Posts: 386member
    Final Cut Pro

    Motion

    Adobe Premiere

    Adobe After Effects

    and iMovie with a Slick Effects Plugin
  • Reply 3 of 4
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,497member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CAHP19 View Post


    Hey, I was wondering if anyone knew if any of Apple's post-production applications are green screen compatible. I need to add backgrounds to a few of my shots. I am working on a project for school, and this would be a big help. Thanks



    Is this a video project? You weren't very specific. You can work with green screen backgrounds in Photoshop CS3 Extended also (it even handles video files).
  • Reply 4 of 4
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,230moderator
    Shake is kinda the industry standard application for this sort of thing. It's tricky to use but the node based nature of it means it's very flexible. After Effects and Final Cut only have linear effects by default.



    This is important when it comes to keying low quality footage because it's very easy to separate channels and adjust them individually, then combine them to get the best key. For example, DV footage uses 4:1:1 chroma sub-sampling which means that you get blocky artifacts in the red and blue chrominance channels (Cr Cb), whereas the luminance (Y) is stored fully.



    With Shake, you can convert RGB to YUV, blur the chrominance channels and recombine to reduce the artifacts. That isn't a hugely important step but it shows the flexibility.



    A more important factor when keying is the ability to create a variety of holdout mattes and garbage mattes including animated and hand-painted ones. Then there's more advanced color correction tools to remove spill from the screen.



    Having said that, you might get more use out of Final Cut when you are not doing green screening though and Shake is not very timeline based so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense at first.



    What I'd actually recommend you use is Final Cut with one of the plugins from DVGarage:



    http://www.dvgarage.com/prod/prod.php?prod=dvmattep3

    http://www.dvgarage.com/prod/prod.php?prod=conduit2



    More likely the latter as I didn't find dvmattepro gave very good results.



    Also, use HDV rather than DV if you can as you get cleaner output IMO.



    After Effects is a nice package though and it has a number of uses including motion graphics all in one application. It's well-supported too and there are a number of good tutorials out there to help you.



    There is a distinction between Final Cut and AE though because Final Cut is an NLE, AE is an effects package. The latter wasn't really designed to do real-time film cutting and you will find it very annoying trying to do that in AE.



    It's best to think of it like this:

    Shake is an effects package that is the best software for that job in the industry. It is EOL and cheap as Apple have been killing it for the past 2 years or more and no sign of the 'Phenomenon' replacement rumored for this year. Node based and flexible but also old-school and buggy.

    AE is an effects package but linear so less flexible than Shake. It has better Motion graphics capabilities than Shake though and is timeline based so more intuitive. Plus it allows to deal with audio directly - due to the non-linear nature of Shake, it does not.

    Combustion is also available for the Mac and is sorta half way between AE and Shake but it doesn't really work that well IMO. Performance and stability is pretty flakey.



    Premiere and Final Cut are NLEs designed to take footage and audio and chop them round in real-time. No buffering, no waiting as long as you render the footage to match the sequence settings. The plugins above give you some of the functionality you get from the effects packages but they are usually limited to specific tasks. For basic green screening, I'd say this was the best route to get the most value from the software.



    I seriously hope that Apple make a Phenomenon app that is like Conduit+Final Cut but is instead Shake+Final Cut because that would make the choice very easy indeed.
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