2 films of the same actor

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2 films of the same actor

Post by AMaré »

I'm asking representing my son. He is 14 and is Portuguese.
I gave him Ulead Video 11 and last year a camera. I won a prize in school with a film he made and I hope he can win another this year.
We don't have any studio accessories like lights or backgrounds.
He would like to capture the same actor in 2 actions and put the 2 films one over the other so they talk or some how interact.
I was searching here and I believe that he can use chroma key to do it, is it correct?
Can you tell us in a very simple way how you would do it?
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Post by Ron P. »

Welcome to the forums, and congratulations on your contest..:)

Yes you're correct, he will need to use Chroma-key. However the most important aspect of Chroma-keying is the lighting. You must have even lighting, so that the program keys out the background color. Uneven lighting, produces shadows, which would not be the same color, and VS would not accurately key-out all the background.

Use a solid color backdrop. It really doesn't matter what color, so long as the material does not have any creases or wrinkles. This again is to provide a smooth even color. Most people use a cloth specially designed for this, and the colors are generally green or blue. The backdrop does not have to be cloth, it can be poster board or whatever. Also make sure that any clothing worn is not the same color. So if you use a green material do not wear a green shirt, or else the shirt will be keyed out.

I know you stated you do not have any special lighting. So whatever light you use, make sure it does not cast shadows onto the backdrop. Make sure that the backdrop is large enough to completely fill the frame, and yet allow your subject to be a couple of feet in front of the backdrop. One thing to note.. Keep in mind that you want the subjects to appear to be talking to each other. In VS you will be using ½ of the frame for each. So try to keep the subject framed toward the center. When you are editing your video, you'll see why..

Now film the scenes. Once completed, import the video to your PC, and into VS.

Let me first state that you can insert both into the Overlay tracks, and then use a photo or another video clip as the backdrop, which would be inserted into the Main video track. This would be the most versatile use, as you could change the background to whatever you desired. Or you can shoot one of the scenes without using the "green" or Chroma key backdrop, and use it in the main video track.

Continuing on, and assuming you used the chroma-key backdrop on both scenes, insert one of the clips into Overlay track #1. Right-click on the video in the Preview window, select Fit to Screen. Then click on the Attributes tab and select Mask & Chroma Key, and click on the box beside "Apply Overlay Options", Chroma-key.

You will notice below the Chroma-key is a Similarity option, with a color box, and then a number, which the default is usually 70%. You can use this similarity to choose the Chroma-key color, by clicking on the color block. Then further tweak this using the numbers, adjusting it up or down, to remove as much of the backdrop as possible. Once that is done, you now need to re-position your clip so that the 2nd person can be seen.

Go to the preview window, and drag the clip to the left or right, so that the clip only occupies ½ of the window. Now drop in the clip of the 2nd person to Overlay track #2, and repeat the steps to key-out the background. Then reposition the clip, dragging it to the opposite side as the first clip.

You can now add an animated background to the Main video track, or a photograph, or just another scenic video..
Ron Petersen, Web Board Administrator