Best Chroma Key Software on the mac?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by cashcows, Oct 19, 2006.

  1. cashcows macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #1
    I need to know what the best Chroma Key software on the Mac is and doe sit compare to ULTRA 2 on the PC in price and performance.
     
  2. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #2
    Not sure of specific Chroma Keying software, but Final Cut does do chroma keying. I would be interested in hearing the response to this too, as Ultra can do more things.
     
  3. Texas04 macrumors 6502a

    Texas04

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    My final Cut Express went wonders beyond Adobe Premiere on the PC w/ bad lighting... I can only imagine what it can do with FCP and real work and tweaking of the settings and color correction and such. :D
     
  4. theWholeTruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    #4
    Just get FCP or AVID. You have keying built-in plus editing. Why waste an extra 500 just for a keying program. Waste of money for the low-end stuff you'll be outputting. If you're really that concerned with keying that you're willing to spend extra money, look into Ultimatte or After Effects...or Autodesk.
     
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
  6. theWholeTruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    #6
    Yes, you are able to key in Shake. But I wouldn't buy it if that was the only type of compositing I was doing.
     
  7. cashcows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #7
    Well It seems to me Ultra 2 does as good a job as thoughs. And I would not call a mass produced DVD to be marketed world wide low-end. No it's not TV and or film but I don't to sell a low quality product.

    So I guess the Answer is that for the budget minded the PC is the TOP dog for Chroma Keying at this point in time.
     
  8. theWholeTruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    #8
    How do you come up with that assessment? Have you ever tried keying in AVID or FCP? Either will be fine for what you are doing. Remember, your final output is a DVD, MPEG-2 compression.

    By the way, I wasn't making a judgement about the quality of the product. Of course you don't want to sell a low quality product. But if this is supposed to be mass produced to a world wide market, then why aren't you hiring pros? You really need the consultation of people with experience and expertise.
     
  9. jonnyblobby macrumors member

    jonnyblobby

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Location:
    Aus, Sydney
    #9
    Key Quality

    We are not talking of image quality of final output, its the quality of the key of the talent or object on a chromo key background (Blue/Green Screen). It all really comes down to how good your you light your screen and foreground and what it is your trying to key (simple layout vs complex maybe due to someone's out of control hair do), if you spend enough time and effort with your shoot and record it onto a relatively good medium (DV is bad for keying due to the lower colour space, its best to go with an uncompressed medium such as Digital Betacam or HDCAM depending on your resolution and make sure your working in an uncompressed work space) Then you can achieve a good key from final cut or after effects built in keyers for no additional cost other than the edit software. If however your footage is not up to scratch and the built in keyers are having a hard time, then you will need to look at a plugin to help.
    I am not sure of any stand alone keying software for macintosh (or windows for that matter) but there are plugins out there for the different NLE apps, these included keylight or primatte, but the most notable and most effective keying I have worked with and currently still use often is Ultimatte Advantedge, although very expensive (and quite slow), it can achieve a fantastic key from very poor footage (trust me, thats why I bought it)
     
  10. thworple macrumors 6502

    thworple

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Location:
    Sussex, England
    #10
    Here's a very good plugin for Final Cut Pro and After Effects. Its called Mattenee and is made by a company named Reflecmedia.

    They build Chromatte screens, but this plug-in works really well on Blue and Green studio shoots too.

    I use it at work, and its keyer is a lot more solid than the in-built keyers in FCP and AE. It even works well on DVCAM (which as jonnyblobby stated isn't always great to shoot on due its compressed nature).
     
  11. PegasusMedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #11
    There are literally dozens of software products that will do chroma key. To a great extent, it doesn't matter which one you use. They are all good. Which is "best" for you will have more to do with your preference as far as interface, etc.

    More importantly, as we've talked about in earlier threads, green screen work is as much about technique and skill in shoooting as it is about the technical process once you're in the dit suite. If you have well lit, well shot footage, a chroma key is a very easy thing to do. If you have poor footage with hot spots, dark spots, and shadows all over and poor lighting on the foreground subject--no matter what the sales brochure tells you -- your result will be mediocre at best. And that's only if you have the skills to make it mediocre. If not, it will flat out suck.

    I've made my living iin this business since 1987, and I've never heard of Ultra 2. It is not the standard by which you should be judging other software. Not to say it's not a fine piece of software...I'm sure it is. But it's not the standard you measure others by.

    It's apparent from your posts in the last week that you are an amatuer, and that's cool. We all were. As you get into this hobby, career, wharever you're going with it, you should start by collecting the basics. As software goes, the basics should include Final Cut Studio, After Effects, and Photoshop. Right there you have three great options for chroma keying (FCP, After Effects, and Motion (which I don't really know much about--I'm old and therefore still use After Effects...but I'm sure Motion will chroma key)

    If you need more than those programs have to offer, then you are not shooting your green screens properly. However, having said that, for more demanding needs (say you need to deal with transparency of a glass pitcher of water or something), there are a ton of plug ins that will run within FCP or AE. But for your basic talking head over green, there should be no reason to go beyond what is built into these programs.

    Finally, as mentioned many times, MiniDV sucks for chroma key footage. Regardless of software, lighting, and everything else, the compression and color sampling of the format make a perfect key a technical impossibitity. Acceptable for many uses, sure, but never ever perfect.

    According to my definition of "high end", anything shot on MiniDV for chroma key use does not qualify, even is Steven freakin' Spielberg shot it. So depending on how seriously you want to take your goal of "high end DVD for worldwide distribution", you may need to consider plan B.
     
  12. tk421 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    I've definitely had the best experience with the Keylight plugin (which I used in After Effects). Better than FCP's built in keying.

    As others have said, the most important thing is the lighting when you shoot. Also what format you shoot on. Mini DV uses what's called 4:1:1 sampling, meaning it only samples 1 pixel of color for every 4 luminance pixels. This makes it bad for chroma keying.
     
  13. cashcows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #13
    I am not hiring someone else for several reasons.

    1. Cost
    2. I want to do it myself.
    3. For what I pay pay pro I can do severl products myself. I am quick learner, I have done web design and anything creative I see someone else do I can very easliy emulate and produce acceptible quality results. Also may so call pros, are not all that great and the end result will not be any better than I can. I know I will put more time and energy into it myself.

    As far as needed extra camera work I might have to hire other people for that as I will be infront of the camera.
     
  14. cashcows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #14
    Is Mattenee the same as Ultimatte Advantedge, is seems like it might be the EURO version? How much does it cost?
     
  15. cashcows thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    #15
    I dont see how you could have been in this business this long and not heard of Ultra 2? Maybe becuase it is Targeted more for home use and coporate users. http://www.seriousmagic.com check it out. If my Green Screen workd looks as good as the samples I will be more than happy. Not only that they say it will do the same on a web cam as well. I saw it live a few years back and it looked great then.

    The reason I am judging other by it as a standard is from all the I have read in forums it is the easiset to use, and give the best results as that price point. It users seem to love it and say nothing else come close.

    Almost all NON-users talk about correct lighting and putting in effort, that DV is a bad choice, apperantly ULTRA 2 does away with most of that effort and problems. Watch their video on the page. And yes it does "deal with transparency of a glass pitcher of water or something"

    ULTRA 2 (and Ultimatte Advantage costing 3 times the price) compensates for 4:1:1 sampling and both claim do very well on DV.

    I'll stick with my currect low bugdet plan, but thanks for your time and suggestions.
     
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    cashcows,
    Anther option you could think about is buying something like a Decklink SP card and capturing analog out of your camera directly into onto your computer. Or going the HDV way and getting an Intensity card which allows you to capture via HDMI (which some of the new HDV cameras have). The benefit to these work flows is that you are capturing the signal *before* it gets compressed into DV or HDV so it will be of better quality. The down side is that you'll need a bigger, faster storage solution than you would for DV. How fast? I'm not sure. You'll also have to make sure that the cards are compatible w/your Mac (not sure what kind of Mac you have).

    Assuming you want to further investigate these ideas I'd suggest going over to dvinfo.net and in the Open DV Discussion forum posting the question there. A detailed subject line along the lines of "DV, Decklink, or Intensity for chromakey" will help the locals over there from going, "oh god, another chromakey post" and in the body of the post outline your goals, your budget, and the options you are considering.

    Lethal
     
  17. PegasusMedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
  18. iris_failsafe macrumors 6502

    iris_failsafe

    Joined:
    May 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #18
    Depends...

    If you are attempting Chromas from DV HDV I recommend a special plugin from DV Garage. I think it works with FCP and After Effects.

    If you are doing chromas from better sources, I will buy Shake it has both Keylight and Primatte keyers into it... I think it will be your best bet
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #19
    Here's a quick tips/tricks sheet about keying. There is some good info in there even though not all of it will apply to your situation.
    Link


    Lethal
     
  20. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #20
    Shake.

    7 Academy awards in a row. :cool:

    Now only $500.

    Super easy to learn with the apple pro training book.

    www.apple.com/shake

    I am a certified shake artist and I have used many different apps.
     
  21. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #21
    Well, DV, as in DVCPRO, DV25, DVCAM, and HDV is 4:1:1 'out of the CCD.'
    You can't circumvent it, but you don't have to record to tape either.

    There is a lack of 4:2:2 'taped' support.
    There are certain workflows that can achive higher quality recordings from the same camera because they are tapeless.
    SDI was made to handle the transfer of 4:2:2. Firewire won't cut it.

    4:2:2 would be a lot better for Keying.
    4:1:1 is easier to find/ handle/ support.
     
  22. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #22
    Sure you can circumvent it as long as the analog outs come between the CCD and the compression in the signal path (which is always the case AFAIK). Of course there will be limiting factors such as lens quality, CCD quality, and especially having to settle for S-Video out (I don't think any con/prosumer SD cameras have component out) so I don't know how much better the image quality will be. Prosumer HD cameras such as the HVX200, Z1U, and HD100 all have component HD out so many people shooting studio green screen work will take the analog HD signal out of the camera and capture directly on a computer to get a higher quality image because they are bypassing the compression.

    The Canon XLH1 is an HDV camera that has an SDI out and going SDI out into a deck or computer sure as heck gives you a better image than the HDV signal that is recorded to tape. And as I mentioned before some new HDV cameras are shipping w/an HDMI that let you capture the HD signal before it gets compressed as well.

    HDV is 4:2:0, btw.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "there is a lack of 4:2:2 taped support." There are tape formats that support 4:2:2, 3:1:1, and 4:4:4, also DVCPro 50 and DVCPro HD are 4:2:2 and FW400 handles both of them fine.


    Lethal
     
  23. pomophobe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #23
    Werd.

    There's a plug in for Final Cut and for AfterEffects called Ultimatte AdvantEdge. I am sure you can find ways to get it.

    Otherwise there is also Keylight for AfterEffects, don't use the Final Cut Chroma Key Tool if you want good keying. I have never keyed in Shake, so I am not sure what the quality is, but it may very well be as good as AdvantEdge or Keylight. However, both of those are pretty spectacular.
     
  24. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #24
    Ha ha ha. After rereading my post I'm not sure what I was trying to say. :p

    Yeah. DVCpro 4:1:1, DVCpro50 4:2:2. S-Video to DVCpro50 = good.
    New skool HDSDI to HDcam SR = better.
    DVCproHD can get you 4:2:2 HD, but not really since it's downsampled.
    That's why you can import over firewire.

    HDcam is 3:1:1, might as well go with DVCproHD.
    HDcam SR is where its at. 4:4:4. $100K deck ain't where it's at. :confused:

    What were we taliking about?
    Oh, yes. Chroma Key software.

    I don't think better means less work for the user.
    Best means pulls the best keys. If I have to spend more time it's always worth it to do so. Even if I have to color correct just to smooth out the channel. Keying involves pulling the key and usually some roto, and a required color correction. I use Shake and Nuke for the node-basedness, and others who do know why. ;)
    Not all compositing software is equal. And at $500 I pitty da fool who don't use Shake on their Mac.
     
  25. forrestshi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    #25
    what is the best choice for amateur on mac ?

    as amateur of chromakey, I want to find out one free plugin or standalone application to do chromakey on mac platform, any good recommendations ? Thanks, forrest.shi@gmail.com
     

Share This Page