Hey guys

I have some new projects buzzing around in my head that will most likely require the use of a green screen. 

My puppets are built to be tied down to the animation table by a screw coming up from underneath the table and into the foot. This method requires I drill a number of holes in the board- this has never been an issue of visibility as camera angling combined with the texturing of the board nicely hides the holes. I'm worried though that if I utilized a green screen backdrop and a green floor that the holes would be like gaping tears in the chroma keying process. 

Does anyone know how to navigate this issue? 

I realize I could just not show the puppet's feet, but that wouldn't fly for every shot. I'm asking for variety's sake. 

Anybody know how magnets would work for a 10-12" puppet?

Online sources for buying green screen cloth or paint?

or, does anyone know if this would NOT be an issue in the editing process? 

Thanks

-Cadmus

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use a blue screen?

I had to do a shot like that, of a monster walking on a green floor.  Usually I prefer a piece of ground for the puppet, so it can cast a shadow on it, and composite that in along with the puppet, avoiding the whole issue.  But this was for someone else's film (Peter Montgomery's Dark Earth).

I had a board with holes drilled for the tiedowns. Over that, I placed a piece of green cloth - the same Molton fabric I use for my greenscreen on the wall.  Over the holes, I cut a slit in the fabric with my small sharp scissors that I normally use to trim the seamlines off of puppets.  The tiedown can push through the slit and open it, but it pretty much closes up when the tiedown is not there.  If a few spots show up they can be painted out in whatever paint software you use, or AE, with green so they key out.

The bigger issue for me was the shadows of the puppet creating some very dark greens that would not key.  And the horizontal surface picked up more light than the vertical backcloth, so where it wasn't shadowed, it was a lighter green on camera.  I could key the lighter colour ok, but not always the shadows.  My green backcloth is well back from the puppet and lit separately so there are no shadows, but with the ground the puppet stood on, that couldn't be avoided.  Some rotoscoping was required to clean it up. 

You can see the setup in this video, used for both the Dark Earth monster at the start, and the Triclops in the iPad framegrabber app test.  The difference in the light on the green is obvious, but the tiedown holes are not.

My source for the Chroma-key green Molton cloth is Theatrical Supplies of Australia, which won't be of any help to you.  The word "molton" is also used in the UK I think, but it is probably called something different in the US.  It's a slightly fuzzy cotton.  Here's a greenscreen at Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Screen-Backdrop-Background-Fancierstudio-Chr...   It seems to be pretty easy to find.


I'll look into it...
gustavo arteaga said:

use a blue screen?

Hmm... I'll have to try adding ground on one and then trying the slit cloth with the other. I actually wondered how you got the puppet to stand when I saw this video a while back. Thanks for the advice!

StopmoNick said:

I had to do a shot like that, of a monster walking on a green floor.  Usually I prefer a piece of ground for the puppet, so it can cast a shadow on it, and composite that in along with the puppet, avoiding the whole issue.  But this was for someone else's film (Peter Montgomery's Dark Earth).

I had a board with holes drilled for the tiedowns. Over that, I placed a piece of green cloth - the same Molton fabric I use for my greenscreen on the wall.  Over the holes, I cut a slit in the fabric with my small sharp scissors that I normally use to trim the seamlines off of puppets.  The tiedown can push through the slit and open it, but it pretty much closes up when the tiedown is not there.  If a few spots show up they can be painted out in whatever paint software you use, or AE, with green so they key out.

The bigger issue for me was the shadows of the puppet creating some very dark greens that would not key.  And the horizontal surface picked up more light than the vertical backcloth, so where it wasn't shadowed, it was a lighter green on camera.  I could key the lighter colour ok, but not always the shadows.  My green backcloth is well back from the puppet and lit separately so there are no shadows, but with the ground the puppet stood on, that couldn't be avoided.  Some rotoscoping was required to clean it up. 

You can see the setup in this video, used for both the Dark Earth monster at the start, and the Triclops in the iPad framegrabber app test.  The difference in the light on the green is obvious, but the tiedown holes are not.

My source for the Chroma-key green Molton cloth is Theatrical Supplies of Australia, which won't be of any help to you.  The word "molton" is also used in the UK I think, but it is probably called something different in the US.  It's a slightly fuzzy cotton.  Here's a greenscreen at Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Screen-Backdrop-Background-Fancierstudio-Chr...   It seems to be pretty easy to find.

A little bit off topic, and a little on. I recently ordered Some foam backed green screens from chroma-key and they are really amazing! ( http://chroma-key.com/21-foam-backed-screens) It is made out of three layers. A sturdy flexible backin, a layer of green foam and on top of that a green fabric that is woven in all directions which eliminates any shines. The light that is able to penetrate the first layer is bounced in all directions in the foam and then back out. The result is a screen that is ridiculously even when lit. You just point a random light at it and there are no hot spots or anything.
The material is not super cheap but you can get one of 5 x 3 feet for as little as 17 dollars. Believe me, it will pay off in post!

Wow! Thanks for the heads up! I'll see how it works, hopefully it'll save me some work in arranging a olley of lights. 

Jasper Kuipers said:

A little bit off topic, and a little on. I recently ordered Some foam backed green screens from chroma-key and they are really amazing! ( http://chroma-key.com/21-foam-backed-screens) It is made out of three layers. A sturdy flexible backin, a layer of green foam and on top of that a green fabric that is woven in all directions which eliminates any shines. The light that is able to penetrate the first layer is bounced in all directions in the foam and then back out. The result is a screen that is ridiculously even when lit. You just point a random light at it and there are no hot spots or anything.
The material is not super cheap but you can get one of 5 x 3 feet for as little as 17 dollars. Believe me, it will pay off in post!

Simple solution is use a MASK in After Effects to follow your puppet or make a .png sequence to erase the unwanted details.

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