Friday, October 19, 2007

Green screen

After instruction and demonstration two weeks ago, students of mine at the University of the Arts had to direct their own green screen recordings yesterday. Unlike during the demo, when I had no clue which socket was connected to which socket in this photo studio, we did not blow any fuses.

What I found interesting is how hard it is to make these animation students collaborate as a crew. I used to teach at the Netherlands Film and Television Academy where that is the default work mode of course. Animators tend to be "loners", individuals working on their own little projects. They are simply not accustomed to division of labour it seems, although they probably will be confronted by that as soon as they venture out into the professional world. Unless they manage to have a career as independent animator. Or win the lottery.

On a geek node: I knew that NTSC DV should be even worse for doing greenscreen than PAL DV, because it uses 4:1:1 sampling instead of 4:2:0. And indeed, the first tests showed some really ugly artifacts. Overall however, I was not unhappy at all with the results of the simple setup we had. And what is really great with these students: they are really creative in finding backgrounds and image combinations for the greenscreen test assignment I gave them!

By the way, if anybody wonders why in the photograph here is this bag on the floor next to the chair where the subject is to sit: this is not because we were being messy. The floor gave a really ugly direct reflection to the shotgun mike hanging overhead. Placing this (light set) bag there made the voice sound a lot friendlier, less hollow.

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