Everybody shooting chroma key shots using DV, mini-DV, Digital Beta, and HD already knows it's nearly impossible to get a decent key through the DV compression jaggies on the edges of the matte characters. The development group at the DV Garage has created dvMatte Pro, a plug-in keyer specifically designed for DV footage. This very affordable keyer is extremely easy to use and does everything it promises to do—give you professional chroma keys with digital video footage.

Note: A demo copy of dvMatte Pro is available on the companion DVD.

Using the footage files I downloaded from the DV Garage website, I completed a nice keyed composite with just a few steps. This footage was not well lit and had a lot of detail in the person's hair—the worst combination you can have with DV chroma footage.

I started by cropping as much of the outside of the motion area on the green-screen layer as possible, using an adjustable mask to create a garbage matte. I then feathered the mask (Layer > Mask > Feather) 30 pixels horizontally and vertically to create a softer edged mask (Figure 9.26).

Figure 9.26

I created a garbage matte by adjusting the handles on the rectangular mask and feathering the edges.

Figure 9.26

I created a garbage matte by adjusting the handles on the rectangular mask and feathering the edges.

I applied the dvMatte Pro plug-in to the chroma footage layer (Effects > DV Garage > dvMatte Pro) and selected the two extreme ranges of the color key—lightest and darkest—with the Eyedropper tools (Figure 9.27). I changed the view to Base Matte and adjusted the Black Point slider under the Base Matte settings to darken the

background until it was solid black. To lessen the effect of the jaggies visible in my example on the edges of the jacket and hair, I applied about 5 pixels of the Softness Black Point setting.

Figure 9.27 Next I adjusted the Base Matte Black Point slider until the background in the Base Matte was solid black.

I changed the view back to Composite to see if I needed to increase the softness around the edges without making it blurry. Because the original green screen was not lit well, there were dark corners at the top, so I cropped out most of it with the feathered mask. Some of the black was still showing through, so I increased the Final Matte Gamma to 0.7 to eliminate it from the final composite (Figure 9.28).

a i ft I Effect Controls: greenscreensho.mc

v|»|x >

lomp 1 ■ greenscreenshot.mov

, dvmatte pro


Animation Presets None


view 1 composite


- ft high bq CO lop | | |'=H

■ Q low bg color | !

> S soill balance SO 0

[> chroma soften

vbase mane

V S black point Cf.O



[> 6 white point : .1.0

t> '*. softnesi 0.0

V 6 softness black pa 5.0



^ softness white po Z5S.D

> detail matte

l> 0 final mane gamma |0.7 |

t> edge color

Figure 9.28 I was able to make color corrections with the plug-in without affecting the matte.

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