Using Ultimatte in a Production Composition

Let's look at the blue screen that we cleaned up with a garbage matte and rotoscoping in Chapter 6, "Blue-Screen Garbage Mattes." This footage is going to be composited over a motion matte painting (which is created in Chapter 12, "Making Movies from Stills"). The blue-screen footage has been scaled down to the appropriate size for this composition and positioned where the actors will walk across the catwalk in the scene (Figure 9.14).

I applied the Ultimatte AdvantEdge plug-in to the foreground chroma key layer and then clicked the AdvantEdge logo in the Effects palette to launch the application. Because the resolution of both foreground and background layers did not match, they could not be used as a background preview.

To set the source color to mask, I used the Sample Backing Eyedropper and dragged a selection of the blue background (Figure 9.15).

Figure 9.14 g

The blue-screen footage was scaled and positioned over the matte painting footage in After Effects.

Figure 9.14 g

The blue-screen footage was scaled and positioned over the matte painting footage in After Effects.

Figure 9.15

I selected the blue background with the Eyedropper.

Because the background wasn't completely clean and free of defects, I needed to apply the Add Overlay tool to the noisy areas (Figure 9.16). This actually covered up the shadows under the actors, so I used the Remove Overlay tool in just those areas.

Figure 9.16 I used the Add Overlay tool to clean up and mask out the noise in the background.

I then clicked the Composite button to see the preview against a gray background. Then I clicked the Screen button and selected Spill. I used the Remove Spill tool to get rid of any blue or magenta on the edges of the backs of the actors (Figure 9.17).

Figure 9.17 I used the Remove Spill tool to eliminate spill color on the edges of objects.

Once I was satisfied with a composition in Ultimatte AdvantEdge, I clicked the OK button and ran a RAM preview to see the composite in motion (Figure 9.18).

Figure 9.18

The final composite revealed subtle shadows and smooth edges against the background matte.

Figure 9.18

The final composite revealed subtle shadows and smooth edges against the background matte.

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