Green screen | the 5 production secrets to insert a person into a 3d environment
Before talk about green screen questions, I want to talk about my friend David. I met David Puig, CEO of 023 CONTENT & MEDIA, , more than 8 years ago. The development of the videos that supported the candidacy of the Expo Zaragoza 2008 was the beginning of our professional relationship. I had never worked with such a professional team. Besides enjoying it, I learned a lot during the process.
Since then, over several works, we have continued to collaborate and consolidating a friendship I am proud of.
Not long ago (it seems incredible how time flies when you go as hard as you can), in late January, he proposed a collaboration not without risks. As we already know, he was to the point:
“Would you dare to something like that?” He said and past me a video as a reference. The bar was already set very high. My answer could not be anything but: let’s do it.
The challenge : cgi with green screen footage
The benefits of a new product from Hewlett-Packard have to be explained: WallArt Solution. Without wishing to be simplistic, a customizable solution for large format printing for wall covering.
The idea was brilliant: showing how, in 3 different situations, the placement of the product improve spaces.
At that time I met David Gutierrez Campos, the Director. David’s work has left me impressed. His ability to accept suggestions of each team member while maintaining a holistic view of production, had, therefore, a great final result.
Oscar Nofre, the most sensitive digital artist I have ever met, gathers art and digital domain. His collaborators Belén Ortega and David Mir are brilliant.
With successive meetings of David Puig and David Gutiérrez with people from HP, the final script was defined. What it is said so fast, is not easy nor immediate. The ability to induce the meeting of David Puig is enviable.
I do not want to forget Nick Hall, the “achiever”. His contribution was decisive in production.
The three scenarios chosen, which versatility of the product should be shown, were: a clothing store, a restaurant and a nursery.
Various inspiring images were proposed. Gradually, the final appearance of each scenarios was focused.
CGI scenarios consistent with green screen footages
After successive customer feedbacks, scenarios were approved in its essence.
We work from the beginning in the decoration project. Besides taking into account the final look, we had to keep in mind other considerations of a more technical nature.
Some of them depended on how they wanted to see each space and other ones on a complicated decision: during the video, transitions between spaces were to occur with 3d continuity. Good challenge.
Shooting day at the green screen set
The big day came. Then I met another great professional: Xavi Garriga, the Photography Manager.
We had to film a sympathetic Michelle (start of the video) on green screen background.
Previously, we, the GAYARRE infografía team, from Zaragoza, prepare the key frames of the scenarios. They were the reference with the storyboard.
Everything was taken into account:
Lighting of the scenes, distances, camera angles, rhythm of the successive sequences, the position of the actress in the real and virtual green screen scene, …
The shooting schedule (exhausting by the way) was met. About 12 hours for just one minute production.
Even during the day of shooting at the green screen set, we started to test integration of real filming with virtual scenarios.
The rendering process
The first “joy” was discovering that this production has to be made in Full HD (1920 x 1080). We were worried about rendering times but, as usual, we were on time.
We received all data from the RED ONE and used them to place our virtual cameras inside the computer. Everything had to match.
Certain scenes could be calculated with previous but other ones, with space transformations, should be calculated on “brute force”. Some of the images needed over 120 minutes of calculation. ?
The process was not linear. Logically, there were last minute changes. However, we responded with all our energies (and machines’) arriving on time.
It was time for the truth. Everything what we had planned must match.
Oscar and his team immersed themselves with the integration of Michelle and all the post-production. All of us were satisfied with the work after many hours and especially the customer. ? We had gotten.
The first experience to review was the fact of working in a multidisciplinary team. In our previous productions, we were the only team. Understanding that a production of these features needed for this type of collaboration was not easy. It was rewarding when we understood the process once completed.
The integration of characters in a 3D production with green screen footages is one of the most difficult challenges we had faced so far. We are looking forward to having a new opportunity to work with this great team.