The ultimatte FCP plugin.

Two years ago…one year ago…heck, SIX MONTHS AGO…when you wanted to get really convincing green screen work done, you went to a visual effects house. I did this a lot. If not that, then we had a Graphics Artist in house that did all this work. Recently more and more editors find themselves not only editing, but delving into visual effects as well. I have a friend who is a commercial and music video editor who uses Motion and Shake all the time in his work. And now with the recent price drop of SHAKE I see the incidents of this only increasing.

And I have joined the ranks.

Not only am I a creative editor, but I am becoming a motion graphics and visual effects artist as well. I do not pretend that I have, nor will I have the skill set of the guys that do this all day long and have years of experience. But I can do a pretty mean green screen comp…IMHO. Not only did I get a nice key from my footage, but I was able to add that little extra that made it really convincing.

Keylight with Shake offered the same image degradation that happened with After Effects, but Shake offered tools and nodes that were able to get a great key. A HOLD OUT MATTE was the key. Once I used that the image cleared right up. I did some futzing and got a really nice key. But something didn’t quite seem right. I blurred the background a little for depth of field….I painted out the modern day lamp posts…but that wasn’t it. Then I looked at the cut with the comps…and every other shot had smoke running thru the shots. So great action shot with smoke…then suddenly three clean shots…then smoke in a shot again. So I need smoke.

But Shake doesn’t have a smoke node. But Motion does smoke…well.

So I used Motion to create a nice layer of smoke and added it to the comp…and it looked very decent. But all the other shots have smoke in the background, smoke in the foreground…swirling around the guys. So I went into Motion again and made some thicker smoke and then added it to the background…

I feel like I am working on LORD OF THE RINGS or something.

ANWAY…you’ve seen the footage I have had to work with below, now look at the results. First the green screen shots before I added smoke, then the finished comps with the shot before and after…so you can see.