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Playing with Pinnacle Studio Keyers

Playing with Pinnacle Studio Keyers By Le Papy - Last updated on Thursday, January 2, 2014
22758 Views :: 1 Comments :: Article Rating (Total Votes: 1)
Category: Pinnacle Studio 21 & S16-S20 Tutorials / Plugins  -  Previous tutorials  -  Associated Link(s)
Published on Thursday, January 2, 2014
Created on Monday, October 28, 2013 9:06 AM

Studio 16 and upper versions come with 3 keyers: a luminance keyer, a color keyer and a transparency keyer. As their name suggests, the first (Luma key) uses the luminance and the second (Chroma key) uses colors to select the areas to change. The chroma keyer will be the subject of this tutorial. To summarize very briefly, a chroma keyer allows you, in post-production, to replace a color in a clip using an overlay. Do not confuse it with another effect, subject to our tutorial "Selective Coloring" which is a substantially opposite effect since it allows you to transform any video in black and white except for one color.

Step 1 : The Classic use of Chroma Key

The ability to remove a color, in post-production, has resulted in the current practice of shooting in front of a solid colored background. Blue and green have long been the preferred choices, but for various technical reasons, green has become the color of choice. With the chroma key effect, the color area removed from the main video becomes a transparent area. It is easy, using a second track, to overlay an image over another image. The images on the overlay track become visible in the transparent areas of the main track.

Soon we will see what we can do with a video filmed against a solid color background.To create this tutorial, I used the "OurNatureAdventure" demo video. If you don't have the demo video that came with older Studio versions, you can download it (courtesy of the editor) in the "Associated Links" section of this page below (right click / Save Target As).

I'll let you choose the appropriate sequence in OurNatureAdventure.

  1. Insert this sequence on A/V Track (2), insert an image on A/V Track (3), and adjust the length of the image to the duration of the clip above. Open the A/V Track (2) sequence in the Effects Editor.
  2. Make sure the "Effects" tab is selected.
  3. Choose the "4 Keyers" tab and select "StudioChromaKeyer".
  4. For "Select preset" keep the Default setting.

Instantly the green color turns black and transparent.

Use keyer color in effects editor

In the Studio 17 Effects Editor, the "Solo" button is off by default.This means that you see all the track.

But in the Studio 16 Effects Editor, the "Solo" button is on by default. This means that you only see the track on which you are currently working. By setting this option to off, you see all tracks superimposed in the player.

  1. Clicking on "Solo" will change the text from orange (on) to white (off). You will see the A/V Track (3) in the transparent parts of the A/V Track (2).
  2. Exit the Effects editor by clicking OK to save your effect.
With the deactivation of the "Solo" option, all tracks are visible

You are now able to create the most well known video overlay effect, the weather report. The weather person is filmed on a solid colored background, while the background color is replaced by a map or satellite photo. The presenter can then control his/her movements by watching a monitor placed outside the view of the camera, off to the side, with the two overlayed tracks visible.

Step 2 : Change Only One Color Across the Screen Surface of a Video Clip

With this step #2, we'll go a little further in the use of the chromakeyer. We'll take a clip that was not filmed on a green background and I will show how you change a color in this clip. For the purposes of this tutorial I selected a roughly four second long extract from the "The Sky is the Limit" video demo. In this clip the young actor is wearing a blue colored T-shirt and, it just so happens, there is no other blue on the screen. This is the perfect video for the demonstration.
You definitely understand that you will change the color of the t-shirt ... wink

There is nothing complicated, don't worry ... Go ahead and choose the appropriate sequence in "The Sky is the Limit".

  1. Drag the clip to A/V Track (2) and extract the desired sequence.
  2. Double click on the sequence and in the Effects Editor, choose the "4 Keyers" tab.
  3. Click on "StudioChromaKeyer".
Application  "Studio Color Keyer" on a clip

As soon as you select "StudioChromaKeyer", you can access the configuration panel for the effect.

Click on the "Expand All Settings" icon to access the various parameters.

  1. Using the color picker, select the blue T-shirt color to replace the default green color.
Overriding the default color by color to remove
  1. After selecting the blue T-shirt color with the color picker, the "Key Color" window shows the new color to make transparent.
  2. To verify your choice is valid, check the "Show Key" box. The portion shown in black will be transparent and the portion shown in white will not be changed by the effect ... this is what you wanted, right? As the result is almost perfect, it won't be necessary to play with the Color Tolerance, Saturation Minimum, Softness, or Spill Suppression.
  3. Now that it's all verified, don't forget to uncheck the "Show Key" check box before continuing.
  4. Save your effect by clicking the OK button.

Setting "Keyer Color Studio" and use the incrustation option

In this screenshot, you can see:

  1. The T-shirt became black (it will be transparent).
  2. The rest of the video is not modified and the cap that was already black remained black but is not transparent ... got it?
Consequences of application of the "Studio Color Keyer" effect

You still have to create the new color of the t-shirt. We will use a common technique referred to as the "empty title" technique, ie; we are going to create a fake title with a colored background and without any text. But first things first...

  1. Select A/V Track (3) Double-click it so that it becomes the default track.
  2. Place your cursor at the beginning of the timeline, aligned with the beginning of the A/V Track (2).
  3. Click the "T" button (Title). The title will be created on A/V Track (3) at the beginning of the time line.
Creating an empty title

As soon as you have clicked on the "T" button, the title will be created and the title editor will open.

  1. Right-click the default layer and select "Cut Layer".
  2. Open the Background Settings parameters and click on Background Drop Zone.
  3. Select the color of your choice.
  4. Choose a solid color (default).
  5. Click the "Apply" button to save your color.
  6. Click OK to save the title.
Setting as empty title

To sum it all up, you should have this:

  1. A/V Track (2) with the extract from "The Sky is the Limit" altered by the "StudioChromaKeyer" effect (magenta band). A/V Track (3) with its empty, solid color title. Adjust the length of the title to match the clip above.
  2. The T-shirt took on the color of the empty title.
  3. You will also notice that the cap that was black is still black...
Final result

Easy you say, and you are right, because there was no other blue on the screen. If there had been, we would have used the method described in the next step.

Step 3 : Change a Color Only in a Part of the Screen Area Video

In our next logical progression, you will now change one color in one part of the screen that has the same color as another part but without altering the color of the second part. For the purposes of this tutorial I selected a sample just over 5 seconds long in the "OurNatureAdventure" demo video where a boat is crossing a lake with the entire family on board.

In this excerpt, we have a beautiful blue sky reflected in the water. You can approach the problem in two different ways:

  1. Changing the color of the sky and its reflection in the water is the easiest. Simply apply the method we have just seen in step 2.
  2. Changing only the color of the sky and keeping the blue color of the water is a bit more complicated. Even though it is unlikely you would want to do this, it will be a great exercise to learn how to modify only part of the screen.

We will start with the easiest: changing the color of the sky and its reflection in the water...

Change the color of the sky with different shades of blue, will be a little more difficult than changing the plain blue T-shirt color. I'll let you choose the appropriate sequence in "OurNatureAdventure".

  1. Drag the clip to A/V Track (2) and extract the desired sequence.
  2. Apply the "StudioChromaKeyer" effect.
  3. After sampling the blue color of the sky near the treetops with the color picker, the "Key Color" parameter shows the color to make transparent.
  4. The sky is shades of black.
  5. The reflections of the sky in the water also shows shades of black.
Using the keyer color effect for changing a color included in the video
  1. To make fine adjustments, you must select "Show Key".
  2. Note that the sky is black but the border with the trees is uncertain. It is the same with reflections of the sky in the water.
  3. Some black spots remaining in the white area should not be changed and the sky through the holes of trees are a little too visible.
Incrustationr allows you to refine the parameters
  1. By default, the Color Tolerance is 75. It appears that setting this to 40 gives the best results.
  2. The Spill Suppression should be set to 100 (presence of artifacts where the trees and sky meet).
  3. Black is more homogeneous.
  4. White is more pure.
  5. Don't forget to uncheck "Show Key" before exiting the Effects Editor by clicking OK.
The best setup is to obtain well separated whites and blacks

Finally, you have to add a fake sky on A/V Track (3). To change things a bit, we won't use an empty solid color title but a snapshot of an image immediately following the inserted sequence on the A/V Track (2) in "OurNatureAdventure".

  1. There's nothing to stop you from applying a Pan & Zoom to scroll the clouds during the 5 seconds of the video effect.
  2. The cloudy sky will make a beautiful color that is reflected in the water...
Final result

We arrive at the last lesson for this tutorial: change only the color of the sky and keep the blue color of the water...

We will apply the same principle as the previous step but we will apply the chromakey effect only on the area that we want to change. The other part will be protected by a cutout of the screen. The tool used for cutting can vary, depending on the surface and the position of the area to be protected.

Here's one of several ways to accomplish this ...

You will create a cutting from the bottom of the screen to leave only the relevant part of the sky to change.

  1. Drag the clip to A/V Track (2) and extract the desired sequence.
  2. Make sure you select the "Effects" tab and choose the "1 2D-3D" item.
  3. In the drop down list select "2D Editor Advanced" and Open the "Select Preset" window and select "No Preset".
  4. In the "Cropping" window set the "Bottom %" to 63.
  5. The cut will be black and transparent.
  6. Click OK to accept and exit.
Advanced 2D editor used to create a cut in the bottom of the screen

You will create a cut from the top of the screen to keep only the part not affected by the modification.

  1. Make a copy of the video on A/V Track (2) and paste it on A/V Track (3) then remove the effects on the A/V Track (3) video.
  2. Apply the "2D Editor, Advanced" effect.
  3. Select the preset "No Preset" parameter.
  4. In the Cropping window set the Top % to 37 (63% +37% = 100%).
  5. The cut will be black and transparent.
  6. The lower part of the screen will not be affected by the chromakeying that you do.
2D editor advanced used to create a cutout on the top of the screen

I'll speed things up now since we've covered some of this already:

  1. Drop your snapshot on A/V Track (4) and maybe add a Pan & Zoom effect.
  2. Double click the video on A/V Track (2) that we previously edited with the "2D Editor Advanced" effect.
  3. Apply the "StudioChromaKeyer" effect.
  4. Use the same settings that we used previously.
  5. The sky will be transparent.
Using the color keyer effect for changing a color included in the upper part of the video

And this is what you should get. On the screenshot, I defined the upper part and the lower part with an orange line.

  • On the top we see 37% of the original clip (the trees) from A/V Track (2). And in the transparent area, we see the cloudy sky from A/V Track (4).
  • On the bottom we see that 63% of the lower part of the original unmodified clip A/V Track (3).

This is certainly not very realistic but at least now you know how to change only one part of the screen.

Final result

But also understand that this is not always so easy to do. If the blue and green are used throughout the video, other colors can be very difficult or impossible to isolate. I also have not addressed the case where the color you want to isolate is moving around the screen. Here we get into the subject of motion tracking which is really a whole new topic. cheeky

{Thanks to Loosecannon for the fine tuning}

{Screen Captures were made with the help of Snagit 10 by TechSmith}

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Kath Roberts By # Kath Roberts @ Saturday, February 21, 2015 5:05 PM
Thank you for sharing this looks like fun!

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