Green screen in FCPX

I thought I’d share this project I worked on recently as going in to it I planned to do the animation parts in motion but I decided to try doing the whole thing directly in FCPX. I was pleasantly surprised how easily FCPX handled the key framing and the green screen key, I did make a few tweaks along the way but in general the keyer in FCPX is really good.

For the graphical elements I created photoshop files with a transparent background and imported them as multi layer psd’s allowing me to keyframe each graphical part separately. Opening and closing the video animation fly outs for each element was a bit of a drag, especially when there were a few elements stacked vertically but the app handled the animation with ease.

[update – 11/02/2014 – 13:24]
As noted by Ian in the comments it’s a little confusing as the hand shown in the video is on a white background. It was shot green screen because the client wasn’t sure if they were happy going with a white background so I had to be able to use imagery or another colour if required.

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    • Ian
    • February 11th, 2014 1:20pm

    That doesn’t look like a normal use for green screen colour separation overlay, as there was no background. I mistook it for a normal backlit knock-out white exposure. Now I look closer, I can see fringing around the hand. My mistake.

    • Yes I probably should have mentioned that the client later decided to just use a white background, they wanted to keep their options open at the time of shooting though. I’ll add something about that in the main copy as your right, it is a little confusing.

      Thanks, Paul.

    • Ian
    • February 11th, 2014 1:23pm

    In my normal photography I have a Lastolite Hi-lite background, which is very nice, as you can place a flash directly inside it. I expect I could do the same with video lighting to get the same result. Expose for the subject normally, but let the background be a couple of stops brighter so that it burns off.

    • I’ve got one too Ian, and I’ve used it exactly like that in the past. Great things although mastering the technique of folding them up is a bit of a challenge :)

  1. Clear, simple, stylish and effective. I like the white background. The fact that you were able to accomplish this within FCPX is another big green tick for the application.

    I also do a lot of compositing within the timeline of FCPX and rarely have to go over to Motion.

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