Changing the Background of a Video that doesn’t have a Green Screen

Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews Forums Technique Editing Changing the Background of a Video that doesn’t have a Green Screen

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    • #55592
      Avatarnathanvogele
      Participant

      My Employer wants me to change the background of some video's he made in 2000 to a newer background. These old video's were filmed with him sitting at a desk with a wall and a plant behind him. How do I best edit that to put the new background on. Could motion tracking work for this?

    • #206619
      Avatardesigncbts
      Participant

      I recommend that you scrap the video (or at least most of it) and use his audio to voiceover.  Take shots of the pertinent stuff he's talking about.  Talking heads is SO 2000…

    • #206644
      AvatarWoody
      Participant

      You could rotoscope it in AE or mask it somehow but depending on the video could be a huge job as you will be key framing each frame. Chances are the cheapest and fastest means are going to be reshooting the video.

    • #206657
      Avatarrs170a
      Participant

      The video is 13 years old which means it was shot on old technology and the quality (along with a few other things like clothing style) probably leaves a lot to be desired. Do your best to convince your employer to do it again and take advantage of today's technology.

       

      Mike

    • #206665
      Avatarbillmecca
      Participant

      Agreed,  that video is ancient, cheapest and easiest to re-shoot.  

    • #206668
      AvatarBrian
      Participant

      Sometimes reshooting isn't an option due to schedule, budget, etc.  I've done some pretty crazy roto and tracking work on national spots to replace backgrounds, heads, package labels, logos, etc, etc.  While AE isn't my favorite tool for roto, it works.  I vastly prefer to use Flame or Smoke for roto.

       

      Give roto a shot to see if it will work for you.  If nothing else, your client will think you're a swell dude for giving it a shot.  Break the body into sections.  Do the head first since it will be the section everyone looks at the most.  (hopefully the talent has flat hair) Set keyframes every 30 or so frames then go back and do every 15, 5, etc until you get it seamless.  Then move on to body, arms, etc.  Fingers are the toughest.  

      You can also have VERY good success using multiple keyers.  Use one keyer to isolate the shirt, one for the jacket, etc.  I've stacked up 20+ keyers to build a good matte.

       

      It ain't quick and easy but roto is a great skillset to keep in your arsenal.

       

       

       

       

       

    • #206684
      AvatarBrian
      Participant

      Roto is short for rotoscoping – frame by frame work.  

      I know zero about Vegas so I can't offer anything there.  Premiere is a fine editor but I wouldn't try it there.  You really need to look at After Effects or better to do this kind of stuff.  I'm a big fan of Smoke or Flame for serious rotoscoping.  

       

       

    • #206688
      Avatarrs170a
      Participant

      Vegas doesn't do rotoscoping either so you have to use a tool like AE, Mocha or one of the others already mentiond here.

      However, all of them have a steep learning curve so, by the time you finally learn how to use them, you could have shot and edited several replacement videos for your employer.

       

      Mike

    • #206771
      Avatarslewisma
      Participant

      What color is the wall, what kind of texture does it have, how's the lighting, how far from the wall is he and is the plant always beyond any movement he makes? Keying and a 4 point mask might still be possible. It won't be perfect since the background is neither colored or lit for that intent but rotoscoping will take forever and also won't likely be perfect. 

       

      I don't assume he has any idea what's involved in replacing the background. Maybe he just needs to know that doing so without having shot in front of a chromakey purposed screen isn't practical and isn't going to look very professional when done. Have you had that basic discussion yet?

       

      I'd be tempted to try either keying or a rough rotoscoping job, show it to the boss, tell him that since it wasn't shot on greenscreen this is good as it gets unless he wants you to spend weeks on each video and then suggest reshooting it as the more efficient path.

       

      Hopefully his fashion has evolved with the times. You might try pointing out what he's wearing in the video vs what he's wearing right now and add that as a reason to reshoot or change approaches. Do a quick demo with something like Sparkol or Prezi and suggest that his voice over those types of visuals would be a more complete refresh for the times. 

       

      Does he need to appear in the videos? Someone suggested using his audio as voiceover for other images and footage which is a more current approach. Another approach might be to re-shoot it with an actor instead of the boss if he doesn't want to do it himself and it isn't critical that he be the one on screen. 

       

       

    • #206875
      AvatarPesi
      Participant

      If you look at this situation from the business perspective, I think most would agree that it is cheaper and easier to re-shoot the sequence.

       

      Here's what I do when faced with such a situation -I offer the client a simple choice…

      "it will cost x dollars to reshoot the video, since it is less time-consuming, or it will cost you 2x (or maybe even 3x) dollars to have me go through the pain of redoing it by roto in post – your choice."

       

      When it comes to dollars, most clients will make the right choice of having the job done using the easier and more cost-efficient method.

       

       

    • #206676
      Avatarnathanvogele
      Participant

      [quote=Brian Collins]

      Sometimes reshooting isn't an option due to schedule, budget, etc.  I've done some pretty crazy roto and tracking work on national spots to replace backgrounds, heads, package labels, logos, etc, etc.  While AE isn't my favorite tool for roto, it works.  I vastly prefer to use Flame or Smoke for roto.

       

      Give roto a shot to see if it will work for you.  If nothing else, your client will think you're a swell dude for giving it a shot.  Break the body into sections.  Do the head first since it will be the section everyone looks at the most.  (hopefully the talent has flat hair) Set keyframes every 30 or so frames then go back and do every 15, 5, etc until you get it seamless.  Then move on to body, arms, etc.  Fingers are the toughest.  

      You can also have VERY good success using multiple keyers.  Use one keyer to isolate the shirt, one for the jacket, etc.  I've stacked up 20+ keyers to build a good matte.

       

      It ain't quick and easy but roto is a great skillset to keep in your arsenal.

       

       

       

       

       

      [/quote]

       

      This sounds exactly like what I'm looking for, What exactly is ROTO? Does Sony Vegas or Adobe Premier 11 have it?

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