Convert used Primatte Keyer for After Effects on a 30 second promotional spot for "American Chopper," Discovery Network's top-rated reality show. Convert, a directorial collective of The Ebeling Group, handled all aspects of production, including concept, development, storyboarding, directing, animation, and editorial. The project team included Adam Bluming-Director, Zack Nederlander-Visual Effects Supervisor, and a VFX team composed of John Rob son, Corey Shaw, and Melanie Franciosi.
The spot promotes a two-episode special, which accompanies the program's bike-building family on their first trip to Europe, portraying the family as larger-than-life figures in a whimsical Old World playground. A Sony F950 to HDCAM SR in 4:4:4 RGB mode via dual link HD-SDI was used to shoot all of the footage of the TV program's main characters against greenscreen. Mattes were later created and used to composite the characters with stylized 3D environments of iconic European landmarks.
"As the backgrounds were highly stylized, the foreground characters needed to really sit in the scene for viewers to be temporarily convinced that the characters are walking and interacting with real landmarks. Primatte Keyer was essential to quickly pull clean mattes and keep within the one week deadline before broadcast," said Zack Nederlander -Visual Effects Supervisor.
"I experimented with my usual bag of keying tools as I do on every job when it first comes in. Luckily I had just acquired Primatte Keyer 3. I was pleasantly surprised at how the software intuitively predicted what I wanted to key out and what I wanted to retain from my selections. There were also a whole new set of edge and spill tools that were very helpful. In the interest of speed, I pre-rendered black and white mattes. I also used Red Giant Software's Key Correct 16-bit Spill Killer along with the all important Light Wrap in my final composites which really helped to marry the elements," said Melanie Franciosi-Lead Compositor.
"The work done by my small, but highly competent VFX team was very favorably received by Adam Bluming the Creative Director at Convert and the client," said Zack Nederlander.
About The Ebling Group
The Ebeling Group (TEG) (www.theebelinggroup.com) is an international production company with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paulo, and Tokyo. The TEG roster includes world-renowned designers and directors MK12, Nakd, Lobo, LBA, Caviar, Convert, and Caskey.