Set Extension Setups

In the Set Extensions tutorial we learned a technique to add CG elements on top of a live action shot. But there are other effective ways to do this, include masking out parts and even using a green screen in the field.

In the above example, luminance keying and some masks were used to remove the sky and replace it with a destroyed city. Since our characters do not extend over the separating wall it is easy to remove the sky by masking the wall off and replacing it with our set extension.

This is a fake setup to demonstrate another possible way to remove the background. Obviously this would be even easier to remove than the white sky green keyer. Especially since it is pure green from the paint bucket in Photoshop. Of course in real life you want to add some track points as well so you can track the camera movement and I don’t mean in Photoshop.

In this example a fake green screen is painted on to demonstrate how using a small green screen in front of your actors will allow you to extend the background directly in front of your characters while maintaining the original dirt ground which makes your charcters look like they are really there. Once the green is removed a background plate of the original dirt lot can be placed back into the scene, then by using a subtraction mask and some feathering, you can blend the real foreground dirt with the background plate of the matte painting. Just be careful not to fade the mask beyond the end of the green screen or you will get a sharp edge where the green screen ends.

Another idea would be to park a static object like a car in front of the actors with a green screen behind it. Then you can key out the green and use a garbage matte to cut the rest of the scene out, and this way you wouldn’t have to blend the original footage with the background matte painting because the car would serve as a separator.

You can also extend the set with a camera movement and place some large building in the BG and simply pan upwards to the top of it… or even… Okay, that is enough for now.

August 29th, 2007 @ 11:49 pm
That was funny. You were getting on a role there, till you realized you were "tutorializing" in a blog!

That's my new word for the day....well, the rest of the night anyway. TUTORIALIZING!
August 29th, 2007 @ 11:55 pm
Nice to learn something about the shooting! In most of the chases I go out and shot what ever comes into my mind but most of that footage isn´t really helpful for the post. I need to learn to take some time for preparing and for those ideas you mentioned here. Thanks.
August 29th, 2007 @ 11:56 pm
wow... epic tutorial/blog
August 30th, 2007 @ 12:03 am
great tips. I foresee endless compositing possibilities with these methods. I need to go out and shoot a movie now.

By the way, the ruined city in the pics above reminds me of the movie Idiocracy.
August 30th, 2007 @ 12:15 am
Fonzie, I got that same impression.
August 30th, 2007 @ 1:07 am
Wow maybe you could make a video tutorial on that awesome
August 30th, 2007 @ 1:29 am
Wow That looks great!
August 30th, 2007 @ 1:30 am
Here is another "1rst try" with some before useless video I had. The comp on my computer is much better quality and the lighting looks far better than the encoding on youtube. Please comment, advise is always welcome!

-James Cawley
Some Guy
August 30th, 2007 @ 1:50 am
Thank you for that very helpful information. Especially for the "Setup B". I had some thoughts how to realize this sort of shots. The hint with a car in front of the actors is great.
August 30th, 2007 @ 1:51 am
Thanks again love your work
Actually is there any "Andrew Kramer Fan Club" ? :):):)
I want to sign up :):):)
August 30th, 2007 @ 2:01 am
I'll try these techniques soon, looks great!
but unfortunately it's really hard to find pictures from different angles from the same 'set' on the internet... so you can only use one camera position for that set extension :(

I'm dutch and 15 years old by the way, so I hope you understand what
I'm trying to say....
August 30th, 2007 @ 3:52 am
Oh man, this latest tutorials is the sweetest imo! very nice work! and this is an great expansion on it!

Andrew! goddamd, you're good!
August 30th, 2007 @ 4:15 am
Those are some good tips Andrew. Another triumph!
August 30th, 2007 @ 4:54 am
oh dear, now you gettin' the taste of this, aren't ya?

really nice og getting this technique further and more professional.

i really apreciate ist.
thank you

August 30th, 2007 @ 6:08 am
AK Did you heard About imagineer systems MOCHA?
Its better than AE tracking tools?
August 30th, 2007 @ 6:15 am
AK, Did you know something about Imagineers Systems MOCHA?
Is it Better than AE tracking tools?
August 30th, 2007 @ 6:25 am
That's awesome, this is used in a lot of feature films. In eragon they did that a lot.
Morten Enoksen
August 30th, 2007 @ 6:28 am
thanks man ^^
Dustin James
August 30th, 2007 @ 7:17 am
Thanks for the added tips..

I don't quite comprehend the car part... put the green screen to hide the car? or...?
August 30th, 2007 @ 7:20 am
Very intresting. Thanks for the tips
August 30th, 2007 @ 7:27 am
How was the green box "screen" painted in front of the two guys? This may be a stupid question, but i don't use Photoshop alot!

August 30th, 2007 @ 7:57 am
Micklevietch, in photoshop outline the two people using the polygon lasso tool or the pen tool. Then you can cut them out and paste them onto a new layer, and then put a green box in between the top layer and the source layer.

Of course that was only an illusion though. In real life you would need to set the screen up on stands (to be digitally removed later, which isn't as hard as it sounds).

One key thing to remember when you are lighting your green screen though: Keep the actors as far AWAY from the screen as you can manage (20 feet is nice), and make sure that you light the greenscreen with diffuse, soft light (outside this shouldn't be too hard since the sun helps a lot, but make sure that you fill in any wrinkles or shadows with bounce cards). Also, giving your talent a good halo backlighting (think CSI) will help seperate them from the green screen even further, giving you a much better key.

Don't forget that actors and green screens receive two DIFFERENT lighting set ups. If the actors get too close to the green screen you are risking spill light and shadows, which can be a pain in post.

Of course not everyone likes to light their shots, and some don't have the lights lol. In that case, doing it outside would def help.
August 30th, 2007 @ 8:14 am
we're gonna have to change your name to "butter," because you're on a roll!
August 30th, 2007 @ 8:20 am
Thank you again ! :)

Next time , Sam behind the camera filming andrew !

For warp or other ugly stuff you can inflict to your friends , not some great good looking effect i mean!

Poor sam , been frozen , face dislocation , lost in 1860 ..
give him a break for god sake !
August 30th, 2007 @ 8:51 am
AK please make a tutorial with this green screen techniques, I am not a master in photoshop, make us a short tuto pleasE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Your customers
Orc Master
August 30th, 2007 @ 9:21 am
Awesome tips! That's definately gonna help me in the future!

I would like to ask something, though... Is there any way to make the perspective look more like 3D? Maybe with a broken down matte turned into 3D layers?...

IDK, just a thought, for I don't think the effect looks bad but I think it could be taken to the next level ;)
August 30th, 2007 @ 10:09 am
A tribute to king Kramer the first.

Here's a project i made using some old footage and incorporating the wise teachings of Mr. AK! About 5 tutorials helped me on this one, and i used VideoCopilot'S Designer sound effects (best product ever!) for the soundtrack.

This site rocks, can't say that enough!

Comments welcome! Thanx AK
August 30th, 2007 @ 10:32 am
Very cool frank, though the demon face on the mother doesn't look very scary lol
August 30th, 2007 @ 11:07 am
Wow, it's totally pointless to make this comment, but I realized that I spelled "roll" as "role" in my previous comment. How embarrassing! But you still rok Andrew.

See what I did there? I mispelled something again. Cuz, with the....ah, I'll leave the comedy to AK.
August 30th, 2007 @ 11:18 am
Trevor that's ok....Andrew spelled "Composite" as Compositie on the first image up top :)

Unless compositie is his pet name for composites......

then everything is A-OK.
August 30th, 2007 @ 11:19 am
hey Andrew .... just wanted to say i love your tutorials... anyways i am looking into buying a new hd cam... i was thinking sony... now with there (HD):AVCHD (SD Logical): MPEG2-PS file format i was wondering does cs3 premiere, after effects accept theses formats.... would really apperciate some input... thanks
August 30th, 2007 @ 11:30 am
Well, i was trying to be funny i guess.
August 30th, 2007 @ 11:32 am
figures.... I right when I see there's a new tut lightning starts pounding down outside.... off goes the pc! looks good though!
August 30th, 2007 @ 11:45 am
That is how who spell composite when it is late. Now, I could fix it but... oh well.
August 30th, 2007 @ 11:59 am
The tutorials make up for any typos! I've made my share of typos. Actually I like to Capitalize letters for no ReaSon just to drive my boss nUts.
August 30th, 2007 @ 12:03 pm
Thanks you Sean Emer !!
August 30th, 2007 @ 12:11 pm
is there an expression to create a wiggle effect only on the X-axis?

...I know, off topic. Sorry.
August 30th, 2007 @ 12:26 pm
Judd, see tutorial number 35 Jumpy Text. Andrew explains how to wiggle the x-y and z axis seperately.
August 30th, 2007 @ 12:56 pm
uh-oh! Now he is using bad grammar! "That is how who spell..."

Just messin' with ya! Anyways, I just bought the Riot and SFX bundle the other day, and downloaded the SFX while I'm waiting for it to arrive in the mail (I love that btw, dl and ship it) Excellent stuff right there!

Keep up the great work!
Any news on the baby?
August 30th, 2007 @ 1:00 pm
It's great to get tips like that, doesn't have to be video tutorial always, this works perfectly fine for small "tutorials" like this. Thanks!

August 30th, 2007 @ 4:18 pm
here you go guys, my first attempt at this effect. please veiw and leave some feedback :) thanks alot from elliott
August 30th, 2007 @ 5:13 pm
are you making a tut on this ,man thats what iam talking about how to add the green screen in AE or PS it doesn't matter but thats what i need to do my shots cuse my actors is going to be in russia. good thinking andrew.
August 30th, 2007 @ 5:29 pm
Hey Andrew,

Love your work...who doesn't?

I got a question about motion tracking. When you do yours it works seemlessly, however when i track then link my object seems to jitter around a little bit. How do you know the best points in your footage to track? And any other tips on tracking would be great! Thanks in Advance.
Bader Ahmed
August 30th, 2007 @ 6:05 pm
Thats Great !

Do not forget to check out this wen site Fore Dylan Cole >>>>>

More Inspirations for Matte Painting

Happy Matte Painting for all

thanks The Great Andrew ever !!!
August 31st, 2007 @ 12:14 am
Thanks AK the added blogging on this one has made it much more practical i think. Thanks again!
August 31st, 2007 @ 12:24 am
@ clancy30
maan haha, GREENSCREEN is not added by software, its added on shooting. You shoot your actors on a green screen and then remove it. Not add it.

I support benandaim's question and demand an answer! lol just joking. But i still would be thankful for an answer.
August 31st, 2007 @ 12:47 am
i work with green screen i know that .but the pics andrew posted the two guys standing infront of a green screen i dont think that was a set .it looked like he added that green in the software .

@bader ahmad -min ween ya sahbi?that site was great.
August 31st, 2007 @ 12:55 am
otherwise you have to read the notes man before you try to make a comment ,read whats under the possible setup A .when you try to sound smart you sound !.peace and love.
August 31st, 2007 @ 5:06 am
Hello really nice andrew. finnally we're getting something usefull hehe ;)

Anyways i worked on a commercial a few weeks ago, and i used the same techniques as in th set extension tutorial

There were made alot of rotoscoping on the guy aswell as matte painting..

Enjoy! ;)
August 31st, 2007 @ 6:26 am

I'm so confused lol... AK was just putting in the fake greenscreen to show you where the real greenscreen would go. Putting in a fake greenscreen using AE and PS would be pointless... is that what you were trying to do?
August 31st, 2007 @ 8:58 am
now i got confused too .i dont know but on a scene like this thats requaires a huge green screen unless you doing a realy prof set.thats alot of work .
August 31st, 2007 @ 12:18 pm
"In this example a fake green screen is painted on to demonstrate how using a small green screen in front of your actors will allow you to extend the background directly in front of your characters while maintaining the original dirt ground which makes your charcters look like they are really there"

He painted on the green just to show you where a real green screen would go.
August 31st, 2007 @ 3:44 pm
alright no more explaining please . the whole thing is just to show people where to replace the green screen haa .ok.
August 31st, 2007 @ 10:51 pm
omg hahaha :D
September 1st, 2007 @ 3:06 am
Nice to see that some of my tutorial suggestions made the cut! This is pretty bad ass.

I was wondering, because Mini DV footage uses compression, how difficult is it to eliminate most of the green spill. How does it compare to keying footage that was shot with HDV (which also uses compression)?
Kris S
September 1st, 2007 @ 11:44 am
green screen or blue screen ? any significant difference or advantage in using green vs blue screen?
September 2nd, 2007 @ 12:52 am
It just depends on the shot I guess, for exterior shots it's most common to use a green screen I think..
September 2nd, 2007 @ 12:57 pm
ty drobins
Some Guy
September 3rd, 2007 @ 6:28 am
@Kris S: You usually use greenscreen for exterior shots and bluescreen for interior. It's because of the color temperature
( ).
If you shoot outside you have a high color temperature which causes a bluish tinge, so it's harder to make a good key with a bluescreen.
If you shoot inside you have a low color temperature and a yellowish/greenish tinge, which makes it harder to key out the greenscreen.
And of course there are reasons to use greenscreen or bluescreen inside AND outside. For example the style or the DV compression or you want your actor to wear blue jeans inside...
September 3rd, 2007 @ 11:10 am
when we where shooting dirty sexy money at ABC studios they used a green screen in the afternoon outside it was sunny.later on at ten night we were shooting a scene and they shot it against a huge blue screen SO LIKE SOME GUY @ cuase i was in the shot aganst the blue screen and i was wearing jeans.
September 3rd, 2007 @ 2:27 pm
sam loya looks like emeril
September 14th, 2007 @ 8:54 am
The possibilities are endless with this! Thanks yet again!!
October 8th, 2007 @ 10:39 am
Very Useful.....thankyou

Best Regards
August 25th, 2008 @ 8:12 am
i luv u full ... andrew

sigit kurniawan
December 24th, 2009 @ 2:59 am
That is a nice post indeed. I liked your way of presenting the ideas. Good job. Keep it up!
November 27th, 2010 @ 2:25 pm
Great ideas for set extension!
Before Posting
We're trying to encourage more thoughtful commenting.  Please take a moment to write a meaningful response to this post.
* Name
* Email (will not be published)
* field is required