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ATEM Chroma Keying capabilities

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:22 pm
by Lorhill
I just got introduced to the ATEM production switchers at NAB and while thumbing through the slick Spring catalog I'm wondering if one of these products might be a solution for our company. We are looking to ramp up our green screen shoots -- typically two camera shoots (Panasonic HPX 370's), usually a medium shot and a close up of an instructor talking to camera. Sometimes a minimal set piece like a desk and computer. We capture to Telestream Pipeline and key in After Effects and Premiere Pro.

What I'm hoping to do is key right on the set and record at least two composited feeds to Pipeline. Our editors could then just multiclip the videos and edit in B-roll and graphics without having to key in post. And we could make sure our lighting and plates are working together.

It looks like the The TV Studio has just the program out, and although the Production Studio 4k also has the Aux out, it has only one chroma keyer. With all those outputs and the four upstream keyers on the 1 M/E, I'm guessing this would be the tool of choice?

Also, I'm wondering if the keying capability of the ATEM is convincing enough to pull this off. We are getting really good keys right now (although a little time consuming) and wouldn't want to backslide. I've seen some samples on YouTube, but would love to hear from someone with firsthand experience. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Re: ATEM Chroma Keying capabilities

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:31 pm
by Mike Squires
If your lighting is very good, then yes, the ATEM does a nice job of keying.

Since you need two upstream keyers, you definitely want to go with the 1M/E.

Re: ATEM Chroma Keying capabilities

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:06 pm
by Thomas Beck
I have had a atem me 1 for only a couple months. I tried a chroma key for the first time a couple weeks ago. this is quick and dirty. no special lighting, no messing with the green screen in this case a piece of fabric. This is what I got. With some time invested in lighting and talent placement, I suspect one would get a great key out of the atem.

Re: ATEM Chroma Keying capabilities

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:52 pm
by guycochran
The controls for the keyer are rather basic. I'm glad that we have an HD real time keyer for under $1k, but I do wish there were some additional parameters for spill suppression, edge feathering, light wrap etc. Here's one of my "quick and dirty" keys from the ATEM 1M/E with Reflecmedia. It's usable, just not as believable as going through post or using a high-end Ultimatte. I hoping that a future update will give us finer control.

Re: ATEM Chroma Keying capabilities

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 6:29 pm
by Lorhill
Thanks for your responses and help. Looks like it will be a great affordable tool for setting up composites on the set, even if the key isn't perfect. We can still record the green screen footage and do a cleaner key in post if necessary, but at least we will be able to tell if our angles and lighting are working with the background plates.

Re: ATEM Chroma Keying capabilities

PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:05 am
by Mike Squires
Yeah, we had an Ultimatte card in our old SD Echolab switcher. This isn't quite up to par with it, but really, what is? (Unless you do it in post).

Spill and shadow tuning would be nice, not sure if that's possible with just a firmware update or not.