Tori Amos has invited amatures to create a music video for her song Bouncing off Clouds. Details for the contest are available here.

They provide multiple camera angles of Amos performing against a green screen back ground. It appears as if there are essentially no other rules. Entries have to be in by the 24th.
The files are 900MB each, so keep that in mind if you decide to download them.

It appears as if the producers of the raw footage expect contestants to use motion tracking software, since they taped tracking marks to the green screen. That's a challenge...

Studio Artist has some tools for keying out colors under the Canvas menu item. I think that first you would have to run a color simplify operation on the footage to make the green back ground more uniform.

Anyway, even if you don't do anything with the footage, you get a free copy of a pretty good Tori Amos songe out of the deal. Also, there's a neat little Final Cut tutorial on that page.

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hi Chuck... funny you should mention this... I just finished downloading the files. I am tempted. But boy o boy it's kinda uninspiring footage... so I was kinda torn about whether to make the effort. Timeline is a bit tight too... Nov 24th. All that having been said... it might be fun!

I'm no green screen expert but I hear that trying to work with green screen when using DV codec footage can be a challenge. I have almost zero (ok zero) motion tracking experience. In a nutshell, how do the "band-aids" on the wall work in that respect. And what method does one use to get rid of them if not doing motion tracking? I figure some sort of key framing of a mask would do the trick.

Any thoughts on anything here?

~Victor
P.S. I don't mean to be mean or sexist (which of course I am, I guess, if I start this sentence that way), but are those really her hands on the piano? (Reminiscent of a certain Seinfeld episode.)

~Victor

Victor,

My motion track/match moving experience is all theorectical, since I don't own any of the software that does these things, but I have watched enough special features on DVDs and read tutorials on the subject. The "band aids" are there so the match moving sofware has an anchor. Since Tori is in constant motion, and the cameras are also in motion, if you were to just key out the back ground (like they do on you local news' weather forecast) it would stay static while everything else moved around. The markers allow you to lock whatever computer generated content you create so that it appears to be in the same "place" as the original footage.

I agree that the footage is pretty blah, but I imagine that's the idea... to let others be creative. that web page doesn't give any kind of limits, so I can think of many things you could do, including cutting away from the provided footage for long periods of time. Of course, considering the time limit AND the fact that the prizes aren't insanely great, who knows if I can make the time to try out the ideas I have.

John makes some interesting suggestions for dealing with getting a solid green screen... Might be worth playing around with just for the challenge of it...

(And yes, I did think that Tori's hands looked like they may have come off someone who was much older. She's only forty-something, but her digits seem to have suffered quite a bit of abuse.)
yes those kind of look like "old man hands".... ???
I tried some tests with the Colbert Challenge green screen footage when they posted that last year, and Studio Artist was able to do a good job of creating an alpha mask off of the compressed green screen source. You can always run multiple selection operations using the shift option so they add to the old selection if the green is dirty (often the case when the video is compressed). The Selective Color Matte Ip Op is also really useful for this kind of thing.
keyframe animated lasso selections work great for getting rid of things visual garbage like the 'band-aids'.

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