I’m energized today by the results of some experimentation. This shot had me worried for a long time, because the hair detail at the edges of Miranda’s head and shoulders needed to be cleanly isolated for a convincing composite, and I didn’t know if I could do it.

Normally, if you wanted to place a live action figure into a composite, you’d shoot against a green or blue screen. But this sequence changed significantly since production time, and I have to make do with what was shot.

You can see that Miranda’s hair is similar in hue to the background (right). This makes it difficult to select it. After experimenting with Shake’s luma and chroma key nodes,  I found its color-replace node, along with the threshold node, gave me the results above (left). If you look closely at the hair edges, you can see that I was able to retain decent hair detail, with the background quite cleanly removed.

I’ll try to use this as a matte for the hair detail, and combine it with a rotoscope of Miranda’s face and body to get a solid and clean Miranda to place into a wood composite.

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