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What are your thoughts on Chroma Key?

The ScreenFlow team is interested in hearing your feedback on the Chroma Key feature.

  • Do you find Chroma Key useful?
  • Is there anything about the feature that you would improve/change? 
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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view
    Ahmet B said:
    ompared to OBS, I find Chroma Key feature on Screenflow performing quite poorly. 

     OBS is a different type of program. For that, you'd want to compare to Telestream Wirecast.

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      • Ahmet B
      • Ahmet_B
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      CraigS I am using OBS only for recording videos; not Livestreaming, simply because its Chroma Key is superior. Isn’t Screenflow supposed to be great for the tutorial format with screencast + talking head with a green screen?

       

      if OBS can do Chroma keying on-the-fly better than offline editing software like Screenflow, I’d say that’s a problem...

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Ahmet B Telestream Wirecast also has a very good chroma keyer. 
      ScreenFlow technology is a bit different so it will take more development for it to catch up.

      This is the chroma keyer in our competitor to OBS, Telestream Wirecast.
       

      The ScreenFlow chroma keyer
       

      Like 1
  • I hope Screenflow soon adds better Chroma Key support, as we really need it to have better quality, and be simpler to setup automatically. Thanks!

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Robert Woeger You can see what we've done with Wirecast (that's a recent upgrade) so doing something similar in ScreenFlow would be ideal. The developers are listening.

      Like 2
  • Re: Chroma Key:

    I have FCPX so I thought, hmm, maybe I can flip my green-screen talking head clips back and forth to it so I can use their great CK'r. Well, here is what I found:

    FCPX's CK'r really is superior to both what I see on Wirecast and SF 9.0.5. The result was perfect even with shoddy lighting to which I think I am not alone.  Good lighting costs and you need the space to setup a semi-permanent green-screen or one of those fancy pull-up screens that are a couple hundred dollars. I am getting away with a $75 WebAround, a single LED softbox in front and the great controls and adjustments I can make in FCPX. 

    I do use SF to capture, then export that as Pro-Res which is then imported into FCPX. Then I share it out as a Pro-Res-4444 with alpha and drag that back into the SF project. I make sure not to detach the audio or I will have to re-sync on the timeline in case I make any cuts while in FCPX.

    The extra workflow time is saving me a lot of headaches with the somewhat thinner set of CK controls within SF. 

    So, the argument that the architecture is not structured to expand the CK of SF falls on dead eyes/ears for the moment. We needed it a year or two ago and my workaround penalizes me with wasted time. How about updating SF to include a respectable CK facility and salve the pain of the many pros who teach, instruct and entertain a lot of people using your product?

    Like 1
    • Steven Levine Ok, here's an update on my attempt to use FCPX to key out the background of a 6 minute video clip captured with SF 9.0.6:

      So I exported out of SF, the non-keyed clip as Pro-Res with Alpha for import into FCPX. This is 1920x60P footage taken in front of a green screen. The export took a while.

      Next, I used the keyer in FCPX to cleanly key out the green screen background. This produced a nice result. 

      Next, I saved this as a ProRes-4444 from FCPX. also took a while.

      Opened my SF project and dropped the almost 14Gb, 6 minute chroma-keyed version of the clip into it.

      Now, I wanted to save the project and that took 10 minutes. I have a quad-core-i7 with 16 gigs of ram and a 2tb LaCie Thunderbolt drive where my scratch and project files are stored.

      So far, to get a really clean chroma key with lots of adjustments possible, I have invested an hour just on this 6 minute clip going back and forth between SF and FCPX. 

      The result is very good but the workflow is killing me.

      The second image is the composite result in SF with all fake stuff thrown into the frame to make it look like I have an office, a wooden desk and a big Mac monitor.

      The net-net is that I need to get a new Apple Mac-Mini with the M1 chipset and I can do anything I want and it will take much less time.

      I still think that Telestream should devise a better Chroma Keyer for ScreenFlow so we can work on timeline-native video instead of all this export/import of 4444 video which is very bulky and slow. 

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Steven Levine Certainly please do vote for an improved Chroma Keyer. The more votes the developers see, the potential for raising the priority. As you can see it's already in review noted in the linked vote thread.

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  • Chroma Key is critical to my usage... But compared to just about every other tool I've tried, it does not do a good job.  The color selector doesn't seem to work all the time, and it is almost impossible for me to tune the white clip, tolerance and angle so that I get clean transparencies without the color glitching.

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    • Dan Mason
    • Dan_Mason
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Using Screenflow 9.0.7. Chroma key is working well overall for me and Screenflow's approach of recording all components separately to allow maximum timeline flexibility is what makes it the best screencasting tool by far. But it would be really helpful to have a chroma preview of merged chroma/recorded background so I can interact with it (ie pointing to elements on the screen, weather map style). Unless I've missed something.

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view
    Dan Mason said:
    But it would be really helpful to have a chroma preview of merged chroma/recorded background so I can interact with it (ie pointing to elements on the screen, weather map style).

    Please explain how this might work?
    Like most editing programs, ScreenFlow Chroma Key happens after recording.
     

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      • Dan Mason
      • Dan_Mason
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      CraigS Thanks for the prompt reply Craig and for your generous support on the forum. There's a 'show recording monitor' floating window. Perhaps this could include a 'chroma preview' checkbox to give a merged preview. I realise the monitor is included in the desktop recording, so in any case it could only work if part of the screen was selected for recording, or the preview was moved to a second screen. Screenflow isn't a broadcast application I know, with feeds syphoned back to give the presenter a live preview, so I've no idea how and if this might be possible. Not a gripe at all, but I was just responding to the invitation to comment and it would certainly be useful to have visual cues of, in my case, presenter + presentation. Many thanks 

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    • CraigSModerator
    • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
    • CraigS
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view
    Dan Mason said:
    There's a 'show recording monitor' floating window. Perhaps this could include a 'chroma preview' checkbox to give a merged preview.

     An issue is how would it designate the background source which may (or may not) already be recorded. For a first recording there would be no media in the document. For a subsequent recording there could be media in the timeline, Media Library but not in the timeline, Global Library. That media may be a still (JPG, PNG, etc) or be moving (a previous recording, an imported file of any number of codecs which would then have to playback in real-time while recording and may well tax the system resources impacting the recording itself). Can you name another NLE (editing program) that also does live chromakey recording?

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    • Dan Mason
    • Dan_Mason
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    All good points and thanks for explaining the practical challenges. No, I can't imagine any NLE would do this, by definition. It would be a preview composited during recording, as happens with livestream platforms. It was the inclusion of a 'recording monitor' in Screenflow that made me wonder whether, perhaps, media or a presentation that is being recorded as the keyed background could be added. I'm not unhappy with Screenflow's chroma key, just responding to the request for feedback by saying that, as an educator, the more I can do to interact with my presentation space and media, the better. Thanks for listening Craig and keep up the good work.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Dan Mason Thanks for contributing to the discussion as we consider how to improve chroma key. You're welcome of course.

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  • I love it and use it all the time.

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  • Chroma Key feature in Screenflow is good, but not perfect. 

    The Blackmagic Atem Mini gives me a more clear Greenscreen effect with the same camera and setup. Don't know why BM does here a better job and i don't know how to improve it for screen flow. 

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      René Fürst We're certainly looking at improving it in ScreenFlow.

      Like 3
    • CraigS Glad to hear you are looking into improving Chroma Key in Screenflow. Thanks!

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Robert Woeger 👍

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  • Kinda piggybacking here, because I can't find it anywhere. 

     

    Is it possible to do green screen tracking?  Because I have a project where I have to  present the viewer not just the background of my iMac, but the corresponding image on my iPhone while I move it. But since the  video on the iPhone needs some post processing,  I thought of recording the iPhone with with a green screen as its display and use that to pit in the real screen later. 

     

    Is that even possible with Screenflow? The chroma key feature looks static to me. 

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Peter Brülls No tracking yet but it's been requested. ScreenFlow doesn't have keyframes so you'd have to move things through a series of Actions.

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  • Glad to see Chroma Key getting better.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Hallam Cassidy 👍

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    • Jay Asher
    • Jay_Asher
    • 11 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    It would be nice to be able to apply Chroma Key BEFORE recording like other apps, not just after.

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      • CraigSModerator
      • Telestream Desktop Forum Moderator
      • CraigS
      • 11 mths ago
      • Reported - view
      Jay Asher said:
      It would be nice to be able to apply Chroma Key BEFORE recording

      Why would you want this? Generally, some would say it's more flexible to apply and tweak after the recording. If you apply it before recording it couldn't be adjusted after. Consider this would also involve using more system resources which may impact other functions.

      Like
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