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Old December 26th, 2003, 05:29 PM   #61
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What I found that worked very well was to light chromagreen fabric from the backside. Only had a double trailer classroom in which to work. Not even 8 foot ceilings.

Put a DP light on a stand centered about 12 foot in back of the screen. Centered the person in front of the green and hiding the hot spot caused by the light.

Used a Garbage matt on the extreme edges. Only problem was I couldn't get the person far enough away from the green to prevent some spill. Should have used some orange rim lights as he was wearing a SWAT uniform of very dark blue. Still the spill suppression worked OK. Did this in AE Pro.

I visited the local CBS affiliate in San Francisco. Their weather station was painted in the Chroma color paint from Ultramatte. And the keying was done by an Ultramatte hardware keyer. Very bright lights, very dirty green paint caused by the weatherpersons rubbing up against it. If you looked very closely, the keying wasn't perfect. But other than no wrinkles, they somehow violated all the 'don't doo's' in the book.
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Old January 4th, 2004, 10:06 AM   #62
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Chroma Key Question

I would like to begin doing chroma keying and have been impressed by Serious Magic's Ultra.

1. I'm wondering if any readers of this thread have used the product and how it compares to simply buying the standard green 5x7 from B+H and using my Premiere Pro green-key effect.

2. Are the improvements to the chroma-key software worth the $800 price-tag of Ultra?

3. Do any of you use Visual Communicator instead - - - I've heard that you can do workarounds with Communicator in order to use the output in larger projects?

4. Is 5x7 good enough for most applications or should pay a few more bucks and get an 8x16 collapsable?

Any advise is welcome.
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Old January 4th, 2004, 11:31 AM   #63
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I can only answer your 4th question--the 5X7' screen will not be big enough for anything but fairly tight head and shoulder shots. One problem with shooting chroma key is that you need to keep the talent as far away from the screen as possible to avoid green reflection. This is more important if someone is blonde or if they're wearing shiny clothes. It's amazing how much green a dark blue synthetic fabric blazer will pick up. I keep everybody about 7-10 feet from the screen and get good quality keying that way. An 8'X16' screen would be good enough for most things I do. In fact, that's about the size of the wall I use.
We used Ultimatte for most of our keying till recently, when I discovered that our new Boris upgrade was giving better quality keys with less hassle; so we use Boris about 90% of the time now. There are still some situations in which Ultimatte seems to work better. I'm not familiar with any of the software you mentioned. The main contributor to good keying is lighting. We shoot all DVCAM now and get the same quality keying we did with Betacam SP, but I do have to be equally, if not more, precise with the lighting. When I was digitizing into an Avid Media Composer via component out of the DVCAM deck, the keying was easier than it is now that I'm capturing via firewire. We can still get excellent keys, but you can't cut any corners in lighting.
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Old January 5th, 2004, 06:20 PM   #64
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1) premiere is no match for Ultra key. huge difference between the 2. many NLE's come with a chroma key FX but few create clean keys... don't know if there is a difference between ultra's 5x7 green VS B&H ? but guessing use any chroma green/blue.

2) if you do green/blue screen on a regular basis shooting DV IMO it is worth 800 - it is very fast. i use commotion or combustion with primatte keyer. for DV i have to work at getting clean keys .. guessing- what it takes me 10 min to do in commotion takes about 1-2 min in Ultra.
i have to admit that using their 5x7 ( thats what was there) behind (2 ft) a person ( shot head to toe) using just ambient light that was at DV expo clean keys were produced in less then a minute ( that included cleaning the full frame - the 5X7 did not fill the frame) ...
also the green screen they set up for their presentation was uneven lit ( very spotty lighting) and again Ultra had clean keys in less then a minute.

i don't shoot much green/blue screen so for time being i'll stick with commotion and combustion but if something with alot of green/blue screen came up i'd take a look at the cost effectiveness of Ultra
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Old January 5th, 2004, 07:08 PM   #65
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I own Visual Communicator and Ultra.

1. 5 x 7 size is too small for full body shots. I use 10 x 15 at a minimum but it depends on what you're shooting.

2. Ultra does an excellent job keying. I've beat it up pretty good and compared against Vegas and there is no comparison. Ultra is flexible and does a good job.

3. Visual Communicator is a totally different animal. It's interesting and unique in it's own way but more for teleprompter type interview (head shots). But not limited to just that.

In VC you are usually keying live shots where Ultra uses clips recorded from the camera rendered to use in your NLE. You could use clips created with Ultra in Visual communicator. Ultra is superior to VC in keying. Ultra has some pretty nice virtual sets and VC has great audio clips, graphics and title editors. It's all very addicting.

4. The collapsable screen is handy but I like to lay out the excess cloth on the floor to walk on for the interesting full body shots that Ultra can create.

And one thing more to mention is Serious Magic's customer support is superior to any software package you'll find ANYWHERE. Plus Ultra is pretty forgiving with bad lighting or wrinkles in your material unlike other keying software/hardware.

Look at this example I created with an animation product I was playing with and Ultra. Notice the reflection on the floor that Ultra did. Substitute the rabbit for your talent and you'll see their reflection.
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Old January 6th, 2004, 09:43 AM   #66
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You might want to take a look at the upcomming ( about 1 week overdue ) Chromanator from . It seems that for about $89.00 this will provide you with a very cost effective tool for your chromakeying.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 11:42 AM   #67
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Blue Screen, Green Screen.

What is the difference between the 2? Why is a green screen used some times and blue screen other times? Is there a difference?
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Old May 18th, 2004, 12:12 PM   #68
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Bluescreen or Greenscreen selection information.
Have fun.
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Old May 18th, 2004, 04:49 PM   #69
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Green screen is used more often, it seems, because some twerp always shows up wearing some item of clothing that's blue. When you chroma key something, the background has to be a different color from anything on the subject. Some people claim that one color keys better than another, but I haven't been able to tell any difference recently, although a few years ago when I was using an early model Media Composer, it's Avid keying software seemed to like blue better. Now we still use Avids but use Ultimatte and Boris for keying, and they don't seem to care what the color is as long as it's different.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 02:34 AM   #70
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It basically depends on the colors you put in front of the screen.
Green is the most forgiving in this case since blue happens more
in clothing indeed.

But I've also seen orange screens (Star Trek with model shooting)
and some other colors.

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Old May 19th, 2004, 07:14 AM   #71
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Green is better if you are trying to key in the DV realm as it is the least compressed of the three channels.

I wrote about "Going Green" in one of my articles some months ago (found on my website)

However, in today's digital world, you can create a key on nearly any background providing that the key background color does not show up in the foreground subject. In a pinch I once keyed off a purple background. It was a pretty tough key to pull, but it can be done.

In my "kit" I have both blue and green screens depending on the situation. Two of my screens - one a Westscott Scrim Jim, and the other a Photoflex collapsable - are reversable making them the two most used backdrops.

Of course in addition to selecting the right color, lighting plays an important role in making sure you get a perfect key... I just happen to have a rather lengthy tutorial on how to recreate a Star Wars hologram effect in my After Effects section of my website (Hologram 6.0), that also talks about setting up and lighting for green and blue screen. In the tutorial I use blue with DV and am able to pull off a great effect.

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Old July 28th, 2004, 03:22 AM   #72
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Green Screen Pantone?

Hello there,

I have to shoot some stuff with green screen on dv. Yes, I know, the DV's colour sampling isn't the best for this kind of job, but I shot a test last year and after quite a lot of work in post production I was satified with the results.
Now, I'm hiring a studio. They gonna paint a wall completely green to let me do some shots. They asked me for the pantone colour. Any idea? On internet I've read somewhere that the pantone 354 is the right one.
Unfortunately I have troubles with colours (I'm kind of colour blind, not bad for this job, uh?), and I can't check it visually.
Any help appreciated :)
Olaf Olgiati
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Old July 29th, 2004, 11:59 AM   #73
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Tell them to buy chroma key green paint from a studio supply house.
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Old September 7th, 2004, 12:52 PM   #74
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Green Screen ala' Chuck E Cheese?

I was at a Chuck E Cheese with my kids and they had a setup with a camera, a monitor, and a green screen. When the kids stood in front of the green screen, they showed up on the monitor with various backgrounds.

The green screen was actually some sort of translucent plastic that was lit up evenly from behind somehow, rather than a typical green surface lit from the front. On the monitor the results looked pretty good.

I haven't seen this discussed here (but I may have missed it). Has anyone tried this approach? How would you go about making something like that?
"Shoot them all. Let FCE sort 'em out"
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Old September 7th, 2004, 01:25 PM   #75
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Can you go back in there and just take another look. I'm sure if you ask the manager and explain what you do and why you're interested they'll let you back there to take a look. If it's not enclosed you should be able to do it without asking. I'm interested to know how that's done lit from the rear as well. Thanks.
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