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Old August 21st, 2011, 11:03 PM   #1
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Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?

Im thinking about purchasing this sytem and wanted to get input, From what I understand, no lighting of the screen is nessasary (besides the led ring). I am thinking that this eliminates spill even if the subjsect is close to the chromatte screen. I like to get the subject at least 7 feet or more away from the green. This is hardly ever possible when in the field. It also seems that this would be great for studio use as it would save space. Anyone have experience with this set-up?
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 01:00 AM   #2
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Re: Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?

I have a 4x3 foot system and it's great. You need a lot of side lights though and you cant have any reflective objects. It's also hard to get a back light set up since you're so close to the screen.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 05:51 AM   #3
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Re: Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?

Kevin,
I bought Datavideo's version of the system three years ago and have only used it on a few occasions - and therefore each time it's like starting over for me. Obviously, the more you use it the more familiar with the system you become.

However, I have found it great - and it has paid for itself. It's relatively straightforward to set-up, doesn't take too long, and the results can be great too. It gives you a portable studio of sorts - and you can set-up in some relatively tight spaces.

No additional lighting of the backdrop required, which allows you to focus on lighting the subject properly.

Even creases in the backdrop don't seem to be a major problem and key out very well.

I often get a dark 'halo' or outline effect around the subject when I record - and as this area is darker I might have to key this out a second time. This is probably due to lack of familiarity with the system and incorrect lighting by me.

Here's a link to a sample piece I shot using a Z1:

I think it's passable - and does the job.

Apart from the green light-ring, it was lit using three dedolights. It was edited in Premiere (CS4 or CS5) and was keyed either using Premiere's own key or Boris Continuum.

Portability is another factor. I even took the backcloth and light-ring in a small suitcase to Abu Dhabi in the Gulf for a shoot there. It allowed me to carry my 'studio' with me - and all I did was hire in some stands locally to hold it up and a set of lights.

If you can justify the cost, then it can save you time and effort in set-up.
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 02:58 PM   #4
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Re: Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?

Sean:

The dark Halo that you refer to seems to keep coming up in my research on the Chromatte, along with shadows. The one thing I dont uderstand is how shadows could be an issue if lighting of the chromatte is not nessasary. Any thouhgts?
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 04:04 PM   #5
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Re: Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?

Kevin:
The Halo isn't so much a shadow caused by the lighting of the subject - but it could be a shadow caused by the light-ring itself.
I did do some googling about this awhile back and I think that was the upshot. Therefore the solution might be to keep your subject sufficiently away from the backdrop to ensure that shadow is minimised.
I've attached two still shots from some past footage. The first is the clean 'as shot' image. You'll see on the left of the frame the shadow of the guy's head - caused by my poor lighting of the subject (not of the backdrop).
But it keys out fine. (And it shows that the greescreen effect produced by the light-ring doesn't have to be perfect to get a great key).
What is seen in the keyed image on the right is the Halo on the righthand side of his face and shoulder. This still was exported from Premiere and had Boris Continuum's chromakey applied with no tweaking of the settings.
To get rid of the Halo you can play around with the settings of the effect - or apply a second key targeting the Halo effect.
Often I find boost the brightness and contrast in post can help.
I hope that helps.
If anyone has the definitive answer to outlawing the Halo, please share!
Attached Thumbnails
Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?-clean-footage.jpg   Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?-key-applied.jpg  

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Last edited by Sean Walsh; August 22nd, 2011 at 04:14 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old August 22nd, 2011, 06:39 PM   #6
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Re: Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?

There is a PDF in the FAQ section of the Reflecmedia site titled "Halo and Shadow Explained"
Downloads - General

One thing that I have noticed is that it actually works better with the subject closer to the background. Kind of funny because that is the opposite of the traditional method. I've tested Reflecmedia with HDV cameras, full sized broadcast cameras, DSLR's and more recently have been shooting with the AF100.

Here's a quick video I did with a live keyer in a small room with analog component on a Sony Z7U.

Pretty cool to see Reflecmedia used in the back of a tour bus in this video:
Tech Talk: The Reflecmedia Chromatte system - YouTube

I also tested the Data Video system, it's a bit more blotchy than the Reflecmedia Chromatte, but the concept is the same.

This video below was shot with the Panasonic HPX500. That's just the Reflecmedia 8x8 backdrop cropped - shot in a very small room. I used Final Cut to duplicate the layers and lay down the shadows.

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Old August 23rd, 2011, 08:22 AM   #7
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Re: Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?

Thanks Guy,

Those are the documents to read to get the very best out of a reflective backcloth and to tackle shadow and Halo - you've fired up my interest in using mine again.
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Old August 25th, 2011, 11:46 PM   #8
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Re: Anyone using reflect media /Chromatte?

Thanks for the input everyone. Guy, I have watched many of your videos, keep up the good work!
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