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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.


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Old November 7th, 2005, 08:12 PM   #1
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Cheap Chromakeying

Chromakeying for television is one of the simplest effects one can do to enhance a production.

*The first thing one needs for a chromakey is a colored background material. You may use green and blue as two colors of choice for background. Green will present your talent as sharper when you look at them in-studio than blue as our eyes have a difficult time focusing on blue. If you are using a DV or HDV camera use Green.

You may purchase chromakey fabric for about $100 from a scenic supply shop. It is a pure hue of green. You don't have to spend as much money though. A trip to a local sewing materials/fabric shop will offer you all sorts of blue and green solid fabrics that you can purchase to create the same effect.


Follow the below guidelines

1. Light your screen for it's hue and not just to make it bright.

2. Light your screen as evenly as possible.

3. Make sure your talent is far enough from the screen as not to have any reflections on his cloths or face from the screen.

4. After lighting the screen, turn it off and light your talent.

5. Light your talent not to make him look good in the moment but as if he was standing in whatever the background image is going to be. If you planning an indoor background, lighting should be natural to match the environment.

6. When you are planning an Alpha background , or a B roll video in the background, the talent should be aware of its position


Check out this video
http://www.artsdv.com/samples/VS04Demo.wmv
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Old November 10th, 2005, 04:12 PM   #2
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I have posted this suggestion before but here it goes again:
To help make sure your green or blue screen is lit flat, light the screen up and then set your camera to a wide shot of the screen. Turn on your zebra and adjust the iris till you get the zebra to come on. If the wall is lit flat, the whole wall will jump in and out of zebra with a single iris click.

Set your lighting so you can set off the zebra all at once or as close to it as you can. This will put the light pretty flat.

Use this if you don't have a true light meter.

I don't take credit for this technique as I read about it someplace else.

Sean McHenry
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