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Old July 12th, 2006, 07:37 AM   #1
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Live Real Time Chroma Keying

I was in Las Vegas over the weekend and came across a sidewalk kiosk on the strip which was offering what they call a virtual vacation. Prospective customers sit in a brightly lit green cube, on a piece of carpet. The operator wears a headset and holds a remote controller. The headset allows him to pitch the passing crowd and to instruct customers on how and when to move. The controller rotates a camera head. In combination with the turntable floor, the rotating head provides various motion simulations, tilting side to side and swivelling left and right. All of this is thrown up to a flat panel display behind and above the action, where the keying is instant and the background - in this case footage of the Las Vegas strip - is visible. This acts as a guide for the operator in giving instructions, like "throw your arms up in the air now". What you have is a five-minute magic carpet ride down the strip, starring you and your friends/family. You can watch the result once you're done on a screen on the front of the kiosk, and buy the DVD if you like what you see.

I'm particularly interested in the live, real time keying aspect of the process, whereby the operator sees the keying in action, which prompts him to give the right directions to match the background footage. Does anyone know what hardware/software is capable of doing this? I've done a quick search and found the Matrox RT.X2 claiming real time keying but the images suggest it is working with clips on a timeline, not with a live video feed. Any info appreciated.

David Hurdon
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Old July 12th, 2006, 09:11 AM   #2
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Ultimatte offers hardware real-time keying solutions:
Nick Jushchyshyn Matchmoving, Compositing, TD
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Old July 12th, 2006, 11:48 AM   #3
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Did that with my kids last year. They loved it! the final DVD was kind of crappy quality (not to mention being $40), and they probably don't have the rights to the music they use... but a cool souvenir of Vegas for the kids.
For the keying, I don't think the operator was watching that much, most of the timing for us was way out of sync with the video background. I think they just memorize the hit points like a wave or taking off of the showgirl's bra..(I did that one!) and just check the realtime video for 'kinda-close-enough' sync.
Great concept.
Chris Luker is offline   Reply

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