Continuing the Quest for perfect Green Screen

After some delay, the Engineering team got a preview of the new green screen out to Tim & I to take a look at. The way the software drops out the green is phenomenal. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be any touching of some images, but far less then in our previous version. The best part is the tools are built right into the ImageMatch to allow the user to fix the ones that aren’t quite up to snuff. From our initial testing yesterday afternoon, the problem doesn’t appear to be too much green in the hair. The problem was, what if someone is wearing green? The tools built into ImageMatch make it easy to add the green in the clothing right back in. We tested it on a subject with an identical colored shirt as the background. The tools worked really cool.

The real key, still, is photographing the subjects properly in the first place. I get phone calls at least a couple of times a week about this. I have seen it done so many ways, and they all work. Here are the key things I always suggest to make the least amount of work:

  1. Light the background evenly (No background light is fine)
  2. No wrinkles in the background (Those flip out backgrounds work well, but cloth works fine too, or even old backgrounds repainted)
  3. Smaller the F-stop the better (F 8 or lower)
  4. Proper exposure of the subject is crucial (Mr. Gray anyone?)
  5. The further the subject is from the background the better (at least 6 feet)
  6. No Shadows on the background
  7. Forget about artistic lighting, the flatter the better.

Kranz, who I mentioned in my last entry, uses one light. Just one light, with a big soft umbrella, up directly behind the photographer, as high as it can go, pointed downward to drop the shadows out of the image. When I first started playing with Green Screen (Chroma Key) about five years ago, I went by these suggestions from Owen’s Originals backgrounds. As I said, there are more then one way that works.

Again, like I said before, what really sets PhotoLynx aside from software like Tri-prism, Vertus, or Primatte Chroma Key is our workflow. We make it easy to automate outputting thousands of images all with separate back grounds based on the user’s choice. On an average job, only a small percentage of the images need to be touched, thereby taking what literally would take days to drop out and replace backgrounds in other softwares for one school, sports, or event job, to probably an hour or so in PhotoLynx. The only exception would be if you are photographing a school that has a lot of green in their clothing, such as found in some school uniforms, you will still have to touch every image. But, the tools are in place to help the user handle that.

The new green screen in the PhotoLynx software won’t be available for a bit yet. It is going out to some Beta-Testers right now. But keep watching my newsletter! If you don’t get my newsletter, you should. Drop me an email at Michael@PhotoLynx.com.

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