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Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 01-22-2005, 05:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I was checking out the new catalog from Denny Manufacturing Co and they are pitching a system using a Green Chroma-Key Screen and some very expensive software to be able to photograph someone and later easily drop in any of their backgrounds. When I'm doing portraits the possibility of offering a choice of 100+ backgrounds to a customer with out having to invest in buying those same 100+ backgrounds seems like a very good thing. But in investigating further they seem to be very vague on details. I worry that the dropped in backgrounds will look dropped in and I'm wondering if there is a cheaper application to use to mask out the customers image and drop the background in? I know Photoshop does a good job masking but the time it would take will not be cost efficient. Has anyone used this or worked with a green screen to drop backgrounds in?

There website is at http://www.dennyelectra.com for the applications.

The background CD are sold via http://www.dennymfg.com

Thanks for your advice in advance [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 01-22-2005, 11:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Scott

We got into a chroma-key discussion a while back. Here's an example:



That's Savage green chroma key and Photoshop. Total cost - $30. The challenge with dropping in backgrounds is having the lighting match. Same problem they had with that doctored picture of Oswald with the rifle...

Bob
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 01-23-2005, 08:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You will, however, be dissappointed if you go into this process thinking you can shoot against green, and then digitally drop out the background the way they do in video (like in weathercasts, etc.). In still photography the "drop out" is done manually (using the extract tool in PS), and IMHO is time consuming and very cumbersome. To achieve a VERY SPECIFIC scheme in a photoset, I see the merit. For production work, no way. I'm only saying all this because I was naive to the time and labor involved in using this process for still pictures, having been exposed to green screen use in video, and like a dummy, BOUGHT two huge chroma backgrounds, one green and one blue and a digital background CD before doing that research. I probably WILL experiment with them in the future, but I have to say I was disillusioned by the whole thing after seeing all that was involved in making each picture functional. Just my $.02.
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 01-23-2005, 12:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the thoughts. I was suspecting that was the case. I can see it as doable but also noticable and a lot of work.
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 01-26-2005, 01:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There are other background CDs available for... ahhh... somewhat under $300 per CD that your link is charging. Check out these eBay selections:
sayartstudios
The Backdrop Gallery
ealogos
hobbes643

There are probably others, as my search was done several months ago. Just search the photography section for background/backdrop+CD/digital etc. You can also find ChromaKey fabric on eBay. --Randy
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 02-21-2005, 11:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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As a photoshop user I do alot of background removal and have found that using a medium gray paper background works best for me.the problem I had with the blue or green screens was there is always a color cast all the edge pixels that you had to deal with later on. I found that the medium gray does not leave a color cast especially when dealing with hair. Just my suggestion.
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 02-21-2005, 04:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
You will, however, be dissappointed if you go into this process thinking you can shoot against green, and then digitally drop out the background the way they do in video (like in weathercasts, etc.).

[/ QUOTE ]

I absolutely cheat this way. My background is in TV/Film so if I want to key something out (be it chroma or luma) I drag the image into my digital AVID editing system and key it out and export the image back to PS. The AVID does a fantastic job with the chroma key/luma key effects.
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 02-21-2005, 10:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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It is fairly easy to do the knockout when using green or blue screen. But you have to not only evenly light the screen, you have to have the model far enough in front of it that the bounce back from the screen does not hit the model. If you observe these rules, then one can do the knockout in about 30 seconds with just Photoshop.

Many people have bad first experiences with green/blue screen because they don't follow the above rules.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 02-23-2005, 02:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree that lighting is key when doing this stuff. I have been on a lot of film sets where they shot on a greenscreen, they spent a ton of time tweaking the lights to make sure that every inch of the screen had the same exposure.

But...getting some software created specifically for compositing can also be a huge help. They kick butt over just using a color range or something. You CAN get good results in PS...but the plugins DO help.

I hope Bob and Andy don't mind me playing around with these two images...couldn't help myself. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
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Re: Chroma-Key Backgrounds for Digital Photography Question.
Old 02-24-2005, 12:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
I absolutely cheat this way. My background is in TV/Film so if I want to key something out (be it chroma or luma) I drag the image into my digital AVID editing system and key it out and export the image back to PS. The AVID does a fantastic job with the chroma key/luma key effects.

[/ QUOTE ]
I have a film background as well....I do the same trick! [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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