Do you wish you could create green screen effects?
You know the ones – everything from Superman flying over Metropolis to a weatherman standing in front of a local map as cold fronts swirl into view. It’s easy, if you have the right tools.
The secret to greenscreen (also known as chromakey) video is two fold:
- A smooth green or blue background that can be “keyed” so that it becomes invisible and is replaced by something else
- Software to do the keying
(Video works better with a green screen, but film works better with blue.)
The talent stands in front of the evenly lit green background. In post production, the editor creates a key and the magic happens.
Of course, creating the key is easier said than done.
A smooth, wrinkle-free greenscreen, like the The Chroma Twist, can make keying easier. An evenly lit, shadow-free background is essential. And software that can intelligently match and remove the chromakey is a must.
There are several products on the market for creating chromakey effects. A simple chromakeyer is bundled with Sony Movie Studio and Sony Vegas. While it works on well lit, high contrast sets, it can be difficult to get a good key on poorly lit subjects. Serious Magic’s Ultra software was considered by many to be the best keying software around. Unfortunately, it was bought by Adobe and is no longer available as a standalone product.
Don’t give up yet. Just in time for the New Year, here comes CineGobs. Not only have they created excellent chromakey software, it is free.
If you want to learn about chromakey special effects, go to CineGobs and download the latest version of their software, the CineGobs Keyer. Be sure to check out the manual and the tutorials. And while you are there, grab one of the free special effects explosions they are giving away.
You’ll be creating your own movie magic in 2009.