ImageForge Pro is only $28.95 (2006) and does most of what the expensive graphics creation/editing applications do, including animation sequences, batch file conversions, filters, web tools and web art creation, photo retouching, save to PDF, color separations, regional effects, 3D text, color similarity fills, masks, layers, etc. Or you could use the more complex app, PhotoShop.
For lighting, light the screen and subject totally separately. Don’t have subject lighting spill onto the green screen. And don’t let shadows from the subject get onto the screen. Light the subject from lights off to the side that hit the subject at least at a 45-degree angle. Use a light meter to help even out lighter and darker areas of the green screen if you can. Both subject and screen should be well lit, but not overly lit. Lights from above and below or from the 2 sides, or both, should light the green screen. Remember that the lights will be closer to the screen edges and therefore tend to make them brighter, but when you point lights more toward the middle, you may end up with an overlit center because both left and right lights’ light beams overlap there.
What Happens If You Use Your Video Editor’s Keyer
See the first two paragraphs of 1. e. Using a Background with/without Moving Elements in Front of It
What Happens If You Use Ultra 2
This is how one takes one’s green screen-backgrounded videos and inserts a background, still or moving, TO REPLACE ALL GREEN SCREEN PIXELS. Using this app is a whole different ballgame than a video editor, since it’s built for keying and it does a great job! And at a great price, compared to the competition. Serious Magic’s Vector Keying™ technology blows away the primitive keyer built into your video editing app. Now shots that used to be impossible to key—uneven lighting, wrinkled backgrounds and frizzy hair—can be finished being edited in minutes. You can change the size and orientation of the subject and/or the background as well as make a zoom or pan. The results you get look just like the background and subject were shot together to begin with.
3. Examples of AVIs and Photos I Edited or Applied Filters To
- house 1 photos\PH-livingFromKitchen-tightLeft.JPG
This photo had a large hanging picture on the wall that I used ImageForge to paint out. First I used the eye dropper. I copied the color near the picture and with the scissors tool, I (control-X) erased the hanging picture and then filled the area with the eye dropper-selected color. But there's a dark-to-light gradation in this area so I had to use a large paintbrush tip and the eye dropper to slowly create that gradation, crudely done. Often setting edge and intensity to their sliders’ mid-positions was needed for the subtleties required. Now the darken, lighten, splatter and smudge features of the retouching tool, along with the Update Drawing Area icon in the upper left corner, were used with a variety of brush tips and brush sizes, and with lower and lower intensity slider settings in order to get the wall looking like there had never been a picture there. Pictures are best taken down before a shoot. If you forget, retouch them out of the photo. The main thing is to never face a huge infringement fine!
- house 1 photos\PH-livingFromKitchenDoor-left.JPG
Same editing as a., above. I painted out that picture again.
- house 1 photos\PH-fronthall-fromliving-rt.JPG
This one was complicated. There was a copyrighted big wooden duck art sculpture on the floor and I had to not only paint it out but fabricate a table leg and a tile grid pattern on the floor, by using the scissors tool to (control-C) copy tiny areas near those that were blocked by the duck and use these on top of the duck pixels. It took a couple of hours to vanish the duck and fabricate sections of wall, molding, floor, and leg and then fine-tune the results. It was fun!
- house 2 photos\1-bedroom.JPG and 1-bedroom-r.jpg and1-bedroom-r-e.jpg and All Others Ending in –e.jpg
The r means rotated, since the originals were taken with the camera rotated on its side. The e means enlarged to 720 wide, so it could be used behind 720-wide subject video. The result is a bit subtle and hazy and is good for extra emphasis on the subject and less emphasis on the background. Like when you have the subject in focus in front of an out-of-focus background—another way to de-emphasize backgrounds.
- house exterior\front door\frontdoor1.avi and frontdoor2.avi
The Brightness & Contrast Video Filter was used on frontdoor1 to make frontdoor2, a lighter version of the same thing.
- nature\trees\trees1.avi and trees1-from-trees1.avi-before-editing.jpg
The trees1.avi clip has a wonderful tree with a red purse on a limb, which is shown in the photo trees1-from-trees1.avi-before-editing.jpg. The purse was edited out using Video Paint, which comes with Media Studio Pro 7. I loaded the AVI into Video Paint, then looked through the frames and found the frames with problems—in this case, all of them. I then used the paintbrushes and retouch tool to paint out the purse. I also had to select tiny areas and drag the areas on top of the purse pixels. Once I had the first frame fixed, I proceeded to use this app’s tools to efficiently fix the rest of the frames. Here are your instructions for accomplishing this feat with your own clips:
Once the frame is good, if nothing in the clip moves, including the camera, you can simply copy that frame onto the other frames in the sequence, like so: Check to see that the shape selection tool is still selected and, assuming your fixed frame is in the window, press control-A to select all and then click inside the frame once. There should be a moving dashed line around the frame. Make sure the Layer Mode (found on the Edit pull-down menu) is Composite. Now use Power Duplicate on the Edit menu and make sure it says the Source is Selection and you'll apply after the current frame. Now enter your Duration (the number of seconds and frames from your current position) and press OK. You'll be asked if you want to "clear the undo history." You do. Now from the Edit menu, go to Select and select None All Frames. You'll be asked if you want to clear the undo history again. You do, again. The work is done, so save it as a Video Paint project with Save and as an AVI like so: From the File menu select Create Video File and you'll see it try to default to an uncompressed DV. Select DV compression from the template and save the file.
If the clip you want to edit has motion, unlike my trees AVI, then Click the shape selection tool and drag a box around your edited work—the part you want to copy to the rest of those frames. Click in your box. If it moves your edited stuff, move it back to where it belongs. Make sure the Layer Mode (found on the Edit pull-down menu) is Paint Layer. Now use Power Duplicate on the Edit menu and make sure it says the Source is Paint Layer and you'll apply after the current frame. Now enter your Duration (the number of seconds and frames from your current position) and press OK. You'll be asked if you want to clear the undo history. You do. Now from the Edit menu, go to Select and select None all frames. You'll be asked if you want to clear the undo history. You do, again. The work is done, so save it as a Video Paint project and as an AVI. From the File menu select Create Video File and you'll see it try to default to an uncompressed DV. Select DV compression from the template and save the file.
If you have a duplicated area (e.g., where you just did some editing with a paintbrush) you want to move across the video screen (perhaps because the camera is slow panning and you want your duplication region to follow this pan), once you select Power Duplicate you'll have to change the X and Y offset at the bottom of the dialog. Lots of luck guessing the correct number of pixels. But even though you may need a few test runs, once you get it right, just think of the work you’ve saved! The alternative is editing a frame at a time!
One word of caution. In a moving duplication area scenario, if the area around your edit area is one simple color, editing out a hanging picture by putting a box of that color over it will be simple to power duplicate and even if your X and Y guesses are off, you'll likely get a good result with a couple of tries. But if there are texture, objects, and/or irregularities that one or more borders of your box transects, then you'll have to get the X and Y just right or the final product will reveal the editing. And if the pan went sideways but then a bit upwards as well, you'll end up having to break down the power duplications into shorter durations each of which describes a straight line path. This can be very tricky, and in order to dump that hanging picture, you may have to cheat and change the wall it hangs on into a nontextured, simple color—the one closest to the wall’s average color in this area. Or reshoot the clip, sans picture.
- nature\trees\trees6.avi and trees7.avi
I used the Color Balance video filter here.
- house exterior\patio-porch\patio2.avi and patio3.avi
I used the Color Balance and Brightness & Contrast video filters here.
- house interior\bathroom\bathroom2.avi and bathroom3.avi
I removed a picture from the wall in both these clips, using Video Paint as described above. Since the clip didn’t show motion, I got away with duplicating a textured area. In actual fact, the camera moved just enough to reveal the edited section’s slight motion relative to the background, but it’s barely noticeable. Feel free to "tame" this bad boy in your Video Paint or its equivalent.
- house interior\dining room\diningroom1.avi and diningroom2.avi
I used the Brightness & Contrast video filter here.
- nature\road\road4.avi and road5.avi
I used the Color Balance and Brightness & Contrast video filters here.
- park\park11.avi and park12.avi
I used the Color Balance and Brightness & Contrast video filters here.
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