Lighting, The Heart Of Chroma Key
Anyone that’s used the video editing tool called Chroma Key, the trick of making a color transparent so that you can have a picture or another video clip visible behind your actor(s), can tell you that THE single most important factor in using that effect is lighting.
Oh, it’s possible to make it work (well, sort of) with poor lighting by using color correction tools to super saturate the green (or blue) screen and make it usable, most pros and experienced amateurs will agree that in the end there is no substitute for a well lit green (or blue) screen.
Now during the last several months I’ve had the advantage of the much brighter sun that’s available in my studio in the spring and summer months. However it’s now autumn and we’re headed into winter. That will mean months of dingy gray clouds with little to no bright sunlight to speak of. Never mind light that is both bright enough and available at the time I need it.
Anyone that’s ever looked into studio lighting will know that it’s expensive stuff, even when it’s on sale. Fortunately I have a couple of ideas that should do the trick.
The first is to wire up a couple of those insanely bright halogen headlights to a twelve volt power supply. I they should easily be bright enough since I get almost completely blinded every time I’m driving at night when SOME inconsiderate moron doesn’t understand the courtesy of dimming their high-beams when there’s oncoming traffic!
The other, much easier option is to get a couple of work lights and position one on each side of the green screen for even illumination. This will also have the advantage of being portable for those times when I’m shooting at some location other than my studio, something I hope to be doing more of over the coming months.
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