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.

Technorati Tags: studio lighting, lights, chroma key, video editing, lighting, visual effect, studio lights

Better Lighting For Chroma Key

Anyone that’s seen how my most recent video turned out because of the way I abused the color correction tools to make the green screen usable will agree that I really need to put together something, anything to improve how that green screen is lit up.

Granted, I have sunlight coming in the windows during the early afternoon but we’re headed into winter and that’s going to mean months of dingy gray clouds and no bright sunlight to speak of.  Let along light that is cooperative enough to be there when I need it.

work-lightIf you have ever looked into studio lighting then you’ll know that it’s expensive stuff, even when it’s on sale.  Fortunately I’ve come up with a couple of ideas that should do the trick.

One is to wire up a couple of those really bright halogen headlights to a twelve volt power supply.  I would think that they would easily be bright enough since I get full on blinded every time I make the mistake of driving at night because SOME idiots don’t understand the courtesy of dimming high-beams when there’s oncoming traffic!  But that’s a rant of it’s own entirely.

The other, and easier option is to just get a couple of work lights and position one on each side of the green screen for even illumination.

This also has the advantage of being portable for times when I’m shooting at some location other than my studio.

chroma key, lighting, lights

What’s Lighting Your Tree This Year?

LED Christmas LightsOne of the latest technology changes that we’re going to be seeing more and more of is in lights.  Lots of people are already switching from incandescent bulbs to those Compact Florescent bulbs if only because they can save a bunch of money using them.  What’s happening now is people are starting to switch away from incandescent Christmas lights to LED Christmas lights.  They’re doing it for a variety of reasons, two of the biggest of which is that they cost a lot less to operate, using a tenth of the power needed by incandescent and they are extremely long lasting, with operating lifetimes of fifty thousand hours or more.

Another reason to use LED Christmas lights are that they run cooler, a LOT cooler.  Anybody knows that when an incandescent bulb is on it gets hot with the temperature quickly getting high enough to cause burns and even start fires.  Remember the easy bake ovens young girls used to get?  Well they used a couple of 100 watt incandescent bulbs to cook with.  Incandescent Christmas lights don’t quite get that hot because they’re lower wattage, but they can still burn curious or careless little fingers and have been known to start fires.  LED Christmas lights operate at only 1 degree above the surrounding ambient temperature.  Nobody is going to get burned on that and I’d say that the chance of one starting a fire is practically nil.

It’s definitely worth considering.

Technorati Tags: LED+christmas+lights, save+energy, save+power, enegy+efficient, cool

Lighting Up At Farreys.com

Farreys.com is probably one of the most extensive online store for lighting fixtures of whatever kind.  From the fancy decorative to the purely functional utility, they have what looks to me like just about every kind and style of lighting fixture I’ve ever seen and then some.  Some of the brands available include maxim lighting, george kovacs lamps, house of troy lighting, sea gull lighting and a whole lot more.

The list of possibilities doesn’t just stop with indoor lighting.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they had nearly as many solutions for outdoor lighting as there are for indoor.  You can search the site by brand name, by style, or by lighting application and then you can refine your search by price and finish.

Minecraft -10- Making a Molehill Out Of A Mountain And More Ownage

I came up with a plan to deal with that mountain.  I decided to literally make a molehill out of it.  The plan was to start a major dig and level the thing.  Then once it was level it would be turned into a quarry that would go all the way down to bedrock.

When I returned to base for the night I once again managed to get seriously owned.

While I understand now that the reason for it was that I didn’t have enough lighting in the right places it still felt like the mountain was thumbing it’s nose at me.

Technorati Tags: new plan, mountain, home, owned, commentary, gaming, caves, lets play, killed, minecraft gameplay, adventure, exploring caves, playthrough, base, minecraft, gameplay, selif1, nearby caves, video game, lets play, minecraft adventure

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