Free Chroma Key Software
What is Chroma Keying?
Chroma keying as defined by Wikipedia is a technique for mixing two images together, in which a color (or a small color range) from one image is removed (or made transparent), revealing another image behind it.
How Chroma Keying Works
Chroma Keying is based on a process called luminance keying. During luminance keying, everything in the image over or under a set brightness level is keyed out and replaced by another image or color. To perform the Chroma keying process, you need 3 basic things. A foreground footage (subject – this may be a person or object), color screen either blue or green and background footage (the scenery that’s replacing the color screen).
The backscreen needs to be evenly lit so that it is the exact color all the way across. Shadows caused by poor lighting can wreak havoc on the Chroma Key process. Also, be aware of your foreground subject lighting. It is important to have two separate sets of lights, and to have the subject far enough away from the screen that the foreground lighting will not interfere with the screen lighting in the back. Once the subject has been properly lit and the background color successfully keyed, it is time to add the new background scene.
Uses of Chroma Keying
The applications of this unique process are limited only to the thinking of its user. Do you remember seeing any invisible cloaks in the Harry Potter movie series? What of a movie where someone miraculously lost a part of his limbs? Did you see Frodo Baggins of Lord of the Rings climb up Mount Doom and think he really did it? Or think of the more recent 10,000B.C film, am sure you didn’t expect the actors to have filmed in all those amazing locations as used in the film.
The great thing about this technique is that it can be applied to both picture and video. By making use of Chroma Keying, you can tell your friends you’ve been to the Eiffel towel when you’ve never entered France (it’s a use quite all right – not that we support it).
Performing your own Chroma keying at home
Anyone can perform chroma keying in the comfort of his home but don’t expect your first few shots to be perfect. Performing your own chroma key in a home studio is something you can learn with the right resources and enough practice.
As a newbie, it’s perfectly normal for there to be anomalies here and there. This is why it is important for you to get your first chroma keying as close to perfect as possible. Once you are through with your first, you can always look at it and learn from your previous mistakes.
How to get started with free chroma keying Chroma keying can be divided into two parts. The first part is where you get to take all the shots, use lightning, gels, and whatever necessary to take a perfect shot. The second aspect of chroma keying is where you get to use Chroma Keying software to complete your initial works.
The good part of chroma keying is that much of the equipment needed can be bought for reasonably cheap prices on eBay . You should be able to find a free chroma keying software by Google searching. Anyone can get started with chroma keying provided they have the dedication to not give up too early on in the process.
For you to appreciate the concept of free and home-made chroma keying, you’ll need a home studio to start with. Any Free room should do for a Home Studio. To prevent problems when you begin the process, its advisable you blind out all windows or sources of natural light. Doing this gives you total control on lightening which is necessary in order to achieve desirable results. Once you get your home studio, you can now go shopping for equipment and other essentials, probably on eBay because you can get them there for bargain prices:
Frame and Support
3/4"x10' Sch. 40 PVC Pipe - 4 (at least)
1 1/4"x10' Sch. 40 PVC Pipe - 1 (or more, for more background fabrics) 3/4" Sch. 40 PVC Elbow - 2
3/4" Sch. 40 PVC T-Connector - 2
3/4" Sch. 40 PVC Cap - 8
3/4" Sch. 40 PVC Coupling - 2 (at least)
3/4" Sch. 40 PVC Cross Connector - 2
You can choose to go with either a Bluescreen or Greenscreen. Bluescreening is less prone to reflect its colors off its subject so you want to go with it for now. Fabrics you may use for the backscreen include Muslin, Rayon, Polyester and Cotton. There are other fabrics used depending on your budget and what the kind of background you desire.
Cameras and Lighting
Double 250 watt halogen lights for lightening up the backscreen (to be placed on either side of the screen). Smaller lights should be used to lighten the subject.
Bounce cards should be used to eliminate any hotspots on the backscreen.
* Balancing lightening on both subject and backscreen can be difficult. It is important you eliminate all shadows before taking your shots. You can achieve this by distancing the subject from the backscreen until any shadows whiten out. Experimentation is vital. You should try out different approaches as long as it achieves the aim of wiping out any existing shadows.
Professional photographers and videographers usually make use of expensive camera equipment. As a beginner, stick with your traditional camera unless you can handle something more complicated.
Scissors - to cut fabric
Hacksaw - to cut PVC pipes
Adhesive Tape - to fasten fabric to frame
It’s always advisable to make use of professional chroma keying software like Ultra Key or Green Screen wizard during this process but when you cannot get a hold on professional software, you can make use of free software. The internet provides you with so many resources so why not make use of it.
One problem you are likely to face is that of lightning. Feeding your background with too much light and your subject too little can result have serious repercussions on the final outcome. The key here is to ensure you get the right mix of lightning. Articles amongst other informational resources are available on the subject of lightning in Chroma Keying.
Getting a professional to perform chroma keying on your pictures or video can cost you much more than when you do it yourself. Though the quality of your first few works may not depict the quality a professional should bring out, experience is vital in chroma keying and with a few tries; your knowledge builds you up in this regard. The most important thing for anyone trying out this process is to remember your first shot will most likely turn out not as expected. Perfect shots are mostly taken with experience and persistence.
: Please note this article is not a complete guide on Chroma Keying or Free Chroma Keying. Chroma Keying is a bulky technique with many processes. We advise you get as much information on the individual processes before starting. This is to ensure you know what you are up against.
Free Chroma Key Software for sale on Ebay
Free Chroma Key Software for sale on Amazon
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The evil I.N.K.T. Corporation has declared 'Color is a Crime!' and leeched Chroma City of all its beauty and interest. The race to rescue Chroma City has just begun, and only de Blob can save the world from a black-and-white future with his unique abilities to color the world back to life.
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