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Can Chromanator work without greenscreens?

Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 2:57am

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anonymous

Ok, I was looking for one thing today and found something else all together and it blew me away really. I did a search here and found one mention of it - it is software from Serious Magic called Ultra. Now before anyone says anything - here is what really got my attention - in the online demo they show one scene and there is no screen at all. They mention how easy it is to actually remove the exisiting background and 'fix' it, remove it, or add depth of field/defocus to it as well as some other nifty things. In all of the mention here of Chrominator it is talked about how you need to do either Green (First choice) Red (Second choice) or Blue (Last choice) screen in order to get a good key. Based on some of the other posts about Chrominator it sounds like unless you have the screen it won't work. In other words this idea that Ultra has would not be doable at all with Chrominator?

Now before anyone says the obvious two things - "Well Chrominator is under 100 bucks and Ultra is almost 800" and " this is a CSB forum, it is obvious Chrominator is better" - I am asking for an honest answer. Take a look at the online demos here: http://www.seriousmagic.com/ukvidsamples.cfm
Look at "View Video 1" and tell me if this is exactly what Chrominator can do. I mean minus the virtual sets included with Ultra, at the software level I am talking about. They have an interface demo as well - that is under "View Video 2".

Thanks.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:02am

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FiveIronFrenzy

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Go here to decide yourself:

http://fxhome.com/chromanator/overview.html
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:09am

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MidnightJester

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Although I have not purchased Chromanator (yet) I think I havce read enough about it to answer that question. What Ultra is doing (I think) is using rotosplines with bezier curves to remove a certain object (such as a body) from the scene and then place onto a background. If this is the case, it is certainly not the only program that can do that, and from what I have read about Chromanator, it can do it as well. Once again, I haven't used Chromanator, so this is all based on what I have interpreted from what I have read.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:09am

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Brettsta

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the depth of field, and light around the person might be a cool thing to add in the final chromanator release.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:20am

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padawanNick

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Well, from everything I can see on their site and in this video, it looks like it does the same thing as Chromanator for over double the price. (Well, it comes with a swath of green material and a mini mic, but everyone here seems to have figured out that you can get material for Chromanator from just about anywhere.)
The matte on the narator is even pretty blocky.
Everything they show is based on green screen keying. Not replacing an arbitrary background.
Also, their "crop" function looks very weak compared to Chromanator's garbage matte feature.

The only interesting thing they seem to offer is the built in Animated Virtual Sets. It looks like it places your greenscreen shot into a predeturmined point in the virtual set, and animates the camera a bit as a leadin or take away. Still, the sets might look niffy on a corporate video, but aren't very useful for movie making.

Long story short, Chromanator is objectively a MUCH better product, not to mention value.

Secondly, I think you have your color schemes wrong. The first choices for a backdrop should be either Blue or Green depending on your forground subject (it's not universally best to use Green for DV). If you subject is blond and/or wearing light clothing, Blue will work best. Green is better for dark clothing/brunettes. Red is the color to avoid unless your charater has blueish-greenish skin.

Have fun.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:30am

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anonymous

Go here to decide yourself:

http://fxhome.com/chromanator/overview.html
Exactly the type of answer I asked not to get. I am "here", I have looked and read and spread the Chrominator word. But today I laid eyes on something that sort of blew me away and I just want to ask those who have had hands on with Chrominator to tell me if they have been able to do any of the things I mentioned. I don't have the program and there is not a demo out yet. On another thread "here" someone was asking if the images they posted could be used - Schwar said, as did others, that you need the screen...Green, Red or Blue. So - is that still the case? has Schwar looked at Ultra now (At the time of those posts he hadn't) and made any sort of opinion on it vs. Chrominator? It is a fair pre-sales question.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:30am

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Brettsta

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Actually, green works much better with minidv.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:34am

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Marek

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Brettsta wrote:

the depth of field, and light around the person might be a cool thing to add in the final chromanator release.
Aren't you guys forgetting a little program called "Digigrade"? Digigrade will deal with *all* aspects of the picture quality i believe, that would include dept of field and adding glow biggrin
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:36am

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Brettsta

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Chromanator can do it with the final release versions blur feature
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:39am

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Magic_man12

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I dont think you can compare the two without someone saying anything about the prices.

If the price is of no importance to you then why not spend the thousands crazy keyers they use for films.
Chromanator is really cheap for what it can do. So if you have the money to pay for something like that then why not spend a bit more even and get what the pro's use?

I'm not saying dont get chromanator, from what i've seen it looks awesome. I wouldn't really be pulled in too much by "ULTRA's" keying demos - they say how their greenscreens have creases etc etc - overall they are pretty decent. Compare it to some of the keys pulled from TERRIBLE screen in Chromanator.

Didn't mean to say it, but look at the prices!! And if you cant tell from the demo's you've seen then obviously chromanator holds up to Ultra key. (minus the digital backgrounds - good idea - but the backgrouinds they give you look really cheap)

-MAGIC
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:45am

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FiveIronFrenzy

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Guest dude...cool down....sorry to make you ticked off, it is just you are asking what is better...so I thought I would let you see for yourself.
Sorry I thought that you wanted to read what CHROMANATOR had. Did want to tick you off.

Thats the problem today, patience is gone...
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:45am

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Brettsta

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Guys, guess whats coming soon, digital backdrops for chromanator. A whole section just like AlamDV plugins. So, chromanator has it too and will have backrounds relevant to movies...
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 3:47am

Post 13 of 30

anonymous


Everything they show is based on green screen keying. Not replacing an arbitrary background.
Not at all true. The main thing that got me to make this post and ask the question was the portion of the demo video that showed a man sitting behind a desk. They do show a green screen being placed but then they add that even without the screen you can remove a background and do things - they proceed to show color correction on the wall, taking light glair from the glass in a picture on the wall, adding a light source on the wall that falls behind the talent, and putting a 'logo' on the wall as if it were rear screen projected, again - behind the talent. All of this was done with no screen use. You need to watch the first video - the one marked "View Video 1" - "Start with this brief video overview to see ULTRA in action"


Still, the sets might look niffy on a corporate video, but aren't very useful for movie making.
Tell that to many of the people who use AlamDV. wink 'Virtual sets' have been around for a long time and because of programs that allow easy screen use you too can make "The Matrix" or "Star Wars". smile


Secondly, I think you have your color schemes wrong. The first choices for a backdrop should be either Blue or Green depending on your forground subject (it's not universally best to use Green for DV). If you subject is blond and/or wearing light clothing, Blue will work best. Green is better for dark clothing/brunettes. Red is the color to avoid unless your charater has blueish-greenish skin.
They aren't my color schemes. I got them from a post in another thread. I think actually Schwar said those were the colors.

And one other comment - about the blockyness factor. It looked blocky yes, but so do most of the things on any site that are encoded with Windows Media or Real Media...compression in general. And if you aren't already aware of that type of thing Serious Magic put a little note right there: "These videos have reduced resolution and contain some visual artifacts due to being highly compressed for Internet viewing (over 100:1). ULTRA is a professional broadcast quality production tool that processes ITU-R 601 type video sources (720x480 resolution at 59.94 fields/sec in 4:2:2 or 4:1:1 color space)."
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 4:17am

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voiceoverwizard

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Without a doubt the best part of "Ultra-Key" is the smokin' blonde spokes person woh is she hot! twisted
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 4:31am

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Axeman

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In Chromanator it is 100% possible to remove the background without using a screen. It is, however, going to be a slow and somewhat difficult process, as it will basically require drawing a mask aroung your foreground object or person for every frame. But yes, you could do it. (As an example of how this would work, take another look at the marine clip Tarn keyed, particularly the right edge of the frame, where his knee extends beyond the screen. The technique used to key his knee could be used on his entire body.)

I took a look at the ULTRA website, and I didn't see any mention of how exactly their software accomplished what you mentioned, but pretty much the only other way I can think of that they could do it is if there was some sort of built in motion tracking, but that wouldn't really work for a person sitting at a desk. So perhaps it is easier to do in ULTRA, I've never tried it so I don't really know, but it is possible in Chromanator.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 4:32am

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JohnCarter

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[quote="Filmy [Guest]"]
Exactly the type of answer I asked not to get. I am "here", I have looked and read and spread the Chrominator word. But today I laid eyes on something that sort of blew me away and I just want to ask those who have had hands on with Chrominator to tell me if they have been able to do any of the things I mentioned. quote]

You were answered very fairly by padwannick.

I don't have Chromanator but have pretty extensive knowledge of chroma keying. I read your original post and thought either this guy misread or this is the greatest scam the video industry has ever seen. Went to check your link and realized that either you don't know how to read very well, are easily influenced or really don't understand chromakeying... ULTRA needs a chroma background to integrate anything - like any other software - heck there's even greenscreen examples on the very page you link to. It doesn't do ANYTHING more than what you can pull off in After Effects and in fact, some of the tools seem pretty weak.

AS for what was "accomplished" in your example video, it's all also possible in After Effects... No revolution there... I didn't try Chromanator but ULTRA hasn't reinvented the wheel here...
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 4:40am

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Brettsta

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The Ultra removed that part around that guy behind the desk using a garbage matte. Chromanator has very powerful keying, and this is a snap! Also, those greenscreen they said were "bad" were infact very decent. If you want bad look at the pic on Chromanators overview. Chromanator can do that, it can go through my greenscreen, its that powerful. You must not understand that compositing isnt only greenscreen. It is many other things as well. Click a point here there and your done!
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 5:47am

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montego

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Guys,

We are looking at getting Ultra where I work for use in training videos. I've asked questions on forums and it is indeed a very good product and can pull good keys from bad screening. For a review check out:

http://www.avvideo.com/2004/01_jan/reviews/magicultrakey.htm

Now the motion tracking feature in Ultra is not true motion tracking. Your camera must be on a tripod, and what Ultra does is use your static footage to zoom in or out of a person and then add it to some canned motion for their virtual sets. A cool tool, but not true motion tracking.

With some work using the scaling tools in Chromanator, much the same thing could be accomplished. What your missing with Chromanator is the automation of that process.

But you should decide for yourself. There will be a demo for Chromanator, but I don't see one listed for Ultra. If Chromantor isn't what you want then spend the extra $700+ dollars and get Ultra. Simple.

So far, I have found Chromanator to offer more than I expected, and a nice toolset even in this first version. I'm having a lot of fun with it.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 5:59am

Post 19 of 30

anonymous

JohnCarter:
Went to check your link and realized that either you don't know how to read very well, are easily influenced or really don't understand chromakeying.
I have no idea who you are and I doubt you know who I am. However - I actually went to the site and watched the demo video. What watching the video I mentioned has to do with reading I am not sure - I assure you I do know how to read, and if all you did was read than correct - there does not seem to be any mention on that page (or on the other Ultra pages) that breaks down what I was asking about - that which I saw in the videoo. So you need to go and watch the video, as I have said a few times.

"easly" influenced - not really. Otherwise I would blindy go into forums such as this and think that life outside that forums 'vendors' universe did not exist. I try lots of programs, I beta test programs, I buy programs and I recomend programs...and I keep a very open mind. As for Chromakeying - I know what I know about it and clearly I make not one assumption about you and your knowledge of it, you however clearly want to turn my pre-sales question into a flame war. I can only feel that your post implys that you have no need for Chrominator because your work is at the highest level of perfection. You, based on your post, have access to the major studios and full union crews most often used for 'professional' shoots...and the budget as well. Well great for you - go somewhere else and post than because obviously anything CSB puts out is too beneath an elitist like you.

Moving on -

Maybe I was not clear in what my first post was saying/asking.

I have read the forums. I have read the hype. I have viewed the test shots. I have looked at the images. In other words I am aware of Chrominator. I have no doubt that it is a great proogram. Schwar and team have impressed me since AlamDV 1 was out. The printed word and posted images is not really what I was asking about. Based on the tone of posts in other threads I decided to state up front that I was not looking for replys that simply said something such as "Why Chrominator is better, This is the CSB forum after all". I wanted more of a 'what it does' reply - not "well from what I read..." or "Well if you read the info..."

To be a bit more clear - I know that Chrominator can work with green screen. Vegas does this as well. So Does Premiere. So Do several After Effects plug-ins. So do many other programs including Ultra. I relize as well that Chrominator makes use of Garbage mattes. Vegas does not. Premiere does. And so on. There is another thread here in these forums where Ultra is mentioned, Schwar commented that he would look at it...I was hoping he had and maybe had more of an opinion. On another thread 'jessy' was posting stills and asking if Chrominator would work with it. Overall response was "no". Matter of fact JohnCarter yelled out a reply that jessy needed to use "BRIGHTLY COLORED BLUE OR GREEN FABRIC!" in that thread. So - thusly putting comments like this towards the main thrust of my question - overal still unanswered except possibly by Axeman - will anything change to be able to work with an image like that...or specificly like that guy sitting behind the desk that is shown in the Ultra demo.

I did not feel I had to connect all the dots for my quesiton to be clear. Perhaps some dots are still not connected but the question here was, I thought, simple. Luckly I do not base my software use on it's users but how it's company (or the people who created it) deal with issues such as this. Comments such as "You must not understand that compositing isnt only greenscreen." and "Went to check your link and realized that either you don't know how to read very well, are easily influenced or really don't understand chromakeying" aren't very good sales pitches. wink
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 6:35am

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averagejoe

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First off you were mistaken. There was a small(portable) green screen put behind the man at the desk in the clip. Then they did a "garbage Matte" to extend what was around the portable green screen behind the man at the desk. They may not have shown the "garbage matte" But I know they did something like it.

Second they showed a "clean plate" of the office with the chair and the man gone. This is how they did the "back projecting" and light effects on the wall. Essetially they were using several plates. One for the wall effect, one for the pictures and desk and one of the man and the desk. What you described was misleading. I am not sure if you misunderstood what they were presenting or if you have other motives in mind.

The "vector keying" process they talk about is probably very similar to Chromanator (there is no "i" in the name). They probably use a vector based lasso tool like Chromantor has for "garbage mattes". Like Axman mentioned I know that Chromie can do what you are asking. The only thing it will not do is add the light effect and the "back projected" logos by it's self. With another paint app you could do those same things with a little work.

Lastly the virtual sets will not come with Chromantor. I bet in the not to distant future there will be a library of VR sets here on the site. We have a lot of creative people that like to play with 3D. I predict there will be a demand for them as more of us start to really us it. And because most of us are nice the sets will probably be free! wink

What I am getting at is your concerns are a little misplaced due to your lack of experience with Chromie. Which you can not be really flamed about. IF you want to spend that amount of money and like the features they mention then ok get ULTRA. Yet, if I was trying to come up with a budget, I would buy Chromanator for keying and use the rest to buy a new camera or a lens. biggrin

Did this answer your question? One last thing. Would you mind registering and logging in so we know who you are? Not that it makes a real difference, but it would make me feel better about your intentions in this forum twisted

Last edited Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 6:50am; edited 5 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 6:39am

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JohnCarter

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To answer your question I am an editor and I do compositing all day long.

I ain't flaming you - if I were, it'd be way more obvious - I am merely impatient. I am not trying to sell you anything but your questions have been answered at least three times already by now by various people, hence my questioning of your reading abilities or your understanding of compositing...

While there is many amateur elements to CSB tools, there is also a lot of great stuff even for "professionals" and I use Alam DV for both pro and amateur productions. Who is "elitist" here?

I have no need for Chromanator hence I do not need to buy it. But I saw good use in AlamDV and wasn't disappointed.

That software you talk so highly of and its work on those now infamous videos involves either motion tracking - the real version of which you can do with After Effects Pro (for example) - but as Montego explained, ULTRA doesn't use a real motion tracking. It also involves garbage matte, as kindly explained by averagejoe and a few others, a feature that is present in Chromanator.

You can also pull keys without BLUE or GREEN SCREEN if you shoot a wall (or any background) with a locked camera (unless you have access to a motion control rig) then put your subject in and proceed with a Difference Matte, something you should be able to do with any decent NLE.

BTW, I yelled out at Jessy because he was answered, pretty much like you, at least five times, that he needed green or blue yet he still kept showing us purple and grey fabric... I do lose patience when people are dense...

If a difference matte is what you mean by not using Blue screen (or red, or green), well that's one possibility. The other is rotoscoping the subject (unless the background is evenly the same color, then you can try and pull a linear color key) but that's pretty much your options, most are time consuming hence the use of chroma key backgrounds like BLUE, GREEN and RED.

And your question is far from clear (maybe it has to do with your formulation) but if you are looking for a miracle solution, it ain't there yet. Your ULTRA doesn't do anything more (or less) than any other compositing package does, but the way you formulate it, it sounded like the most innovative thing since sliced bread (re-read your posts).

And keying with BLUE or GREEN is still the easiest way around most hassles.

Last edited Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 6:54am; edited 3 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 6:47am

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padawanNick

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Just to address some of the replies to my post:
Not at all true.....
Yes, completely true, as per the woman describing what they did...
Everything that happend behind the actor was added in the greenscreened zone behind the action. It's just more and more variations of overlays (and in some cases it was a seperate paint program). To quote to woman narrating "All you need to do is place a folding backdrop against the existing wall." (As a greenscreen is setup behind the desk)

What they did was key out the greenscreen and croped the area that was outside the green. Chromanator can do this. Yes.
Then, they used a still image of the empty background and doctored it up in a seperate paint program. Again, to quote the pretty lady..."Then, we can grab a video still of the existing wall, and improve it in any paint program." (Showing a the empty wall picture they used and drawing a yellow squiggly line on it.)
After basically making the background the way they liked, they composited it right back in where the greenscreen was.
That's it. Nothing magical. Just standard keying.
Since most everybody here has a video editor with a blur filter, they can do the same depth of field fake with Chromanator.
Shoot a blank wall, shoot the action in front of a green screen, layer a blurred version of the original wall into the greenscreened portion of the shot.
Tell that to many of the people who use AlamDV. 'Virtual sets' have been around for a long time and because of programs that allow easy screen use you too can make "The Matrix" or "Star Wars".
I was referring to the particular Vitural Sets that come with that product, not vitual sets in general. My own movie project is 100% virtual sets.

BTW: As you may have noticed from my lack of icons and posting history, I'm not a CSB customer. Just a bystander that happens to be a fan of amateur movie making. From what I think is an objective view, I would say that Chromanator can easily do the things shown in that UltraKey video, and at a much lower price to boot.

Seperately...
Actually, green works much better with minidv.
Here's an edited reprint of something I've posted before about this some time ago:
Green or blue...
There have been a number of very lengthy discussions about this going around the net lately.

The verdict is pretty much the same...
It depends entirely on what you're planning to put in front if it.
You're going after the most contrast as possible between forground subject an the screen.

In this discussion in the "VFX Pros" forum at Creative Cow, Joaquin (Kino) Gil (FX for Contact, Godzilla, Starship Troopers and more), states that:
"Blue was originally chosen for radial (vector) color distance from the skin tones. Green was chosen because it is a good compromise between skin, blue eyes and work clothes, notably jeans."

There is a myth that green is universally better for DV compositing. The myth seems to stem from two factors:
1) DV compresses color such that for every 4 pixels, color is stored only once, while luma is stored for every single pixel. Green, being the brightest of Red/Green/Blue, benefits the most in resolution.
2) Single CCD DV cameras (knowing color is to be compressed anyway) usually have more green pixels than Red or Blue ones.

While the facts above are true about the technology, they actually don't change the rule about selecting a screen color based on subject colors. Your compositing key is going to be defined by CONTRAST between the foreground and background. Even if a green screen has a theoretically higher DV resolution, the edge of your key is equally dependent on the colors (that CAN'T be green) of the subject in front of the screen, too! Consider this example:
A reddish-yellowish face in front of a green screen.
A possible RGB for a face pixel might be 230:230:180.
Note that the Green channel value isn't very far from a perfect 255 green, and there will be even less contrast (or none at all) within the NTSC/PAL color space (the maximum "legal" value for an NTSC or PAL color channel is 235). As a result, any keying will be entirely dependent on the RED & BLUE color resolutions.

Also from that CreativeCOW thread, Steve Write adds:
- any subtle video signal advantage arising from green vs blue is totally overwhelmed in the real world by how well the backing screen is lit. Period.

- the main criteria for a well lit green/bluescreen is color separation (very saturated color), proper brightness level, and evenness of lighting.
BTW: Steve's visual effects credits include:
Time Machine, The (2002) (digital compositor: Cinesite)
Mothman Prophecies, The (2002) (digital compositor: Cinesite)
Traffic (2000) (digital compositor: Cinesite) (as Steven Wright)
Air Force One (1997) (digital compositor: Cinesite)
He is also the author of the Focal Press book "Digital Compositing for Film & Video".

So, what to select ???
Since DV does in fact store luma at four times the resolution as color, light colored subjects (blond hair, pale skin etc.) are best keyed using a darker BLUE screen. Dark objects (black hair, etc.) will be keyed better using a bright GREEN screen.

Bibliography (threads discussing this topic from around the net):
"VFX Pros" forum at Creative Cow
FanFilms Forum
DigitalVideoFuel

Hope this helps.
Have fun.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 7:04am

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averagejoe

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One other bit Check out these test that one of the members or FXhome did.

Chromanator Test thread

Look at the before and afters that AndrewtheActorman did. He even tracked the shot. The Background moved as if the camera was panning.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 7:24am

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anonymous

Thanks to all, flamers or not.

I have been a member of the CSB forums for a long time now. Just that every time they change around the forums they seem to loose names. I just got tired of re-signing up.

One of the reasons I am looking forward to Chrominator is because I love AlmaDV, and have loved it since version 1 - early version 1. My intrest in Ultra started today because I saw that demo. I am finishing up editing on one feature and am also in pre-production for another feature that i was asked to direct and seeing that little demo got me thinking about working in some shots I would not be thinking of. Ultimatly I will consult with the DP and the producer on the issue.

Currently my set up, what I use for my work, consists of Premiere 6.5, Vegas 4, After Effects 5.5 and Sound Forge. I also use AlamDV for quick temps. Oh, and Photoshop, just got CS. I also have a D/Vision system that I don't use anymore and I still have 2 Amiga's here...and before that I worked on flatbeds and uprights. Used to take plates to the lab and get B/W roughs made of the effects...I miss those days at times. I come from a film background, thusly the nick. Most effects background I have came from working with people like Tom Anderson. Not that any of that matters, but as long as most everyone is talking down to me I just thought I would point out a few things.

Do I have the budget to get Ultra? maybe if it will better serve my needs than Chrominator. I have my pro needs and I have my personal needs. They aren't always the same, just that thanks to the cost of computers dropping down the line can blur a bit more. One thing that for sure all of you helped me with - the decission for me to stay away from these forums has been made - things sure changed around here in the last 3 or so years.

Motivation here was to ask a question. Motivation on other threads was to 'give back' to those asking quesitons.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 7:40am

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anonymous

I should have said Gene Warren was my effects 'teacher' as well. Sort of the person who got me involved in the 'pro' side of it all. Started off by doing some rear screen work on a little low budget film called 'The Terminator'. Who knew?
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 8:00am

Post 26 of 30

JohnCarter

Force: 3295 | Joined: 11th Mar 2003 | Posts: 1078

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If you have After Effects, why would you need ULTRA for?

After Effects does the exact same thing better on all levels, including motion tracking...

I suggest you re-read montego's post regarding ULTRA on the level of motion tracking...

I do not mean to offend you but reading your posts I find it hard to believe you are a "pro" being one myself in the field of editing and having directed features as well... Maybe it's time to give your old teacher a call...

Again, I don't mean to offend you but your questions denote a very naive approach to compositing (at best) for a "pro", yet your tone is very pompous and preachy. Maybe you just don't express yourself very well but your choice of words, while impressive in it's eloquence and vocabulary, seem to merely hide a lack in knowledge.

Again, I say this in terms of how I perceive your posts in terms of their tone. You have yet to prove you know what you are talking about. I had great teachers too. It doesn't make me a genius. But I am a filmmaker and a pro editor and I do know what I am talking about in terms of compositing.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 9:37am

Post 27 of 30

Aculag

Force: 8365 | Joined: 21st Jun 2002 | Posts: 8581

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You are all wrong. Go buy an Ultimatte system and hire an operator, then create your virtual sets in 3DS, then create a camera tracking system to fit in your green screen stage, and link it to a computer so that you can film your actors in your sets all in real time, and buy the sony 24p high def dv camera and mount it to a technocrane. That will get you the best results.
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 9:57am

Post 28 of 30

Xcession

Force: 42802 | Joined: 21st Mar 2001 | Posts: 1964

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SuperUser

In all fairness to filmy, i don't find his posts are preachy, pretentious or all that eloquent. He uses a tabloid style of prose - a particularly readable method of writing - and has only seemed to preach as a direct result of the quite unecessary "you don't like csb" slamming. Hes just a regular jo as far as i can tell. (My apologies for saying you are regular if in fact you aren't! razz)

There was no directly anti-competitor messages, but many of the posts NOT by Filmy had a rather petty "if you don't like nur, then nurni nur nurni nur!" feel to them, which in tone seemed deeply childish and small minded.

Filmy seems to be quite distinct from many of the other "comparison" users who frequent this forum, with the intention of saying whats better about another program. In fact he didn't say anything was better at all, he simply asked whether A can do X as well as B can allegedly do Y.

Regarding the technicalities for a second; having read and watched the things on the Ultra site, their techno-babble is definitely confusing. In summary i don't believe Ultra can really do anything that Chromanator can't, and in light of the price difference, I personally wouldn't choose Ultra over Chromanator.


An expensive program reflects the man-power and work that has gone into it, but also the projected value which the manufacturer thinks its worth. To this extent expensive software is often mistakenly judged to be better than cheaper software. If a team of 50 make a program, it doesn't mean the project director has a clue. If an expensive program's competitor was written by 5 people with far more of a clue about whats needed, for a fraction of the cost, it doesn't make the more expensive program better.

Conversely, and I know i'll get slated for this - software written by the "righteous" underdog; a company who epitomises cheap software and are bastions of user-friendly integrity - does not mean the software is good!
Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 10:32am

Post 29 of 30

Joshua Davies

Force: 25400 | Joined: 21st Mar 2001 | Posts: 3029

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FXhome Team Member

I have been a member of the CSB forums for a long time now. Just that every time they change around the forums they seem to loose names. I just got tired of re-signing up.
We have never lost the names, hence why everyone else is still using the same names they have since the very first forum. If you tell us who you are maybe we'll remember you from the early days.

We looked at ULTRA a bit and although the keying appears ok, its limiting interface and silly price count against it. Chromanator is far less limiting with more tracks and more possible uses for the tools, but for the price of ULTRA you could get AE and Chromanator. As far as I know ULTRA doesn't do (background) difference key just colour difference key or chroma key like us.

The reason we haven't done (background) difference key is because it is generally produces the worst keying possible unless you do it in a very user intensive manner. We also found the ULTRA idea of a "bad" greenscreen to be quite funny as it looks almost perfect to us. If you want to see a bad greenscreen then take a look at the "marine" moves posted by tarn or the one at the top of the Chromanator information page.

Chromanator gives you more control over your keying, grading and animation than we found in ULTRA. I'm sure for many ULTRA is just what they need but it seems far too specific to us, not openended like Chromanator.

Once the final tools are added to Chromanator we don't know of any stand-alone application that does what Chromanator can and we hope that in many ways people will find it easier and better than AE for the specific functions it provides. And unlike both AE and ULTRA, our programs have always been continually developed after release adding new features which users have requested.

Last edited Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 11:33am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 13th Jan 2004, 10:57am

Post 30 of 30

Simon K Jones

Force: 27955 | Joined: 1st Jan 2002 | Posts: 11683

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FXhome Team Member

We've been aware of ULTRA for some time now and it isn't really something we consider a competitor, due to its price and other reasons. I feel it would be inappropriate for me to go into too much detail.

For the bad greenscreens that schwar was referring to, check the following links...

Here's ULTRA's idea of a poor greenscreen:

http://www.seriousmagic.com/uksourceclip.cfm

And here's Chromanator's idea of a poor greenscreen:

http://tarn.fxhome.com/big/key/1.jpg

Here's some before and after clips of Chromanator dealing with that particular greenscreen:

Before - http://tarn.fxhome.com/marineoriginal.avi
After - http://tarn.fxhome.com/marinecomp.avi

Of course, that's just dealing with greenscreening capabilities, which is just one part of Chromanator's functionality. It's already perfectly capable of dealing with shots that do not have greenscreens and is set to become even more powerful as we add more features.