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Masking

Posted: Mon, 11th May 2009, 2:50pm

Post 1 of 4

AspireGreen

Force: 1400 | Joined: 30th May 2008 | Posts: 5

PhotoKey 3 Pro User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User

Gold Member

The addition of masking in Photokey Pro 2 is excellent, however it is slow and tedious. Keying hundreds of green on green images is virtually impossible. No we don't want to shoot on blue. I'd like to see a more robust masking tool. lasso type would be cool. Think of a touch screen and pen tool. Man that would ROCK!!

MOD EDIT: Moved to PhotoKey forum so people can find it.
Posted: Mon, 11th May 2009, 2:56pm

Post 2 of 4

Simon K Jones

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

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

AspireGreen wrote:

The addition of masking in Photokey Pro 2 is excellent, however it is slow and tedious.
That's often the nature of masking, alas.

Keying hundreds of green on green images is virtually impossible.
If you're trying to key literally HUNDREDS of green of green images then I'd strongly suggest using a bluescreen instead. Otherwise you're kinda defeating the main reason for using a greenscreen, which is the automation.

Clear separation of subject and screen is absolutely critical to the technique, otherwise you might as well just shoot against any random background.

No we don't want to shoot on blue.
How come? I know in some circumstances green subject material is impossible to avoid, but usually that's with a minority of photographs, in which case a little bit of masking is fine. But if you're taking hundreds of green on green photos, the logical thing is to switch to using a bluescreen.

Am I missing a crucial piece of information?

I'd like to see a more robust masking tool. lasso type would be cool. Think of a touch screen and pen tool. Man that would ROCK!!
We're always looking into ways that the program can be improved, so I'll make sure the development team take a good look at the masking tools to investigate options for improvements.
Posted: Mon, 11th May 2009, 3:37pm

Post 3 of 4

AspireGreen

Force: 1400 | Joined: 30th May 2008 | Posts: 5

PhotoKey 3 Pro User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User

Gold Member

The nature of masking could quite simple be improved by an accurate drawing tool instead of the old rudimentary corner and curve points. We have several touchscreen macs that would rock with this ability.

We shoot 10s of thousands of green screen images around the country and process them in a central location. Adding blue screen backdrop hardware to all of our portable studio setups is cost and space prohibitive. Besides that, blue just doesn't key as well as green.

Logic inhibits creative thinking. We must confront the illogical to push new solutions.

Can Photokey Pro 2 handle pre-masked images? .psd files?

Thanks for the reply, the great software and continuing support and product improvement.
Posted: Mon, 11th May 2009, 3:55pm

Post 4 of 4

Simon K Jones

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

VisionLab User VideoWrap User PhotoKey 5 Pro User MuzzlePlug User PowerPlug User PhotoKey 3 Plug-in User FXhome Movie Maker FXpreset Maker Windows User

FXhome Team Member

AspireGreen wrote:

The nature of masking could quite simple be improved by an accurate drawing tool instead of the old rudimentary corner and curve points. We have several touchscreen macs that would rock with this ability.
Yeah, I agree that a drawing-based mask option would be really cool. Unfortunately it's not a simple thing to add in, but I'll make sure it's on the wishlist. That doesn't mean it'll end up in the program anytime soon, but it does mean it'll at least be considered.

We shoot 10s of thousands of green screen images around the country and process them in a central location. Adding blue screen backdrop hardware to all of our portable studio setups is cost and space prohibitive. Besides that, blue just doesn't key as well as green.
Sounds like a pretty major operation!

One option that might be of interest is chromatte. It's not cheap, but it does solve the space issue, and also minimises setup time, and also reduces lighting requirements.

It's a grey reflective screen and you fix a LED thing to the front of your lens, which shines green or blue onto the screen. It results in pretty much perfect greenscreens, without needing any lights on the actual screen itself. Because the green light is being emitted from the lens itself, you don't really get any shadows on the screen, regardless of how close your subject is to it. It's pretty magic! And if you need to switch from a greenscreen to a bluescreen (say if a client arrives wearing an all-green outfit!), all you do is quickly swap the lens attachment - you don't need to touch the screen or studio setup at all.

You may already be aware of the technology, but I thought I'd mention it just in case as it might be of interest. You can find out more about it here: http://www.reflecmedia.com/

Logic inhibits creative thinking. We must confront the illogical to push new solutions.
I find creativity requires a mixture of logic and abstract thinking. Without logic the practicalities of the creative process can defeat you, and without the abstract thinking you won't have any soul to your work. razz

Can Photokey Pro 2 handle pre-masked images? .psd files?
It can't take PSD files, but it can import images that already contain alpha. So if you mask something in Photoshop, all you need to do is save it out to an alpha format such as PNG or TIFF, and the masked out area will be transparent automatically in PhotoKey.

Thanks for the reply, the great software and continuing support and product improvement.
No problem. Let us know if you have any other feedback as you continue to use the software.