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Automatic processing of green screen images

Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 11:31am

Post 1 of 18

stagecrew

Force: 2800 | Joined: 14th Mar 2009 | Posts: 19

PhotoKey 5 Pro User

Gold Member

Hi
I am posting this on behalf of another pro photographer and myself. Both of us work in event photography. When using green screen we find that when we are busy it takes to long to manually place images in Photo key3 select and print. Is there any way of sending images (wireless) to Photo Key3 and for it to process images automatically in the background and produce the final image to view ready for print. All our images are consistent and require the same background etc. for each event. The advantage is that we have a choice of background to show client on arrival at venue without having to carry a stock of backdrops etc.
Thanks for any help you can offer us.

Paul
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 2:27pm

Post 2 of 18

xtremed

Force: 2250 | Joined: 10th Sep 2008 | Posts: 109

PhotoKey 5 Pro User Windows User

Gold Member

for canon and nikon there are wireless transmitters (very expensive!)

but if you have the software in the studio you can also just connect the camera with USB to the pc. This way you can automaticcaly download the images to your pc and setup photokey to use a hotfolder.
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 3:16pm

Post 3 of 18

stagecrew

Force: 2800 | Joined: 14th Mar 2009 | Posts: 19

PhotoKey 5 Pro User

Gold Member

Hi
Yes we have no problem getting pictures to the computer we both have wireless installed. The question was is it possible to automate Photo Key3 pro so that our transmitted images go straight into Photo Key3 pro using constant settings and backgrounds so that all we see is the finished image/background for our customers. At present sales are lost as we have to spend time carrying out identical operations for each image one at a time. I hope this is clearer.

Many thanks

Paul
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 5:06pm

Post 4 of 18

njush

Force: 1720 | Joined: 29th Jan 2010 | Posts: 46

PhotoKey 3 User Windows User MacOS User

Gold Member

Do you have Photo Key 3 ... or Photo Key 3 Pro?

The Pro version has a Hot Folder feature that will automatically "watch" the selected folder for new images and lists all the images in a panel under the normal import controls.

So, once you've setup your background and your keying setting you can quickly and easily click through all the images in the Hot Folder file list (and this list is updated as new files are written to them from the cameras) without having to continually use a file-open dialog box.

A typical workflow for this would be to hand the customer with the photo number of their last photo (as read from the back of the camera) after their pictures have been taken. They can bring this to the processing area where you can double click on their file number in the file name list and .. viola ... show them their keyed photo with background in place ready to print. If they buy, print from photo key, or export the canvas image to your printer's "watch folder" for printing.

Anyway ... check out the PK3Pro help for details on the feature. If you don't have the pro version, I think they have a demo you can try out for testing.
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 7:32pm

Post 5 of 18

Axeman

Force: 17995 | Joined: 20th Jan 2002 | Posts: 6124

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

SuperUser

Yes, as njush has explained, the Hot Folder is specifically designed for what you are trying to do. As long as the files are captured to that specific folder, they will instantly and automatically be imported into PhotoKey 3 Pro, and the global settings for key, background, and everything else will automatically be applied to every one of them.

This video tutorial from the support area briefly explains the Hot Folder and how to use it.
Posted: Sat, 31st Jul 2010, 11:01pm

Post 6 of 18

stagecrew

Force: 2800 | Joined: 14th Mar 2009 | Posts: 19

PhotoKey 5 Pro User

Gold Member

Ho both

Thanks for your help. As I stated in second post yes we are both using Photo Key3 Pro. Looks interesting we will both try this out and see how it works in practice and report back.

Thanks
Paul
Posted: Mon, 2nd Aug 2010, 8:07am

Post 7 of 18

Simon K Jones

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

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FXhome Team Member

PhotoKey 3 Pro won't automatically export/print your images without user interaction, but you can apply the same settings to multiple images using the techniqe njush describes.

All images in the import list will share the same global settings, unless you've specifically set them to be 'unique'.
Posted: Sat, 21st Aug 2010, 9:31pm

Post 8 of 18

FXhomer101692

Force: 810 | Joined: 14th Jun 2010 | Posts: 11

PhotoKey 4 Pro User

Gold Member

Photokey is missing the main two functions to make this work out right for a busy event shooter.

Yes the hot folder works but it will not auto load in the new shot image into your design.
So after a image is shot into the hot folder you then still need to double click on that image to see it in your design.
This is what slows down everything.

If Photokey could take the newest image added to the hot folder and auto load it into your design then you would never have to toutch your computer to keep shooting and showing images to the customer till you shoot one they like the best.

Right now we might shoot 4 or 5 images till the customer is happy with one of them for the way we work.
I have to go over to my PC after each shot and double click on the new loaded in image to show it in the project design. this is then showing on a HD tv screen for the customer to see and approve.

If i could just keep shooting and it would auto load the image in the project this would be a huge help and time saver i would shoot images till the customers says yes that is the one i like and then i would do any extra work just to that image to be printer.


Then for people or times when we are shooting a event using the same background and setting the added on feature to then auto save each shot and loaded in images is a must have items for fast event shooting.
This is needed for anyone running a green screen photo booth at events doing auto on-site printing or for school photographers shooting one kid after another using the same background and set up.
Or any even that you and using the same background and overlay and are printing on the spot.

Photokey is so close to being the perfect tool for event shooters we love it but a few more things added in would make any event shooters life a dream.
Posted: Sun, 22nd Aug 2010, 9:53am

Post 9 of 18

stagecrew

Force: 2800 | Joined: 14th Mar 2009 | Posts: 19

PhotoKey 5 Pro User

Gold Member

Hi
I cant agree with you more you put the case very well. We looked at all green screen software and by far FXhome was the best. But since we have used it live at events we to have found the need to automate it to speed up throughput as any seconds delay is a possible customer/sale lost. I thank those of you who posted replies and we have tried all your suggestions which leads us to agree with the views expressed by FXhomer101692
Lets hope the next version of FXhome will address our points and make FXhome a product that will be of immense use by events photographers. Otherwise the use of green screen in this industry is just not viable.
Best wishes

Paul
Posted: Tue, 31st Aug 2010, 8:30am

Post 10 of 18

Simon K Jones

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

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FXhome Team Member

Thanks for the detailed feedback, it's extremely useful for us to hear from professionals such as yourselves. We are most certainly taking notes!
Posted: Tue, 31st Aug 2010, 1:05pm

Post 11 of 18

stagecrew

Force: 2800 | Joined: 14th Mar 2009 | Posts: 19

PhotoKey 5 Pro User

Gold Member

Hi Tarn
Its really good to know that Fxhome monitor these pages and hopefully can make use of our suggestions/criticisms. Yes its good to have all the controls and adjustments that Photokey 3 pro has to offer but for most of the time event photographer's need to process promptly otherwise sales are lost. Photokey 3 is nearly there and I know we hope that perhaps the next version will take us a step nearer to a perfect product for us.

Many thanks

Paul H Lunnon (UK)
Posted: Thu, 2nd Sep 2010, 9:26pm

Post 12 of 18

Helge

Force: 1600 | Joined: 16th Jan 2010 | Posts: 116

VisionLab User PhotoKey 3 User Windows User

Gold Member

Rating: +2

Hi there,

I read through this thread a few days ago. To be honest, I haven't done any professional green screen photography myself but the topic/problem kept flying around in my head. So, I installed the Photokey 3 Pro demo and tried a few ideas. If you think about it, all you need is somebody who presses the mouse button for you - and this somebody might as well be a little program.

This might not be the most convenient solution but I think it might get the job (getting around the double click) done.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

How this works
The first thing I noticed was that pressing the 'right arrow key' moves the current hot folder selection down by one item. If this key is pressed continuously the last item/image will always be the active one. If a new photo appears within the hot folder this one will automatically be selected (if the list is sorted by date).

So, I wrote a little program which continuously sends 'right arrow keys' to the active application. If Photokey 3 Pro's import section is active while the program presses the keys, the latest photo will automatically be selected, keyed and previewed.

What you need
In order to make this work you will need to have:
-Photokey 3 Pro
-Java installed on your system
-SelectImage_1.jar (the application pressing the keys)

[The program (SelectImage_1.jar) is written in Java. That is why Java needs to be installed. Otherwise you will not be able to make the *.jar run. Sorry about that wink - but I just like the language...]

How to make this work?

1.) Start Photokey 3 Pro

2.) Run SelectImage_1.jar. A small window should show up:


3.) Set up your Photo Key 3 Project (set a background, adjust settings, ...) until it fits your needs.

4.) Go to Photokey 3 Pro's Import section.

5.) Activate the 'hot folder' and browse to the directory you'd like to use.

6.) Sort the image list by date (latest images at the bottom) and select (double click) one of the images shown.

7.) Now you are ready to start shooting. Just place/park your mouse cursor on SelectImage_1.jar's window.

Whenever you place the mouse cursor within this window the background will switch to a light green and the application will start pressing the 'right arrow key'. (Important notice: you do not need to click into this window, just place the cursor within the window bounds. As only the active application receives the pressed keys, Photokey 3 Pro needs to be active.)

You can now leave the computer and start shooting. The preview image should now be updated automatically.

The complete setup should look something like this:


-------------------------------------------------------------

Changing settings
By default SelectImage_1.jar presses the right arrow key every 5 seconds. This worked well when I tested this on my system. But it might not be perfect for you. A faster system might be fine with a much faster frequency. You can change this value by editing the settings.txt which comes with the program. By default the interval-value is set to 5000 milliseconds. If (for example) you want to try 1 second, just set the value to 1000, save the file and restart the application.

A good value for this seems to be the time your system needs to make a new file show up within the hot folder + the time Photokey 3 Pro needs to display/render the preview image.

-------------------------------------------------------------

This worked quite well for me when I tested it on a WinXP system running the Photokey 3 Pro Demo and using the EOS Utility which comes with the 550D to automatically transfer new images into the hot folder via USB.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Actually I didn't expect this post to become that long. Writing this post almost took longer than writing the source code wink

This really isn't as complicated as it might look. Basically, all you need to do is to start Photo Key 3 Pro and make SelectImage_1.jar send right arrow keys. (hm...wth... this seems to be describable in only one sentence ...smile )

I hope I managed to describe this more or less understandable. If you have any questions, comments or ideas just let me know. This thing might still need some development but I think it can already speed up things significantly (if you are a "busy event shooter" and it is only one double click per image which damages your work flow).

If you'd like to try this (and I'd be happy if you would), please find the download link below:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6120806/SelectImage_1.zip

Have a nice evening,
Helge
Posted: Wed, 8th Sep 2010, 9:47pm

Post 13 of 18

FXhomer84319

Force: 1800 | Joined: 12th Mar 2008 | Posts: 2

PhotoKey 5 Pro User

Gold Member

Helge is a hero.
Nothing else to say but fantastic.
So simple you fix this missing functionality, and it works great.
Many Thank's.
Posted: Thu, 9th Sep 2010, 7:03pm

Post 14 of 18

Helge

Force: 1600 | Joined: 16th Jan 2010 | Posts: 116

VisionLab User PhotoKey 3 User Windows User

Gold Member

Thanks, I'm glad you could use the program smile
If you have any improvement suggestions, just let me know.

Have a nice evening,
Helge
Posted: Thu, 4th Nov 2010, 9:58am

Post 15 of 18

stagecrew

Force: 2800 | Joined: 14th Mar 2009 | Posts: 19

PhotoKey 5 Pro User

Gold Member

Hi Paul here
Its a long time (July) since I posted my original query on automatic processing which evoked some excellent response and help. Having just received the announcement of the new version of FXhome pro it would appear at first glance that some if not all our ideas have been catered for. Lets hope so cant wait till 24th November to see.

Many thanks
Paul(uk)
Posted: Thu, 4th Nov 2010, 10:15am

Post 16 of 18

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

One of the main priorities with PhotoKey 4 Pro was improving the automated batch processing for you guys, so hopefully you'll like the enhancements!

As always, once you get a chance to play with it on release do let us know if you have feedback.
Posted: Thu, 4th Nov 2010, 10:55am

Post 17 of 18

stagecrew

Force: 2800 | Joined: 14th Mar 2009 | Posts: 19

PhotoKey 5 Pro User

Gold Member

Tarn
Its good to own a piece of software where the manufacturers take an obvious interest in the end users, "well done". Many thanks and I will indeed feedback to the forum when I get to use the new version.
Best wishes
Paul (UK)
Posted: Tue, 9th Nov 2010, 4:37am

Post 18 of 18

adamfilipo

Force: 0 | Joined: 7th Aug 2009 | Posts: 3

Member

Im glad to hear that Photokey 4 will offer some automated batch processing.
I just upgraded to Photokey 3 pro just over a month ago. so it earks me that I will want to upgrade again so soon. any chance i will qualify for a free upgrade since i purchased so recently smile