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Chroma Key Options #38041
01/16/12 11:52 AM
01/16/12 11:52 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Anyone using a Chroma Key set-up in their studio? What software are you using? Where did you purchase your additional digital backdrops from? Are you using the fabric, paper or other?

Re: Chroma Key Options [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #38042
01/16/12 07:32 PM
01/16/12 07:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Nicole,
we use "chroma key" with any solid-color background (although we do have the chroma-green) and we do our cutouts in PhotoShop. It's what we know; it's what we've been using for over 20 years and, frankly, it works as well as any of the other "dedicated" layering programs. If you know what you're doing. Having started with PhotoShop with 1.0 for the Mac, we have a pretty good idea what we're doing. There are dedicated software packages that do a pretty good job but none handle the hair/fur issue better than PS. At least in our experience. Perhaps other folks are using software that works great with dogs/cats and they can comment.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Chroma Key Options [Re: Jim Garvie] #38044
01/16/12 10:26 PM
01/16/12 10:26 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Nicole St-Onge Offline OP
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Nicole St-Onge  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Canada
Thanks Jim. I'm wondering if using a Chroma Key set-up could replace the themed vinyl backdrops that I am currently using.

Re: Chroma Key Options [Re: Nicole St-Onge] #38045
01/17/12 10:10 AM
01/17/12 10:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Nicole,
yes it could. The key is understanding that whatever time you save on the front end -- the actual shooting -- you'll make it up on the back end in processing time. Let me demonstrate. Here are some pages from our 2012 Puppy Calendar.







Now, the shooting time was actually very short -- I took all 12 situations with different puppies in less than an hour and we put them on a chromakey background. They actually wore the costumes. The rest of the images Linda created in Photoshop and then applied a painting effect. Her time probably took the better part of a week. However, this was the look we were going for.

In our 2009 Sundance Calendar, the studio time and the post-processing time were more evenly split. We shot Sundance in the studio against a black background over 2 days. Here are a few samples of that.







These three samples were actually pretty straightforward: Sundance wore the costumes and he is really a very good model. Linda wanted the backdrop to be more of a spotlight effect so she created the one that's here but once we picked the proofs, the post was probably only a few days.

We just were planning to set up a portrait booth at some of the dog shows in the area over the next few months and we'd like to be able to use a variety of backgrounds but with our ability to pull subjects off of just about anything, we've decided to use a single color and add in digital/photo backgrounds as appropriate. That will save us a tremendous amount of time on the shooting end which is essential at the shows themselves.

As for editing software, some of the more well-known names beyond Photoshop are Photokey 4 Pro, onOne Perfect Mask 5 and Fluid Mask 3. We've tested both Fluid Mask and Perfect Mask and found them to be good pieces of software but no better in terms of the final result than PS. For us at least. Your mileage may vary smile.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Chroma Key Options [Re: Jim Garvie] #38117
01/25/12 03:40 PM
01/25/12 03:40 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
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Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
When you are attempting to do Chroma Key, must the drop be perfectly flush? Also, must the light be completely even? Or do changes in color that may result in different concentrations of light throw off the software?

I apologize if I am showing complete ignorance of how this is all done.

James

Re: Chroma Key Options [Re: James Morrissey] #38119
01/25/12 10:45 PM
01/25/12 10:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
If you're relatively new to it, keeping the background flat and wrinkle-free works best with most of the software. For our 2012 Puppy Calendar, we actually had it draped over a chair so we had lots of shadows but Linda was able to cut the pups out regardless. As they say, "don't try this at home. These people are professionals." As I said, if you're using software other than PhotoShop, keep it as flat and fold-free as possible.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Chroma Key Options [Re: James Morrissey] #38128
01/27/12 08:38 AM
01/27/12 08:38 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
If you have Aperture, here's another option: Photographyblog

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Chroma Key Options [Re: Jim Garvie] #38134
01/27/12 07:37 PM
01/27/12 07:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Thanks, Jim. Chanthee has Aperture on her computer. I use Capture One on all of my desktops (PC).

Thanks again for the explanation. I would imagine that Chroma Key could be really difficult with pets given that they are always moving around.

James

Re: Chroma Key Options [Re: James Morrissey] #38141
01/28/12 11:27 AM
01/28/12 11:27 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline
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Jim Garvie  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
James,
the movement isn't an issue since you freeze them with the strobes. The issue is hair. It is very difficult to cut out a dog or cat off of a chromakey background if there is hair/fur sticking up/out. Flat coated dogs are OK but dogs like Poodles in show cuts are really tough because the backdrop shows through the hair in certain places.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz

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