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Live Multi-camera Green Screen Compositing


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#1 Tim Pipher

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:55 PM

Here are clips from my studio showing live green screen compositing with three moving HD cameras (Panasonic HPX3000 cameras and Canon HJ Series zoom lenses).

Saves not only $50,000 to $500,000 on set construction vs. building a real set, but also studio rental days for set construction and tear down.

Live Compositing Demo
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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 25 March 2009 - 11:54 AM

Here are clips from my studio showing live green screen compositing with three moving HD cameras (Panasonic HPX3000 cameras and Canon HJ Series zoom lenses).

Saves not only $50,000 to $500,000 on set construction vs. building a real set, but also studio rental days for set construction and tear down.

Live Compositing Demo


Hiya!
Thanks for posting this I found it intresting. the keying seems very obvious on some of the shots but on the ones where they are giving the talk on "earn big money" it seems a lot more subtle. Is there a reason this might be so? I actually think it looks fine either way, people are fairly used to obvious keying from tv news here but I liked the more subtle look.

I'm also curious how you went about making your virtual sets? They made me wonder how they were created.

What is the problem with multi-camera green screen setups? Presumably the screen will be lit fairly flat so it shouldn't matter too much about the different cameras? No?

love

Freya
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#3 James Erd

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 02:24 PM

Here are clips from my studio showing live green screen compositing with three moving HD cameras (Panasonic HPX3000 cameras and Canon HJ Series zoom lenses).

Saves not only $50,000 to $500,000 on set construction vs. building a real set, but also studio rental days for set construction and tear down.

Live Compositing Demo


Now that is very interesting. At the risk of asking a stupid question, does "Live Multi-camera Green Screen Compositing" mean you are also doing the match moving in addition to the keying and compositing? I also noticed that there were no visible tracking markers, so I am assuming that information is being derived some other way.
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#4 Tim Pipher

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 05:33 PM

Hiya!
Thanks for posting this I found it intresting. the keying seems very obvious on some of the shots but on the ones where they are giving the talk on "earn big money" it seems a lot more subtle. Is there a reason this might be so? I actually think it looks fine either way, people are fairly used to obvious keying from tv news here but I liked the more subtle look.

I'm also curious how you went about making your virtual sets? They made me wonder how they were created.

What is the problem with multi-camera green screen setups? Presumably the screen will be lit fairly flat so it shouldn't matter too much about the different cameras? No?

love

Freya


Hi Freya.

I thought the fact that there are three cameras in these clips might be significant to some people for several reasons:

1. Everything shown was done live using a super-computer virtual system with absolutely no post production. Systems like mine are often demonstrated at trade shows like NAB so people here have probably seen them in action, but all the demos I've seen have been single camera.

2. You'll notice that the cameras are moving all over the place, zooming in, pulling back, on a jib, focus going in and out simulating depth of field, reflections of the virtual elements on the virtual floor, virtual monitors from different angles etc. Using traditional green screen compositing methods, this would be a huge amount of work with one camera -- with three, it would be even more

3. Three cameras require a bigger green screen or cyc than one camera, with a bigger area needing to be tracked. I thought it might be interesting to some that this whole big area is tracked.

Although you may be right, I haven't noticed the keying differences on some sets vs. others. Everything is keyed with an Ultimatte HD/SD (hardware). The best looking stuff so far (we're very new) was for a pilot for a broadcast television network, but I can't show that to you.

All the virtual sets were created by and licensed from Ronen Lasry of Los Angeles based FullMentalJacket.com. He creates them for NBC and many others.

Thanks Freya!
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#5 Tim Pipher

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:00 PM

Now that is very interesting. At the risk of asking a stupid question, does "Live Multi-camera Green Screen Compositing" mean you are also doing the match moving in addition to the keying and compositing? I also noticed that there were no visible tracking markers, so I am assuming that information is being derived some other way.


Hi James.

It's much simpler than that. Everything is keyed and composited live. There's absolutely zero post production in these clips. Nothing is real except the people, any tables and chairs you see, and the square piece of grey carpet you see in a few of the shots.

People ask me if that big set in the exercise video includes a big circular real carpet with the client's logo in the middle. It's not real -- just a green floor there. All the sets were easily customized in a matter of minutes with client logos and videos in various places.

There are no tracking markers. Tracking is done mechanically with the encoded jib and with sensors on the tripod heads and from the lenses, combined with little infra-red cameras in the lighting grid interacting with these little domes on the cameras -- it's very sophisticated and way beyond me.

However, all that complicated technical stuff during the system installation makes the actual productions extraordinarily easy. You just shoot and switch as you would with any real production, and the system does the work.

This saves a fortune in set construction and studio rental days, and allows small productions to have major league sets. In fact, we rent the whole studio at a very reasonable rate, and we're headache free because we have almost everything most productions need in-house. The network that used our studio for a pilot didn't bring in a single thing.
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#6 James Erd

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:13 PM

Hi James.

It's much simpler than that. Everything is keyed and composited live. There's absolutely zero post production in these clips. Nothing is real except the people, any tables and chairs you see, and the square piece of grey carpet you see in a few of the shots.

People ask me if that big set in the exercise video includes a big circular real carpet with the client's logo in the middle. It's not real -- just a green floor there. All the sets were easily customized in a matter of minutes with client logos and videos in various places.

There are no tracking markers. Tracking is done mechanically with the encoded jib and with sensors on the tripod heads and from the lenses, combined with little infra-red cameras in the lighting grid interacting with these little domes on the cameras -- it's very sophisticated and way beyond me.

However, all that complicated technical stuff during the system installation makes the actual productions extraordinarily easy. You just shoot and switch as you would with any real production, and the system does the work.

This saves a fortune in set construction and studio rental days, and allows small productions to have major league sets. In fact, we rent the whole studio at a very reasonable rate, and we're headache free because we have almost everything most productions need in-house. The network that used our studio for a pilot didn't bring in a single thing.


Hi Tim,

Can the client create their own background environment ( Roll Your Own ). If so what file formats can the system recognize?
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#7 Tim Pipher

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Posted 26 March 2009 - 06:42 PM

Hi Tim,

Can the client create their own background environment ( Roll Your Own ). If so what file formats can the system recognize?


Hi James.

You can definitely create your own virtual environments. This is a language I barely speak, so some of what I say may not make sense. Your sets need to be in a VRML format from 3DSMax, Maya, Softimage XSI etc.

I may be wrong about this, but I get the impression that 3DSMax is recommended.

I have a PDF with all the details I can e-mail if you want.

One great thing about making sets yourself is that you don't have to pay for them. But it's also good because you can use them over and over. There's a producer/director who plans on making a feature here in July. It will be a sequel to one of his science fiction movies. He'll be making his own virtual sets. The great thing for him is that he'll do that once, then have his sets ready to go for subsequent sequels.
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Opal

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The Slider

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Technodolly

Paralinx LLC

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

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