Green Screen Cinema Filmmaking for the 21st century
Technology Section

GreenScreen versus RotoBrush

Tuesday, December 14 2010 @ 04:27 AM UTC
Contributed by: Jimbo
Views: 2,234

Please take a moment to watch GreenScreenCinema's latest release: "Gingerlicious". While "Gingerlicious" is the story of two gingerbread cookies in search of a new home, it's also a demonstration of the three most powerful matte effects found in Adobe After Effects CS5: color key, color range and rotobrush.
    Color key - After Effect's color key is a pretty straightforward greenscreen tool. When the user chooses a key color that color is then removed from the scene. Hopefully this only removes your background from the scene (leaving your subject intact).

    Color range - The color range effect attempts to give the user a few more knobs to twist. Color range allows the user to pick multiple colors that need to be removed from the scene. Color range is often used when shadows and background color variation make a single color key ineffective. Color range is essentially the poor cousin of Premiere's Pro Ultra key effect (which I am madly in love with). Why Adobe didn't ship After Effects with the Ultra effect is beyond me.

    Rotobrush - The rotobrush tool gives filmmakers a way to lift an image out of the visual plane as if by magic. Hours and hours of tedious, time consuming magic, that is. With rotobrush you have to brush an outline over the area you want to keep. The effect tries to follow the object you've outlined as it moves across the frame, but the effect appears to be under the influence of some mind altering substance. It will randomly decide that your subject's arm should no longer be connected to his body, for example. You can almost hear the effect's drug-induced giggle as it makes these crazy decisions. You can correct these mistakes, but after you've repaired the damage you'll have to listen to the effect call you a "big downer" and threaten to never drive you to Burning Man ever again.
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Adobe Sparks Green Screen Revolution with CS5 Release

Sunday, July 04 2010 @ 04:37 PM UTC
Contributed by: Jimbo
Views: 2,253

You can now make big budget, Hollywood-style special effects at used car prices. If this is not the beginning of a revolution then I don't know what is. In Adobe's latest release of the Creative Suite product line (known as CS5) they've brought back the Ultra green screen product (which went missing in CS4) and given it so much bang for the buck that I think it could topple a small third-world nation.

To begin with, the green screen product is no longer a stand-alone application, the functionality is now built right into Adobe's Premiere Pro editing package. This gives you, the filmmaker, a crazy amount of control over how your composites integrate into your scenes. For example, you can add any other Premiere effect on top of a composite and see the results instantaneously. In the sample composite I created for this article ("The Big Spider"), I added motion to my keyed layer so that it would match the motion of the layer underneath. I was also able to shrink and grow the dimensions of my keyed layer over the length of the piece (in attempt to hide some lights at the edge of my green screen). I was able to play with each of these effects one at a time, independent of the Ultra key effect, which allowed my project to act like a big special effects sandwich. I could easily open it up, throw in a different flavor and see what the results were. This is a monumental change from Adobe's previous approach which baked the green screen effect into the footage at the outset.
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Compositing a Green Screen with Adobe Ultra CS3

Monday, November 23 2009 @ 04:20 AM UTC
Contributed by: Jimbo
Views: 9,650

I finally got my hands on the new Adobe Creative Studio 3 and spent a couple evenings with the Studio's green screen product, which for some reason is called Ultra CS3. (Isn't that a detergent?) After producing a number of green screen clips I can confirm that even though Ultra CS3 delivers a crisp, attractive composite you'll find your sound element mangled so badly that you'll think the Siegfried & Roy tigers got to it.
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Animation with Adobe Premiere Pro

Saturday, September 19 2009 @ 03:46 PM UTC
Contributed by: Jimbo
Views: 1,771

This article describes the trials and tribulations associated with animating a short film using Adobe Premiere Pro.
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YouTube Shows Debut To Empty House

Saturday, June 06 2009 @ 12:26 AM UTC
Contributed by: Jimbo
Views: 1,958

You might have heard that YouTube is moving into long-form content. They've been acquiring low-budget episodics and back-catalog film titles and have created a new page on their site to highlight the buys called the Shows page. While I am excited to see YouTube try new things, the mix of titles is truly baffling. On the one hand they feature Funimation titles like Full Metal Panic and Fullmetal Alchemist (which were huge hits in Japan) right next to the worst web series ever produced by man, Gemini Division. And then there's the obligatory National Geographic content, which is so overexposed that they will soon be giving away the online distribution rights as a prize at the bottom of cereal boxes.

The reviews of the Shows page have not been kind. "It was," one viewer commented, "like watching the Lusitania go down."
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'Gemini Division's Botched Launch

Monday, August 11 2008 @ 02:00 AM UTC
Contributed by: Jimbo
Views: 3,054

Rosario Dawson. Science Fiction. And a title that sounds an awful lot like one of my favorite sci-fi novels: The Cassini Division. NBC's new webisodic series Gemini Division seems to have all the elements of a smash hit. So why has nobody heard of this thing?

For starters, take a look at this promotional clip for the show, which debuts on August 18th. If you watch the clip you'll be only the 81st person that's actually done so (as of this writing). I think more people have viewed my lawn than the show's promo material (actually my lawn gets pretty good numbers on YouTube, so maybe that's not a fair comparison).
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