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postheadericon Studio Flash Equipment

Being able to draw continuous power at a significant level makes it possible to deliver light that can be diffused, reflected or redirected in all kinds of ways, and still reach the subject at a level that allows good depth of field. A mains flash unit works in the following way. As the power supply is in the form of an alternating current in a relatively low voltage, the first part of the circuitry is a transformer and associated rectifier (or more than one in the case of larger units). The transformer steps up the voltage and the rectifier converts the alternating current to a direct current (in other words, it converts AC to DC). This uni-directional high-voltage source then supplies the capacitor that stores the charge. On command, the high-voltage output in the capacitor is discharged through the flash tube.

Given the light output possible from just a single flash tube-and the fact that it is practically instantaneous-it is not surprising that mains-powered flash is the lighting equipment of choice in studios. Output is measured in watt-seconds, or joules, and typical units are between 200 and 1000 joules. To make use of the extremely high output of the mains flash capacitors, the flash tubes are much larger than in on-camera units. Instead of a short straight tube, the most common design for medium-power units is circular. High-output units may use spiral tubes. One result of the need for high output and larger tube size is that the peak flash duration is longer than that of an on-camera flash-sometimes as slow as a few hundredths of a second.

As with other photographic equipment, such as cameras, there are many competing systems, and these are often not compatible. This is particularly the case with mains flash, in which the power units, connectors, and flash-heads cannot normally be interchanged. Before buying anything, make all the comparisons you can, and anticipate your future needs. You might, for instance, eventually need several identical lamps, or a set of specialized lights-one for still-life main illumination, and others for backgrounds, and son on. Also if you expect to shoot on location as well as at home or in the studio, the weight and transportability of the equipment will be important.

UPDATED! Green Screen Wizard Full Version 7.0 offers the latest in green and BLUE screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. This chroma key software provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

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postheadericon Studio Flash

Mains-powered flash units offer the ultimate lighting control: a full range of light fittings and no problems with moving subjects. The real limitation of on-camera flash is that its full-frontal direction and harsh quality are rarely flattering-probably the last thing you would choose if you had control. The limitations of tungsten lighting are that it does not combine with daylight easily and that the great heat output limits the fittings you can attach. For the extra effort of planning and setting up lights, you can achieve a much wider range of effects with powerful, separately triggered flash heads. There are two kinds: high-output portable flash powered by rechargeable batteries; and mains-powered flash, which is normally used in studios. Both can be used with a variety of fittings, and it is these-the diffusers, reflectors, and spots-that control the quality of the light.

Lighting in a controlled environment is the essence of studio shooting, and digital cameras take this to another level of ease and convenience. Many models, and particularly prosumer ones, allow the camera to be operated directly from a computer. Once the camera is locked on the tripod and the lights are in position, you can simply sit down with a laptop and shoot from the comfort of your keyboard and mouse.

UPDATED! Green Screen Wizard Full Version 7.0 offers the latest in green and blue screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. This chroma key software provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

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postheadericon On-Camera Flash

Whether built into the digital camera body or attached by way of a hotshoe connection, basic flash units were designed as convenience for getting the shot without any other useful light. In the variety of photographic lighting, on-camera flash is primarily a convenience, and it’s important to comprehend its limitations. Most on-camera flash units are built-in (some pop up on demand), however some are detachable and fit over the camera’s accessory shoe. All these units are prepared for compactness and user friendly set up within these as priorities, quality and selection of lighting take second place. Even if this kind of flash have their own uses on location, it doesn’t have nearly as many advantages as its manufacturers would love you to believe. Nevertheless, the subtle metering and exposure control from a digicam makes it possible to mix flash with existing lighting for a lot of dynamic effects.

Flash units work by means of a capacitor charged by battery. When triggered, the capacitor releases its full charge instantaneously via the flash tube, ionizing the gas inside. Intensity of the light output varies according to how big is the capacitor additionally, on the square in the voltage that the unit operates, and is normally quoted as a guide number.

The limitations of full flash illumination are those of frontal lighting. Put simply, lights is practically shadowless and it also falls off in proportion to the distance from the camera. A common purely flash-lit photograph has a tendency to feature flat illumination around the main subject plus a dark background. The outcome is clear, sharp, and with good color separation, but is generally lacking in ambiance. Typical good purposes of full-on flash are close-ups of colourful subjects, simply because these can usually benefit from the crisp precision and powerful colors afforded by flash illumination.
One of many special challenges in altering the style of light digitally is to create the effect of bright, sharp sunshine, but there is however software available that will aid. One of several fundamental question in image editing is how far you should go – that is certainly, how long you need to move away from the original since it was shot. In principle, anything and everything could be changed; in reality, it depends that which you personally feel is acceptable and on the amount of effort it is worth to you personally.

With daylight photography, the major hurdle is bringing sunshine into the picture. If you’ve ever waited for the break in the clouds to brighten up the scene, you will understand that there is a interest in this – also to a degree this can be accomplished digitally. The challenge, that you can check by comparing two versions of the identical view, overcast and sunny, is usually that sunlight affects everything and in many ways, right down to tiny shadows plus the glow reaching into shadows from sunlit surfaces.

Although clouds reduce brightness when they block sunlight, the quantity depends very much to the kind of cloud. If the clouds are indistinct and spread all over the sky, the light loss is on the simple scale from the light haze through thin high stratus to dark gray, low clouds. With distinct clouds, however, such as scattered fair-weather cumulus, light levels can fluctuate rapidly, particularly over a windy day. Light, white clouds usually cause a simple fluctuation approximately 2 stops as they pass in front of the sun from bright to shade in one step. Dark clouds with ragged edges, or two layers of moving clouds, cause more problems, as the light changes gradually and often unpredictably. In the 1st case, two light measurements are typically that’s necessary – one in sunlight, the additional as a cloud passes – as soon as this is done, you can just change the aperture in one to another, without having to take much more readings. When it comes to more complex moving clouds, constant measurement is essential, unless you watch for clear breaks and apply only these.

UPDATED! Green Screen Wizard Full Version 7.0 offers the latest in green and BLUE screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. This chroma key software provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

postheadericon Photographic Lighting

What sets photographic lighting apart from other light sources is that it is designed specifically to work with cameras and certain popular kinds of subject. On-camera flash is a standard does-everything light., but has serious limitations when it comes to creating a carefully arranged, imaginative set-up. In professional photography, particularly in studios, lighting is a specialized, important, and costly concern. This has always been the case, but as pro-lighting manufacturers improve their equipment, the range increases and can cope with more and more specific lighting situations.

If you were planning to cover the full range of lit studio and location photography, you would eventually find a use for all the sources of photographic lighting covered here-and their even greater number of attachments. However, for cost, if nothing else, most photographers commit themselves to one type of lighting, at least to begin with.

While most of this applies to digital photography as much as to traditional film photography, digital capture is creating some major changes, albeit quietly and even a little subversively. Much of the effort that has gone into pro-lighting in the past has been to cope with the limitations of film. This applied especially to high-powered studio flash, where the systems developed in the 1960s and 1970s were designed for exact color fidelity and motion-stopping output. Digital, however, is much more flexible than film in its response to color, as well as being, in most cameras, more sensitive (the standard high-quality ISO setting is higher than traditional ISO 50 of fine-grained emulsions). A standard digital camera simply does not need the precision and power of expensive studio lighting. This may be heresy to the purists, but is good news to photographers with smaller budgets. You can use almost any sort of illumination, and the digital sensor, with the help of a good white balance menu, will generally cope with it. For example, if you have a light box for viewing transparencies and are wondering whether to moth ball it as you shift to digital photography, try using it as na area light, or for backgrounds. Never mind about color balance-the camera will take care of that.

UPDATED! Green Screen Wizard Full Version 7.0 offers the latest in green and BLUE screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. This chroma key software provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

postheadericon Complicated Mixed Lighting

When interiors combine different kinds of lighting, you can expect a clash of colors, but for shooting you will have to choose one white balance setting that makes the best of the situation. One trend in lighting interiors, particularly large spaces, is to mix light sources from incandescent, fluorescent, and vapor discharge lights. Again, the issue to address in photography is the gap between what the eye sees and what the sensor records. Mixed lighting works because our eyes accommodate to color changes so easily, but the camera’s response will nearly always show up the differences within the same scene. Depending on how the lamps are situated, they may combine to give a blend of color, or they may cast separate pools of differently colored light.

Once again, digital cameras come to the rescue in a way that was impossible with film photography. Not only is the color response of the sensor less extreme that that of film, but you have the advantage of instant feedback from the LCD display. The positive side of mixed lighting is that the color combinations can be intrinsically attractive and contribute to the image. Then again, the unattractive associations of green light may be exactly what you need if you intend to convey a particular kind of atmosphere.

UPDATED! Green Screen Wizard Full Version 7.0 offers the latest in green and BLUE screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. This chroma key software provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

postheadericon Vapor Discharge Lighting, How to Deal

Digital capture comes to the rescue in what have traditionally been some of the nastiest lighting situations in photography-greens, blues, and yellows from vapor lamps that often look deceptively white. Vapor discharge lighting is definitely on the increase, particularly in public spaces, department stores and shops, and is gradually taking over from fluorescent and tungsten lighting. Being more powerful than either of these two, vapor lamps are good for lighting large spaces brightly, both outside and inside. What they are not good for, unfortunately, is photography. The problem is that, for the most part, they look white to the eye-which is why they are popular-but in photographs they usually cast a strongly colored light over the scene. Worse still, they are not consistent or predictable.

The three principal types of lamp are sodium, which looks yellow in photographs; mercury, which looks like a cold white and photographs between green and blue-green; and multi-vapor, which also looks cold white but may, if you are lucky, appear reasonably well balanced in a photograph. Sodium lamps are typically used for street-lighting and for floodlighting buildings; multi-vapor lamps are used in sports stadiums where television cameras need good color balance; and mercury lamps are used in lots of different situations. Sodium is easy to spot-it looks yellow and, when just switched on, glows orange for a few minutes. The other two easily fool the eye, although when mercury lamps are switched on, they glow greenish before they reach full strength.

The reason for the problem is that the emissions of vapor discharge lamps peak strongly in very narrow bands of spectrum, and are completely lacking in many wavelengths. Unlike fluorescent tubes, they do not have the benefit of a coating of fluorescers to spread the output over other parts of the spectrum. With film this made for a truly difficult situation, but digital cameras score in two ways: the normal response of the sensor to vapor lamps is less extreme than with color film, and the white-balance menu allows you to reach a neutral color balance-or something close to it at least.

UPDATED! Green Screen Wizard Full Version 7.0 offers the latest in green and BLUE screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. This chroma key software provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

postheadericon Fluorescent Light Shots

One of the most common types of indoor lighting, fluorescent lamps look white but photographed green, and call for white balance correction. Fluorescent lamps have a discontinuous spectrum and produce, usually, a greenish color cast. They work by means of an electric discharge passed through vapor sealed in a glass tube, with a fluorescent coating on the inside of the glass. Theses fluorescers glow at different wavelengths, and have the effect of spreading the spectrum of the lamp’s light. Visually this works very well and the eye registers the light as white, if a little cold. However, in photography, this colors the scene unattractively.

If these deficiencies were consistent, it would be a simple matter of using one standard white balance correction. However,fluorescent lamps vary in the visual effect that the manufacturer tries to produce. Some are only slightly green when photographed; others are very green. All digital cameras have at least one white balance correction setting, but some feature a choice, with, for instance, separate settings for “Daylight”, “Warm White,” and “Cool White” lamps. It is difficult to tell just by looking now how much of a green cast will appear. It is usually best to test it by shooting with the basic white balance setting and then adjusting from there.

A large part of the problem, aesthetically, is that an overall bias towards green is considered unattractive by most people, except in special and occasional circumstances. A shift to orange is generally tolerated but the same is not true of green. Whereas orange is a color of illumination that is within our visual experience (e.g. firelight, rich sunsets) and has, on the whole, pleasant associations of warmth, green is not a natural color of light. Although this is a fairly good reason for wanting to make corrections, you should, as a first step, think about whether you can make some use of the green cast, or indeed whether the color will make any important detrimental difference to the image.

UPDATED! Green Screen Wizard Full Version 7.0 offers the latest in green and BLUE screen software power and control behind an amazingly simple and accessible user interface. This chroma key software provides professional photographers, as well as photography enthusiasts, a simple way to do green screen removal and substitutes their choice of digital background. Green Screen Wizard is a self-contained chroma key removal program that does not require Photoshop or other photo editing application to produce beautiful green screen photos. Learn more now and try a free demo version!

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