We also provide Photography..

CHROMAKEY SERVICES


As well as commercials and multi camera shows, our speciality in studio work is chromakey filming. We have a wealth of knowledge in filming and lighting design for this discipline. Starting in the 1990’s, Une Herzer our DOP designed the lighting and filmed on many chromakey projects. Among them were 3 seasons for Nickelodeon UK’s ‘Blue’s Clues’, a presenter driven interaction between live action and synced animation with changing foreground / background plates. From there, he was heavily involved in developing a swift workflow in this specialist area. Therefore years later here at Light Hackers, we offer 3 unique extra services to the standard studio shooting arrangement, ‘Confidence Keyer’, ‘Live Uncompressed Capture’ & 'Keying To Rendered Alpha Channel'.


The use of a Confidence Keyer cannot be understated. Taking a direct live line from the camera, we will be able to frame and size up your talent immediately within your background plate, without the need for resizing or rota scoping in post. Imagine for instance the task of having a character sit on a seat that is only present in the background plate, the subject will be composed / framed onto that seat, and lit as per the background plates suggest with respect to lighting directions, hue and intensities. Seeing the test results live, you can be sure that the footage gives you a consistent key on the day of the shoot.

With Keying To Rendered Alpha Channel, we will then key all the ‘good’ takes and supply you with the final keyed footage as alpha channel QuickTime movies. You simply 'drag & drop' these files into any non-linear edit suite's timeline as a keyed foreground layer. We found in the past that even the best lit and shot footage is only as good as the keying tools and operators available at the post stage, and so this added service has proved to be a much appreciated aid to our BBC clients.




With the option of having us provide you with the Live Uncompressed Capture, you will have the highest level in picture quality to work with either in HD or SD formats as uncompressed video files. We take an SDI / HD SDI signal directly to an optical drive, removing the compression committed to certain formats. In preparation for post workflow, we archive ALL takes and the selected ‘good’ takes are moved to a new storage folder to be keyed, thus reducing the need to sift through many takes in post.




Keeping in mind the second and third options are non-linear, this saves a lot of time and money usually spent selecting and digitizing the footage before you can even begin the keying stage.
The final project will then be delivered on a Hard Drive which will contain the full project folder from the original ‘capture scratch’ taken on the shoot day, to the final rendered clips.
All these additions are optional to our usual studio packages, but add a higher level of service to you. In all cases of Chromakey, we advise on shooting in ‘progressive’ HD 4:4:4 at all times. This gives a much better key result than that of ‘interlaced’, and lesser colour spacing.
We hope this helps you in the future when selecting services for your chromakey productions. We operate out of several London based studios to shoot our chromakey work. Studios we choose to best suit your needs and budget, and can therefore offer you an all-in package for your work. Additionally many of these unique services can also be added to chromakey filming ‘on location’, as we also have mobile chromakey setups that can be brought to ‘your’ location. We found this especially useful to our corporate clients.
Please feel free to contact us to discuss these options, and see how they can help your production.