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Keying virtual backgrounds for "Hellevator"

Three FX artists/video producers detail their FX techniques By Heath McKnight

In the past two to three years, I've been relying more and more on using green screen and chroma keying for my film and video work. After working with visual effects (FX) artists, I began to realize there is nothing complicated when using software to key virtual backgrounds and sets in.

In this article, three different FX artists/video producers detail what software and hardware they use, and their technique. Also, I will discuss and review virtual sets that you can purchase and begin working with immediately.

is a short film written by David Michelinie, a prolific and legendary comic book writer who worked with Bob Layton on the famous Iron Man stories "Demon in a Bottle " and "Armor Wars," among many others. He also created the Spider-Man villain Venom. I asked David to write a short film that would be confined to only one or two locations, and he came up with the script for my new film Hellevator  (www.hellevatormovie.com).

Behind the Scenes of Hellevator

"Star Greg Nappo gets a gets a helping hand from Key Grip Chris Alonso.

We scouted many locations with elevators and decided the best thing to do would be to shoot the film 100% in front of a green screen and create realistic elevator and office interiors. Since the film is about a fired worker who rides on what may or may not be a haunted elevator, I spent more time with star Greg Nappo (www.gregnappo.com) in rehearsal so he'd be fine working without a set.

Director Heath McKnight and Cinematographer Matt Miller with the Panasonic HPX500.
Matt Miller (http://mattmiller.net/) was the cinematographer and one of the visual effects artists, and we decided to shoot the film with the Panasonic HPX-500 in 720p24 (native 24p, no pulldown), which features three-2/3" CCD imager chips. The film was shot at the Green Apple Group in Jupiter, FL, with Patrick Speicher (www.kirtapproductions.com/) supervising the set. The crew evenly lit the green screen and used Chinese lantern balls (made with glass) to help produce an even, diffused light to mimic elevator lighting.

Getting background plates of a real elevator.


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Related Keywords:chroma keying, virtual sets, visual effects, filmmaking, independent filmmaking,


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