What is Chroma Key

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Would you like to lie on the white beaches of the Maldives or walk on the moon without actually travelling there? Well, the solution is ‘Chroma Key’!

Chroma key is a technique used in post-production or real-time in order to replace a background.  Using an editing software, the editor points which colour to make transparent and recover with another picture. In theory, it is possible to use any kind of colour but you have to be careful because any items which are classified under the indicated colour range will be made transparent.  For example,  if you use a red background and the subject wears a red T-shirt, you may be left with a floating head and legs!

The main characteristic of this process is the monochromatic background; it means that it is necessary to use a one-coloured backdrop which is usually green.

WHY GREEN?

The main reasons why green screen is a popular choice:

– it is the furthest away from skin tone and in this way it is easier to separate the person from the background.

– digital cameras are more sensitive to green

– can be lit with less light than that required for blue screen

– is a less common colour for costumes.

It is important to note that the background should be evenly lit as shadows could damage the chroma key process.

WHO CAN DO IT?

When you think about this kind of process you may immediately think about a big expensive Hollywood production, but fortunately things have changed for small-medium crews who want to shoot on green.

Live Vision provide all the things needed for a professional chroma key shoot, affordable and easy. We even have two kinds of chroma: a spongy removable curtain and a hard cyc so we can adapt to your needs.

You just have to bring your ideas, and we will do the rest.

By Sara Aversa and Nieves Matias

The best ‘Ends of the world’

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“Don’t wake me for the end of the world unless it has very good special effects.”

These are the words of Roger Zelazny, the American writer of science fiction and fantasy. Who knows how and when the world will end? But through several movies about the end of the world we can imagine a variety of ends and choose our “favourite” one!

During the history of cinema a lot of directors have used this topic and it is one most appreciated by the audience. People probably like these types of movies because it’s a mysterious topic or because the director can push their imagination and share their ideas through the creation of breathtaking special effects.

The last blockbuster of the category recently released in the cinema is “World War Z”, the last movie directed by Marc Forster with Brad Pitt. The story is about the UN employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt), who saves the world from a zombie pandemic. The plot is not something new for cinema, but the many visual and special effects created for ‘World War Z’ would have even woken Mr Zelazny!

Due to the endless list of end-of-the-world movies, we thought we would pick 5 movies that we believe you should watch, if you haven’t already:

  • “DR. STRANGELOVE” (1964) – Satirical movie about an insane American general, who plans a nuclear attack to destroy the whole world. It’s not the best movie for amazing effects, but it’s a Kubrick’s movie so definitely worth watching.

  • “INDEPENDENCE DAY” (1996) – The aliens invade the Earth in order to destroy it. A group of special men will stop the invasion. This movie launched the craze of armageddon type movies and a passion for special effects.

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  • “ARMAGEDDON” (1998) – NASA recruits a team of deep core drillers to save humanity from the impact of a huge asteroid.  Amongst the chaos there is a wonderful love story and a touching relationship between father and daughter. You will shed a tear!

  • “MATRIX” (1999) –  After a long journey or attempting to understand what the Matrix is, a computer hacker will save the human race from the control of “the machines”. 4 Academy Awards, the movie has a complicated and entangling plot and it is famous for the incredible visual effects and fight scenes in slow motion.

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  • “MELANCHOLIA” (2011) – This movie tells of the strained relationship between two sisters, while the Earth is going to collide with a mysterious planet called Melancholia.  This movie is not only an end of the world film with beautiful visuals and brilliant performances. It is also a deep analysis of human feelings in a painful atmosphere.