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Chroma Key Green (or Blue Screen) Setup

Updated: 23 January 2013

Here are some studio settings that work great for an indoor portrait of a subject against a green screen or a blue screen:

  • A: two slave flashes or monolights set to 12 W·s (or no more than 15 W·s) for lighting up the green screen
    • make sure these are diffused light (here, i bounced them off umbrellas)
    • set them at 45° to the green screen for even lighting
    • the screen should be less bright than the subject
    • make sure these light sources are not falling on the subject
  • B: white reflector to fill shadows in subject
  • C: camera on tripod, in Manual mode
    • “shutter speed” set to 1/250 s, or slower if your monolights require it
    • aperture set to f/4.5 (the fabric/muslin of the green screen should be blurred)
    • ISO set to 50
  • D: master flash or monolight attached to camera via sync/PC cable; light energy set to 50 W·s
    • this light simulates the primary light source (e.g., the sun) of the photo you’re going to use for the background
    • you need to move this light source up/down and left/right to get the right location (for proper shadows and reflections on subject)
    • you also need to match the hardness/softness of this light by moving it closer/father from the subject and/or modifying the umbrella or other diffuser — in this case i shot through a translucent white umbrella

Other Points:

  • Green light will bounce off B into subject’s face; if you have 4 lights, then use a fill light instead of reflector at B to solve this problem; I don’t have 4 lights, so my solution is in post-processing: in FxHome PhotoKey, I set “Spill Suppression” to Extended
  • Take a shot of a gray card so you can adjust white balance later (i recommend shooting in RAW mode)
  • If your subject’s feet are going to be in the final photo, be sure the green screen fabric/muslin is draped forward underneath his/her feet
  • Check your photo after you take it; zoom in using the LCD panel and make sure:
    • subject is in clear focus
    • green screen is out of focus
    • histogram looks good (no lost highlights or shadows)
    • green is less bright than the subject
    • shadows/reflections on subject match the background photo you’re going to use
    • lighting is even (and diffuse) across the green screen
  • For post-production, I recommend the PhotoKey software, which you can find at fxhome.com; you may decide to use PhotoKey first and then PhotoShop later; Here are some things I’ve learned about PhotoKey:
    • Matte view is very useful—turn it on and remember that your goal is to get rid of grey areas;
    • If there is green reflecting onto subject’s skin (see note above), then change the Spill Suppression settings
    • If the edge is weird, play with the Edge Color slider;
    • If green in the subject’s clothing is being removed:
      1. If easy, just use a Mask to ignore the area with green;
      2. Otherwise, slide Hue Balance to minimize the problem.

Kids Needle-Felting and…

Isaiah 30

Reading through the book of Isaiah is painful. There’s much more about God’s judgment and justice than anything else, at least in the first half. Yet, in keeping with His merciful character, the text is sprinkled with passages of hope, passages of the Gospel in Christ.

I see that God is eager to be merciful to those who wait for Him. These passages give me strength and hope to keep going:

Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.

 

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, “Be gone!”

Isaiah 30:18-22 (ESV)

click thru to original

Poems about Adoption

I’m finally getting around to these. I wrote both of them in the late 90s.

This is the biggest theme in my life, probably because I’m overwhelmed by God’s affection in adopting those who have no inherent right to call Him “Father.” See, for example, Hosea 2:23.

Part 1: A cry from an orphan boy
(A little boy’s prayer)

   I have the beautiful sun
   The warmth of your light
   I have quiet sleep
   The peace of the night

   I have fields of green
   And harvests of gold
   I understand the parables
   That Christ once told

   I have a beating heart
   Inside my little chest
   It struggles every day
   It never stops to rest

   But my dear God
   Upon this earth
   I do not have a father
   He left me at my birth

   Tell me what I'm missing
   Tell me why I cry
   I want to know what "father" means
   I really want to try

   What is trust?
   What is love?
   What is correction,
   Dear God above?

   Thank you for your mercy
   In bowing down to me
   I want the greatest father
   I want more of Thee

Part 2: God’s reply to him
(Dear orphan boy)

   Sweet child cold and hungry and betrayed,
   Curled in a gutter your small body laid.
   Cradling you gently, speaking of my rest,
   I felt your teardrops fall upon my breast.

   Dear orphan boy, I shod your trembling feet:
   Sit at my table -- drink the water sweet.
   Heav'n cannot tell, nor earth could ever speak,
   Of my great love for you, dear soul so weak.

   Trust in my arms, hold up the battle sign,
   Now you're a soldier, little boy of mine.
   You will not falter, you are born of me,
   Your little seed will grow into a tree.

   Love my rebuke and wear my armour fast,
   Cherish the treasures that will ever last.
   Hope of the crown pressed tight against your skin,
   Will surely help you all your battles win.

This second one I wrote music for it, here:

Tynehead Hatchery

The Fourth-Graders went to the salmon hatchery to release their Alevin and learn more about salmon.