Monday, November 2, 2020

Green Screen Technology Gets Improved with LEDs

Green Screen is a cool way to composition in the background for motion graphics in films. But LED panels -- that use the same technology as video game engines -- place a realistic-looking world behind the actors, in a giant leap forward in special effects tech.

The result is a huge improvement, as green screens actually have drawbacks. Removing the green screen is never as quick as VFX artists would hope, and it also casts green light over the set and the actors. Even green-screen substitutes, like projecting an image onto a screen behind the actor, fail to dynamically respond to camera movements the way they would in the real world. ILM's solution fixes a lot of those problems. 

It also led to creative breakthroughs in which the old Hollywood order of making a TV show or movie -- wherein VFX came last -- was suddenly reversed. Now, artists such Charmaine Chan work alongside actors, set designers, and other crew members during filming. That collaboration means this technology doesn't just eliminate a screen -- it eliminates a creative barrier. As a compositor for venerable visual-effects house Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), Charmaine Chan has worked on films like The Last Jedi, assembling various digital elements into a beautiful, seamless image. While working on The Mandalorian, one of the first shows to use ILM's upgrade for the green screen, she saw some huge advances.

Here's a video to see how the improved approach works...

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