Green screening and rotoscoping are staples of the visual effects industry used to produce a matte, which is a black and white image used to define transparency. Mattes are part of “compositing” with still and moving images, including movie footage. Compositing is how computer generated Yoda interacts with live actors.
Green Screen Test
You’re probably tacitly familiar with green screens thanks to Hollywood and television news. Software replaces a given color (usually green or blue) with transparency.
Ensuring that the lighting remains consistent is a primary concern when compositing. I color corrected the woman to appear more yellowish from the indirect lighting she would receive if she were actually in that rocky landscape, but she still looks a bit like she’s floating in front of an artificial background. It still looks “green screeny.” This is because the green screen footage has a moving camera, but the rocky landscape doesn’t move. She doesn’t look connected to the ground. I’ve offset her position in the frame to reduce the floating effect, but it isn’t perfect.
Thanks to Hollywood Camera Work for provided the footage. Check out their free green screen plates.
Rotoscoping is an historical term. In modern practice, it refers to creating a matte by manually tracing the desired subjects when an automated method, such as green screening, is not available. It’s tedious but still very useful.
A “nightcrawler” is a mythical creature that looks kind of like legs without a torso. The next video is my recreation of a similar effect in a YouTube video wherein the narrator claims the footage is real (not vfx).
This is a composite of two videos I recording on my phone using a tripod. The point of view is the same in both shots. In the first, I walked up the street; the second, I ran across the street.
The Next Step in My Evolution
Along with Hellraiser in my kitchen, I feel like a have a good enough foundation to pursue some paid work. I would like to provide visual effects for short films and music videos and maybe get a few credits on Imdb. I’m making that a goal for 2022.