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Awesome fancy dress effort [Archive] - Event Photographer Society Forum

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Stuart Etheridge
13-09-2010, 07:51 AM
I did a job at a golf club on Saturday night which was fancy dress with a Hollywood theme. I opted to do green screen with a selection of movie related backgrounds (from Fotolia.com if anyone is interested. Of course you need to purchase the extended licence versions)

Anyway the efforts made by those attending in their costumes was fantastic and made for a really good night for us.
Here is one - see if you can spot the movie !
24.jpg

Bryan Osborne
13-09-2010, 07:57 AM
SMURFS THE MOVIE!

nuts shouting again....sorry!


:omy:

Seriously though little is made of greenscreen and it is a market in it's own right. Perfect application..

Bryan Osborne
13-09-2010, 08:01 AM
Following on from last post. IMHO Event Photography has such a vast application and opportunity that many make the common mistake of trying to cover too many bases and thus "dilute" their opportunity and power. This is really true in this market as in the main our businesses are one man operations or a simple partnership? SO perhaps it is better to focus(excuse the pun) on the end product and the markets you want to run. IMHO the "capture of the images" can sometimes be the EASY bit!

andrew waring
13-09-2010, 08:42 AM
I hardly ever use green screen, but that background looks awesome. Great job Stuart, I bet your customers were really happy with that. :D

steph burnett
13-09-2010, 09:05 AM
that is SO cool!! Am looking in to adding greenscreen (with limitations) to my bag for next year - just wondering how much the selecting of/showing and finishing the dropping in of the backgrounds slows down your workflow??

Bryan Osborne
13-09-2010, 09:10 AM
About five seconds to open the picture, ten seconds to drop in the background and scale picture and commit to print.If you are sharp with your posing and in camera cropping you can just open the image into the background and print.

steph burnett
13-09-2010, 09:16 AM
About five seconds to open the picture, ten seconds to drop in the background and scale picture and commit to print.If you are sharp with your posing and in camera cropping you can just open the image into the background and print.

Oh right - was thinking it would take way longer than that LOL!! Gonna be a pest with a couple more questions if thats okay? Do you choose the background or do you let your client choose? and what software would you recommend?

Am thinking it would probably be much easier to manage if you only provided upto 3/4 length shots rather than full length??

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 09:22 AM
We did a job on Saturday where we used Green Screen, worked well with the exception of one image that Express Digital could not handle (that may be a lack of familiarity) however Green Screen Wizard did a great job (if this had been soley a chromakey shoot then I would just use Green Screen Wizard). I will post the image later to see if anybody else has success.

Those that chose the green screen option were delighted/excited by the result.

Mike

Stuart Etheridge
13-09-2010, 09:28 AM
Thanks for the comments folks.

Yes the clients were really pleased and we had lots of very nice comments.

In answer to the question of workflow. This really is no big deal if you have the right software in place with someone who knows what they are doing.
BUT you can make the sales guys life much easier or indeed harder by getting right in the camera in the first place.
With this particular job when we arrived the space we had been promised simply was not there so there was no room to safely set up lighting. I managed to get the screen set up and found room for the sales operation but had to be resigned to shooting with a flash gun.

Thankfully there was a very recently painted convenient white ceiling enabling nice bounce and I didn't have to tweak or crop a single image to get it to chromakey.

We chose the backgrounds that we felt worked best and only had one person all night who asked for theirs to be changed to one of the others.
Yep - it certainly is easier to go to 3/4 length at most as you have less keying issues and they are very often easier to get looking natural against the back ground although I have seen some fantastic work by those much more skilled than I at full length.

Finally (and I think thats all the questions answered) my software choice is Photokey 3 pro. As a Mac user it was the best option. Greenscreen wizard is only available as a photoshop plugin for mac and is therefore a pain to use but I understand the full program on windows is very good. You can chromakey in TEPS-X which is my main workflow tool but to be honest its the one and only part of the software thats not all that great.

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 09:30 AM
Steph,

IMHO the key to usin green screen is to limit the choice of backgrounds and pre-sell the idea i.e. we had a manhattan skyline, a moonscape, jungle, big surf and a telephone box - the theme 'Super Heros' and we put avatar creatures on the jungle, superman at the telephone box/flying over manhattan, thunderbirds on the moon and so on - we picked a pose and then dropped in the relevant background. Normally I would ask what they want and then pose them from a choice of maybe 3 backgrounds.

As I said we used Express Digital in the main but for difficult/problem images I find that Green Screen Wizard is best and if you dont have any other chromakey software it is about 80. There is a higher level version that has an events module but have not tried it in anger yet.

Mike

john christopher
13-09-2010, 09:40 AM
Hi Steph

Baby boy or baby girl?

Mike

When you say you "pre sell the idea" of greenscreen events photography, what EXACTLY do you mean? Are we talking about hard copy mockups which gives the punters some kind of idea of what they will be getting for their money.....

Steph

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 09:48 AM
Steph (which one ?)

full length is an issue due to lack of shadows and I have always told people that if needed you could just darken an area on the background where you would expect shadow but if you want a much more professional job they have just added a shadow feature in Green Screen Wizard that does a reasonable job of simulating them (some of the high end chroma key have had this for some time).

Steph - the other one!

Pre-Sell the pose, something that I read in an Ian G posting - if the event is not fancy dress but themed or you just want to add fun then you need some sample prints, props etc. so that you can have a surfing pic with appropiate background, Elvis pose needs Les Vegas, James Bond needs Gun and background etc. etc. - make the 3 or 4 ideas completely different, with very different poses and if you have time shoot them all - more possible images to sell.

Mike

ian griffiths
13-09-2010, 10:01 AM
Dark Dude, you've won your third 'Man Card' back last week or have you got to enjoy being Steph? :rofl:

Pre-Sell on GS:

As Mike said, what we do is have a choice of background to drop in, so we have a display of say 5 12" x 8" prints with each of the backgrounds we are offering at that event, the choice of background will pretty much dictate the pose.

This is done as much for sales as for choice, the more the customer says yes and commits to a pose - background etc the higher the likelihood of them buying, they have an investment in the production.

GS is in my opinion a very under utilised tool in our box, our GS events on average return a 35% higher contribution per person than non GS events. I guess I should really have kept that to myself!!

Timothy Miles-Hayler
13-09-2010, 10:07 AM
I have been asked to do some GS later in the year what make backgrounds do you all recommend for GS ?

Bryan Osborne
13-09-2010, 10:10 AM
Green Screen or Chromakey can I feel be offered as an entirely seperate business, it's what I do!

In this respect there is no clear winner in the Software game suffice to say I only use Darkroom cos all the functionality I want in an event software is in one package.

Ian's advice is right on the money, YOU controal the sales process, you need to meet the client for the better work and arrive at say three choices of background. On the night
get the HOST to pose and create three examples to display..Pop up the punters picture. indicate the background samples, Would you like this background...or this...or this..
THEY CHOOSE.. Statement I will print this one for you which size would you like, take the money and print.

The technical element you will need to practice, practice..I sorted out a church hall for 30 set up a 4x5mtr "entertaining set up and a 3x2 mtr basic shooting space to cater for all eventualities. "planned" and noted lighting settings and positions. It is then almost "outa the box."

There are reams written on Chromakey, reams written on the heartache of lighting it etc.

Problem is most just turn up with borders outa their own heads, set the system up just like any other lighting set up and end up fighting it all night.

steph burnett
13-09-2010, 10:12 AM
Just to clarify, this is genuine Steph (the female variety) although I've been given many a man-card for my left hook ;-) Baby hasn't arrived yet - another 5 weeks of waiting and getting bigger daily but will post a pic or two when b-day arrives!

Thanks for all the replies - very helpful as usual!

Stuart Etheridge
13-09-2010, 11:06 AM
The technical element you will need to practice, practice..I sorted out a church hall for 30 set up a 4x5mtr "entertaining set up and a 3x2 mtr basic shooting space to cater for all eventualities. "planned" and noted lighting settings and positions. It is then almost "outa the box."

There are reams written on Chromakey, reams written on the heartache of lighting it etc.

Problem is most just turn up with borders outa their own heads, set the system up just like any other lighting set up and end up fighting it all night.

All good advice. Having said that just to reiterate - simply because of a ludicrous lack of space to set up lighting safely I was forced to shoot the entire evening with a flashgun and never had to crop, tweak or otherwise fight a single frame.

Bryan Osborne
13-09-2010, 11:09 AM
Well sit back and wait there are probably hundreds who would like to know your "spirit guide" perhaps you can sell GREENSCREEN WATER as a sideline?

Stuart Etheridge
13-09-2010, 11:12 AM
Well sit back and wait there are probably hundreds who would like to know your "spirit guide" perhaps you can sell GREENSCREEN WATER as a sideline?
Lol now thats a great idea!

Sorry I wasn't trying to be in anyway arrogant - my point was it doesn't have to be difficult. I'm sure there are many on the forum with infinitely better skills in this area.

john christopher
13-09-2010, 11:13 AM
Just to clarify! This is Steph. The Dude Steph. Male and as black as midnight as opposed to female Steph who is of a lighter shade and pregnant to boot. But be warned! Whichever "Steph" you are talking about, both of us have lethal right hooks!

:D :D :D

Now I have to admit that the whole thing about Green Screen fills me with fear. Lucky for me that I've got a community hall nearby willing to let me setup my kit for a practice run.

Bryan's advice: "The technical element you will need to practice, practice..I sorted out a church hall for 30 set up a 4x5mtr "entertaining set up and a 3x2 mtr basic shooting space to cater for all eventualities. "planned" and noted lighting settings and positions. It is then almost "outa the box."

Is bang on the money. I need to know BEFORE the job that I can work the system to produce what I want, when I want it and be able capable of coping with any eventualities in-between. This takes planning and practice and IMHO can't be learned while "on the job".
For me good preparation is a good 70% of the job and 99% less problems.

Steph

(Quick note: My favourite male TV characters is a anti-hero called Jane from the sci-fi series "Firefly" while one of my favourite songs is "A Man called Sue"). Both taught me the valuable lesson of NEVER judging a book by it cover. JC

;-)

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 11:19 AM
I have been asked to do some GS later in the year what make backgrounds do you all recommend for GS ?

We just use the paper, although due to the condesation that poured onto it at the end of the night we had to throw away more than usual. There are some reverisible pop-up styles i.e. blue one side and green the other.

Mike

Michael Martin
13-09-2010, 11:28 AM
Is there a difference between blue and green in the out come? And is one preferable over the other? Are muslin screens a no no or are they fine?

Sorry, so many questions.

Bryan Osborne
13-09-2010, 11:40 AM
Is there a difference between Blue and Green "NO" as long as the software will pre-set for either..

As for the medium, there is a convention on the Hue and Chroma for the light reflected from the Chromakey material and good Muslin is as good as paper and probably better for full length CK photography. Otherwise you will have to take a ply flooring to underlay the paper or a similar set up.

I have a CK Greem and CK Blue Muslin at 3mtrx6mtr and the same at the size of the Lastolite Highlight. The latter are really handy and have elasticated hems so it stretches over the Lastolite like a hairnet! If you go for muslin or cloth go for the 16oz weight and NOT the lightere one.

john christopher
13-09-2010, 11:46 AM
I don't know who but someone on this forum had sourced industrial grade Chromakey Green and Blue backcloths that are used by the BBC and Pinewood studio.

Steph

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 11:48 AM
Green or Blue? - we had a lot of incredible hulks on saturday which we could not photograph, but if we had had blue then superman, supergirl and avatar would have been a no go.

Mike

Steph you have just lost some man points, if you had seen my setup last year at Focus you would realise that the software is now so capable that you do not need the best of lighting to get good results, however the better the lighting the easier the task becomes.

Mike

Bryan Osborne
13-09-2010, 11:51 AM
My green and blue hairnets are exactly that Green AND Blue..So you just step forward and turn the Muslin over if you have to take ooohhh at least 45seconds

:omy: :omy:

Michael Martin
13-09-2010, 11:54 AM
Ok, so both colours are advisable, so the Hulk is not upset. Are there any other colours that can be used?

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 12:05 PM
In theory just about any colour could be used but green and blue were chosen because there are so far from skin colour (unless you are the hulk or an avatar) - most programs are configured for green and blue. I have done this before using a script in photoshop where you select the colour.

I will leave Bryan and his hairnets (a joke in there somewhere) because there would not have been the possibility to change backgrounds where we working.

Mike

john christopher
13-09-2010, 01:08 PM
Mike

As far as greenscreen is concerned, I still think practice makes perfect. Others (like Andy) have no problem going commando but I like to keep my knickers on and my legs crossed!

:geek: :geek: :geek:

Steph

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 01:14 PM
Having seen you squeeze into the go-kart we all know how big them knickers are Steph :omy:

which reminds me of a Joke;

on their wedding night John holds up his trousers and says to Sharon 'try these on' to which she replies 'they are too big and I could never wear them', John says 'Good, at least you know who wears the trousers in this house' - a few minutes later Sharon holds up her knickers and says 'try these on', John replies 'I could never get into those' and Sharon says 'you never will if you don't change your attitude'.

:pce:

Mike

john christopher
13-09-2010, 11:08 PM
Mike

Sharon say you're a man after her own heart. She has NOW got a big smile on her face, the kind of cheesy grin that you want to slap but don't dare. Now you've given the woman all kind of strange idea. Like going on general strike. What is it about today? Everybody wants to down tools. Anyway, my attitude is fine and dandy thank you very much and I plan to be getting into Sharon's knickers for a few more years yet! You can even come and watch us if you're bored.

Come to think of it, that would make a great greenscreen experience. Greenscreen porn! You know what they say about sex. It sells! Come to think of it. Good sex, takes practice (lots of it). Just like green screen photography. Practice makes perfect equals Happy customers and happy wife. Man, have i gone off topic!

8-) 8-) 8-)

Steph

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 11:10 PM
Trying to bring this back on track;avatar2600.jpgavatar1600.jpgthunderbirds600. jpgsurf.jpgsupergirl600.jpg

john christopher
13-09-2010, 11:24 PM
Mike

I have to admit it. I'm impressed. Don't get the grey dude of the surfboard though!

:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Did you do this via GSW or ED? Still haven't managed to load the free version GSW from Photomart onto my system. My next door neighbours know a man at Pinewood studio, who'll be able to sort me out with some industrial grade chromakey material. Hopefully I start testing my whole system this Sunday. Busy, busy, busy!

Steph

Mike Weeks
13-09-2010, 11:30 PM
John,

the silver surfer - marvel comics - this was the image that ED could not handle and GSW did a great job. I have attached the file to see if anybody can extract in ED.

Mike

john christopher
14-09-2010, 09:37 AM
John,

the silver surfer - marvel comics - this was the image that ED could not handle and GSW did a great job. I have attached the file to see if anybody can extract in ED.

Mike

Mike

I don't want to nit-pick but the Silver Surfer didn't need waves to do his thing. You would have been better off using the same metropolitan background that you used with Supergirl. I do think that GSW is an excellent example of a application dedicated at doing one thing only and doing it well. Still can't load it though!

Steph

Mike Weeks
14-09-2010, 10:46 AM
John,

just remember the customer is always right but I can definitely process the image again as a good example.

Mike

john christopher
15-09-2010, 10:30 AM
Quick Update:

I put the word out to the folks at Pinewood ( regarding suppliers of industrial strength chromakey backgrounds) and this is what I got back.....

Pinewood Drapery, 01753 656 245
Shepperton Drapes, 01932 560 175

http://www.bristolpaint.com/cp_root/h/Home//74/

http://www.chromakey-hire.com/index.htm

http://www.metrorigging.co.uk/equipment.html

http://www.cover-it-up.com/

Enjoy!

Steph

Bryan Osborne
15-09-2010, 11:10 AM
The film industry uses 16oz Cloth both for Chromakey and Dynetine which is commonly called "Commando" Cloth which is errr "real black" only currently available in the States in
55 inch width but can buy double width readymade..

Bought my Chromakey Cloth from Video/Film supplier!

Bryan