Computer Graphics World by Jeff Sauer virtual setWith a low price point, Serious Magic’s Ultra 2 virtual set and keying application makes the process of replacing backgrounds, whether they are in DV, HDV, or HD format, practical for all types of video professionals. When I was a kid, my family visited Universal Studios in Hollywood. That was back in the early 1970s-the era of mechanical monsters, rubber scars, and Styrofoam boulders. I recall seeing examples of all those things on the studio tour. I was especially taken by the wilderness and other “outdoor† soundstage sets inside the large warehouse-style buildings on the studio lot. As a youngster, I found it amazing that these fake-looking sets could actually look real in movies and on TV. I also remember seeing virtual sets for the first time (in the mid-1990s), and they were pretty amazing, too. The demos always made everything look so easy, but lighting was just as important, if not more so, than on a real soundstage. And the end results tended to look fake, because the actors were usually overlaid in some sort of early era, computer-generated, Alice in Wonderland-type background that just didn’t look natural. read more...

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