Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Parrot Green paint for compositing.

Dulux Parrot Green paint in action.
I've been setting up slowly a small studio in the corner of an enormous barn with the intention of being able to shoot some music videos and webisodes down the track. I wanted to have my own Green Screen material but wanted it to be tailored to the kind of shots I would likely be needing to capture. The problem with buying pre-made Green Screen equipment is that it is restrictive and fixed in its structures - so forking out cash for a screen that can only be used for one or two kinds of shots is in my mind not a flexible means of working. Green Screen sheets are handy, I've used and have one, but they too can be restrictive and also fiddly when hanging, taping or pinning if a shot or sequence of shots are more dynamic than that of a shot that can suffice with a single Green Screen backdrop.

So what if I want a chair that can be keyed out or many varied shapes propped around a space. Then paint is the way to go. There are quite a few forum posts on what paint works best to key out with and of course these discourses exist because manufacturers of 'Green Screen' paint charge quite a bit for a tub of the stuff. As an aficionado of DIY and Guerilla videography I like the idea of being able to trundle on down to my local hardware store and grab a tin of cheap Green Screen paint instead of mucking about with online orders, delivery times and pricey specialist stuff. This isn't the case with everything, I wouldn't go so far as mocking up my own lens for instance, but with something like paint it makes a whole lot of sense to do it this way.

I spent a fair bit of time with a bundle of paint samples, I then chose two likely candidates. I searched for those colours online and saved the images. I then chose two images of green used for compositing I found online and I pasted all four into a word processing document to see how close I was with the help of the computer's graphic display resolution to finding a match. The winner was Dulux Parrot Green. I went out and got myself a tin, found an old board I could paint on (Yes it has a few scratches and burls but I don't fancy slick production values all that much so let the good times roll), I applied a white primer undercoat and layered the Parrot Green over that. I did a quick test in Final Crut X and produced what I think is an efficient compositing test with no additional proper lighting and no finishing touches.


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