Green Screen Photography
Photo Booth and Sky TV
Avvio Reply Ltd were approached by their client Sky, TV, who were looking to do an internal ‘fun’ promotion for their own staff, with green screen photography, at a variety of their UK owned and 3rd party owned call centres as well as a couple of other venues, from Dunfermline in Scotland to the head office in London near Heathrow.
As part of this they were looking to utilise green screen (chromakey), technology to digitally insert staff into a variety of still images from popular TV programs on their networks.
The additional features adding to the complication of the project, required the ability to offer a high quality, keyed, print onsite and offer a ‘live-view’ of the image on a screen for the benefit of the user in the photo.
Sky TV had 5 stills from 5 different popular current TV programs it wished to use, these included Game of Thrones, Fleming, Moone Boy, Mr Sloane & True Detectives. Within each image was a designated blank space into which the user would be inserted to become part of the image, in some instances this was seating in others standing, in some positioned on the left, centred or the right hand side of the frame. Moone Boy further required the addition of careful positioning to replicate holding an actor within the image a loft in a scene spoof copied from the movie ‘Dirty Dancing’. Each image therefore created it’s own logistical issues from a photographic aspect.
At peak periods, break times in particular, the further need for speed and efficiency to deal with the potential surge in volume of users was also a consideration to ensure measured targets we’re achieved throughout the 10 day tour.
Add in the requirement for ‘live-view’ and the need for the users to appear in different parts of the photos on a monitor they could see clearly added to the challenge. Further compounded in that no two locations were ever likely to offer exactly the same set-up space or configuration meant that day to day the position of the subjects in the photo would change and require adjustments to the live view accordingly.
With less than a week to the project ‘go live’.
When one of our top competitors pulled out at the last minute due to the technical difficulty of the requirement Avvio Reply Ltd approached BoothPix based in Cumbria, with our expert knowledge and experience of operating both photo booths and green screen photography studio set-up for commercial events. Clearly the very complex nature of multiple images and compositions wasn’t going to be achieved with an out of the box solution, nor was it likely that having a fully automated system as used in a photo booth would provide the required results. Further complicated by not knowing in advance the space or location within each venue, allocated for the set-up prior to arrival. This therefore required a flexible solution capable of fitting in any environment.
Breaking down the task, Jon Sharp owner of BoothPix defined Darkroom Booth as the preferred capture product, Darkroom Booth would not only allow for the ‘Live View’ requirement but also allow the operators to adjust the live-view as required at each set-up. Moving the appearance of the user in the screen to better replicate their position in the final print.
Utilising an automated photo booth capture product here also allowed the operator/photographer to greater interact with the subject during the capture process without themselves being hidden behind the camera. The camera could remain in a static position on a tripod close to the ‘live-view’ monitor. Darkroom Booth also fulfilled the requirement for capturing 5 different poses, having each instance set up as a unique photo booth event within the software, quickly selected from a list.
Despite Darkroom Booths capability for effective chromakey, green screen extraction, in this instance due to the changes needed to each image, to achieve the exacting compositions required by the client, manual manipulation would be required to finalise subject against background for a more ‘authentic’ look to the final image.
So Darkroom Booth was to be used as a capture medium only to take a photograph of the subject against the green screen backdrop along with any associated props and the final processing undertaken in another application.
To finalise the composition, the saved jpegs were therefore imported into Photoshop, then using a Photokey Chromakey plugin, the green elements extracted.
Minor adjustments, positioning and resizing using manual manipulation were then done before the final composite Green Screen Photograph sent to the printer. Simon Coates, of Simon Coates Photography based in Warwickshire, an expert in Photokey, was brought in to perform this task and ensure the fluidity of the workflow at this key point.
The task on paper appeared to be a relatively simple, a fun Green Screen Photography activity for staff within Sky TV, however clearly on closer analysis, required the amalgamation of several software packages. Together with detailed user knowledge of those packages and their effective deployment onsite in a mobile pop-up environment, BoothPix in collaboration with Simon Coates Photography were able to swiftly deploy the joined up technology and complete the assignment as required within a short time frame as directed by our client.
Darkroom Booth, Photoshop & Photokey 6.
So if you have a fun project, that you feel could benefit from a bit of Green Screen Photography, why not give us the brief and let us explain how we can help. We particularly enjoy a challenge. Get a quote here