Help find a "live" greenscreen program for my Nikon D3
October 28, 2008 10:54 PM   Subscribe

Nikon D3 and greenscreen photography - what is the "live action" program for doing green screen shots?

Just bought a D3 and am looking for a program to automatically remove the greenscreen before the shot takes place. A D3 has the ability to use a computer monitor as a viewfinder, transfering the potential shot "live" to the computer via USB or wireless add-on. I really need the program that people use, like at the fair and disneyland, to cut the greenscreen out, replace it with a pre-chosen backdrop, live. So I can position the subjects in the virtual scene before snapping the photo. Can anyone name this program?

-note I do have programs and plugins that will do this after the shot, but I must have one that can do it "live" or pre-shot.
posted by samuel1613 to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Let me be sure I understand you- you want to remove the background/greenscreen in camera?

I don't think that's possible. Can you be a little more specific as to what you are trying to accomplish? In every instance I am aware of, replacement of the background is always done in post.
posted by pjern at 11:47 PM on October 28, 2008

Do you have a Mac? If so maybe you can use the D90 as the "webcam" and set a background in iChat / Photo Booth and set it up that way? I'd think for good final quality though you'd only want to set it up that way, but record the actual greenscreen and do the final composition in post. But that might work for composition...
posted by so_necessary at 12:57 AM on October 29, 2008

With video, this is typically accomplished with a hardware video mixer that has chroma key capabilities like the Videonics MXPro. In effect, you're looking for software that can do the same thing. This thread lists a few software packages that supposedly can do live chroma key for Mac and Windows. You would be running the HDMI video output from the D3 into your machine and intercepting the video via the selected software.
posted by junesix at 1:17 AM on October 29, 2008

Visual Jockey Gold can do chroma keys on live feeds. It's also free. The only downside is it is a little bit confusing to use.
posted by robtf3 at 1:25 AM on October 29, 2008

What you're looking for does not exist.

If it did, there would be a line of potential customers for it reaching half way around the world.

I'd be in it.
posted by imjustsaying at 3:24 AM on October 29, 2008

Thanks for the help guys, let me be more clear. At the fair, at disneyland, at knotts berry farm, they have a few of you line up in front of a greenscreen. If those being photographed look behind them, there is a green screen. If an onlooker looks at the monitor (which has been set-up to operate like a huge viewfiender) they see those being photographed standing on the moon, or next to a monster, or ... whatever. The photographer lines those being photographed up, so that the important elements of the digital backdrop (which has been superimposed over the green screen) look correct. Perhaps the backdrop looks like a dinosaur about to bite down, the photographer will line you up (in front of the greenscreen) so that it looks like the dino is about to chomp your head off! The picture is snapped, and the outcome is a (cheesy) picture of people well aligned with the digital backdrop. Without any post tweaking.

this is a REALLY bad version of what I mean:

here's a common one, they are doing this so that they can put these women's heads/faces directly onto some digital bodies, then snap the photo and it's all done! it all done via video...and then they just do some type of screen cap?
posted by samuel1613 at 9:28 AM on October 29, 2008

Of course this exists. There's Photokey, Green Screen Wizard and Express Digital - although I'm having trouble figuring out if Express Digital does chromakey/green screen.
posted by O9scar at 10:08 AM on October 29, 2008

O9scar, the key is doing live/real-time chroma key which those programs don't do. The ones you linked do it in post-process only.

From the thread I posted, it looks like Conduit Suite and Veescope will handle it since the product pages on both websites specifically mention live chroma key.
posted by junesix at 11:49 AM on October 29, 2008

Oh well. I foolishly assumed that a live preview was a standard feature, as opposed to those programs merely being Photoshop-ish static image combiners.
posted by O9scar at 6:19 PM on October 29, 2008

If you want to do the greenscreen live so you can print immediately, Express Digital is the answer. It's for event photography. I've used it tons, and it works very well.
posted by Lukenlogs at 11:54 PM on November 9, 2008

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