"GreenScreen Made Easy" by Jeremy Hanke and Michele Yamazaki is a well written and easy to read small volume that offers a comprehensive treatment of this often misunderstood topic. The book is an excellent reference for any videographer using this technique (not just filmmakers), and much good background information about the technical aspects of shooting video is given.
We recently had the opportunity to use the tips and techniques in the Broadcast Center providing media services to conventions. We utilize a foam backed green screen with two back lights above the screen, softbox lights from both left and right and primary lighting from above in front. Cameras are Canon XL1 and GL2s, output over S-video, with keying done using a NewTek TriCaster Pro. This is a typical setup for budget filmmakers, high schools or colleges. The recommendations presented were relevant and helpful (especially regarding the lighting) and improved our keying, resulting in higher quality effects.
The chapters about building and lighting greenscreens economically are very useful for anyone working with limited budgets. In particular, the "Production Rules to Shoot By" are invaluable. The illustrations and examples complement the text and help to explain the concepts being discussed and practical examples are presented throughout the volume. The latter chapters in the book deal with third party plug-ins and using Adobe AfterEffects for compositing, as well as providing tips and troubleshooting recommendations.
At 158 pages, including many illustrations, 4 color photos and a comprehensive glossary, this book is packed with good information. I highly recommend it for any videographer interested in shooting video using keying techniques.
What is Chromakeying
To Buy or Build a Greenscreen
Popular Options For Purchasing a Greenscreen
Building Your Own Greenscreen
Getting Your Background Environments
Lighting Your Matte For Maximum Keying Simplicity
Camera Techniques For Clean Keys
Production Ideas For Creative Greenscreen Uses
Production Rules to Shoot By
Prepare Your Footage
Getting to Know Your Keyers
An Overview of Some Third Party Plug-ins
Mastering the Art of Keying
Making Your Composite Look Believable
Cool Tricks and Inspiration
The Sin City Conundrum
The Future of Low Budget Keying
Jeremy Hanke is the editor-in-chief of MicroFilmmaker Magazine. He founded MicroFilmmaker Magazine in 2005 to help low-budget ﬁlmmakers make better ﬁlms through traditional means like tips, articles, training tutorials, and reviews, but also by less common means like critiquing new films as they are created by both local and international ﬁlmmakers.
Michele Yamazaki is the VP of Marketing & Web Development Czarina for Toolfarm.com, a value-added reseller of plug-ins and software. She has demoed plug-ins for Apple, Boris FX, Red Giant, and other companies at NAB.
Available from Michael Wiese Productions. You can view the entire catalog at www.mwp.com.
Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 0.8 inches