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Bluescreen knockout software

Posted on 2000-05-05
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Last Modified: 2010-04-06
What programs are available that use "bluescreen" technology to knockout backgrounds? (eg. for clipping paths) I need it for getting rid of backgrounds in digital photographs.
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Question by:najjie
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by:weed
ID: 2783312
hehe this is one of those eternal quests that all graphic artists would give their left arm for. The problem is that a computer doesnt know what a "background" is or what a "foreground" is. As far as the computer is concerned its just a mass of pixels. The cheap method is to use photoshops channels to make a decent selection based on color, transparency, etc. In other words do it by hand. The expensive method is to use Corel's Knock Out. Its available at http://www.corel.com/corelknockout/index.htm ....Its the best, and probably the only utility out there that attempts to cut away backgrounds but you still have to tell it what is foreground and what is background. If only they made a utility that could read our minds and recognize backgrounds.
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by:najjie
ID: 2794380
Thanks a lot for your comments. :-)
We're actually looking for software that specifically uses bluescreen technology. We do already have Extensis Mask Pro, which is okay for general masking/clipping paths, but what we're looking for is a high end program that is designed especially for photographing on a blue background which is later dropped out. (We don't mind spending the money, if only we can find just what it is we're looking for)
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by:weed
ID: 2795142
There is no such thing as "Bluescreening" for a computer. A computer can bluescreen without the bluescreen. Thats what masking is all about. For TV or any video a bluescreen is necessary because there often isnt a computer involved in the process and cameras dont posess the ability to mask out noisy backgrounds. So really what youre asking is for a good masking tool which it sounds like you already have.
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Author Comment

by:najjie
ID: 2795455
Actually, there are.
There are programs such as Ultimatte (http://ultimatte.com/links.html) for bluescreen compositing, we're just trying to find out what our options are and hopefully pick up some pointers. We need something faster than standard masking.
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by:weed
ID: 2795471
Thats still only dealing with film or video. If youre shooting film and inputting that into the computer, then want to remove the bluescreen its just a matter of masking out the blue with standard Photoshop or After Effects filters. The same way you would mask out any information you didnt want to keep.
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Expert Comment

by:netbug
ID: 2796084
why don't you try making transparent gif's working with layers?
try it out.
bye!
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Author Comment

by:najjie
ID: 2796181
Not fast enough, and gifs are not a good format for photography.
thanks anyway
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GEM100 earned 600 total points
ID: 2797379
Go for ULTIMATTE, they are the best:

www.ultimatte.com
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by:GEM100
ID: 2797388
Oops, sorry, now I noticed you already mentioned that. But nevertheless, they are the best, if you use it, don't go for anything else.
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by:weed
ID: 2798386
Transparent gifs dont supply NEARLY enough levels of transparency for a photograph with a masked out background either. Najjie, your best bet for Photography is photoshop with some simple selection/masking tools. If youre shooting on a bluescreen you could write a simple Photoshop action to remove the blue background and replace it with your desired background.
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Author Comment

by:najjie
ID: 2798862
I've finally come to the same conclusion myself, Ultimatte is looking like the best choice for the job.
:-)
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by:GEM100
ID: 2801655
Well, ULTIMATTE is the industry standard for that. Yes, Photoshop can do it, but Photoshop is excellent for photography, not bluesceening or greenscreening. They don't specialize on that. Those with less budget can use Photoshop for those purposes, but those really concerened in efficiency and quality would only opt for ULTIMATTE. Weed, I'm sure you are good in graphics and photoshop, but you are not specializing on correct packages. It's same as using 3D Studio Max for building Mountains or Landscapes (you can do it), but using Bryce 4 (or Bryce 3d) is much better, as it is specializing in landscapes.
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by:weed
ID: 2802122
errrrr....Bryce 4 is about as low as it gets as far as modeling landscapes but thats a side issue. Photoshop can do exactly the same thing that Ultimatte does but without the glitzy interface and it takes a little photoshop know-how. You have fallen into the "Photoshop is only good for photography" myth. Yes Ultimatte is more effecient and takes less knowledge to use but for an image shot against a bluescreen it just doesnt get any easier to use photoshops masking and selection tools.
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Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 2802137
BTW Corels KnockOut and Ultimatte (i had mentioned KnockOut in the first proposed answer) are basically the same piece of software.
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