BOOK REVIEW: The Green Screen Handbook by Jeff Foster

PostTitle_header

My Experience With Keying

While I wouldn’t necessarily refer to myself is a “Green Screen Guru”, I have my share of experience with pulling color based keys. For me is started on a Grass Valley 200 switcher in the late 80’s with the little spinning knobs you used to select and finesse the color. I remember that little chirping sound it would make as you went from one limit to the other. Just thinking about that switcher really takes me back.

GVG200

In later years I worked with a Ultimatte 45 external hardware box that allowed you to pull great keys using a component signal. At the time it was a $35k box and the place I was working at would only rent it when we had a project that required it. Sometimes I would run it as part of a studio shoot to check keys as we went, but most of the time it was setup in the online suite I was in.

edit_1_2002

The difficult part about using this box was that the first few times I used it I only had a few short hours to actually learn the box. As soon as it showed up I would pull out the manual and start reading so that I could at least appear to the client that I knew what I was doing!

Ultimatte_45

Years later we have tools that are so much more powerful right on our computers, and they cost a small fraction of what the original Ultimatte did, or in some cases come free with editing and compositing software. FCP Studio has some ok keyers included, but Primatte inside of Motion is actually pretty good. And AfterEffects has KeyLight, which I find to be the best blue/green screen keyer out there for what I do. It’s rare that I can’t get a good key out of keylight regardless what I throw at it.

Read more

Recommended Reading: The Knack


For several years now I’ve made it a habit to read business periodicals as well as business books. As a business owner I feel it’s imperative to learn from those with more experience than myself, and I have to say I enjoy it more then I would have ever imagined. I keep up to date with Inc. Magazine and read between 4 and 10 business books a year. Some are good, some not so good, but I always seem to walk away with something of value.

It’s been quite some time since I was really excited about a business book, but I just finished reading one that I thought I would share. The book is called “The Knack:How Street-Smart Entrepreneurs Learn to Handle Whatever Comes Up“, and is written by Norm Brodsky, Bo Burlingham, both writers at Inc. Magazine.

Read more

Recommended Reading: Starting Your Own Business?

Ten years ago starting your own post production business was a pretty big undertaking. Just the initial investment in equipment alone could set you back over $100K for a very modest setup. Add to that the cost of office space, the build out, office furniture and equipment and business insurance, and it was out of reach for all but the most well funded entrepreneurs.

Read more

Recommended Reading: Starting Your Own Business?

Emyth Book CoverTen years ago starting your own post production business was a pretty big undertaking. Just the initial investment in equipment alone could set you back over $100K for a very modest setup. Add to that the cost of office space, the build out, office furniture and equipment and business insurance, and it was out of reach for all but the most well funded entrepreneurs.

But due to the progression in technology and the drastic drop in prices, nearly anybody can open a little boutique of their own. And in fact, more and more editors are opting to leave their full time job to pursue freelance editing, while also having their own system setup in an extra room or their basement. For many post houses, filling a senior editor job has become a difficult task, with so many of the talented editors deciding to make their own path.

Read more