DIY Chroma Key Testing
Today was productive after church. Granted I have felt crummy most of the day. I’m going to have to keep an eye on that with all the issues to tackle lately.
Some inspiration was taken from HAWP and we dove into testing rigging for filming with chroma key techniques. While I have gear with which to record things the thing I lack is enough space in which to do such recording.
The lack of space resulted in a trip to Dollar Tree to get supplies for some DIY creativity. Sure, we could have ordered a “green screen” from Amazon for less than twenty dollars. We have nowhere to put it in the house! With supplies in-hand we had to do some creative adaptation of my home office to make a filming space.
The initial filming space arrangement did not work too well. If I were filming a spoof of a supermarionation production like Joe 90 or Torchy then the set up was sufficient for a makeshift puppet stage. Since the project involves filming human beings that was not sufficient.
I have a wall festooned with green posterboard from Dollar Tree to create a suitable target for the chroma key filter in OBS Studio. The live action camera is just a simple web camera stashed in the middle of a ring light. Audio is a condenser microphone patched in via USB. Using a suitable capture off the DisplayPort to HDMI dongle I am taking the mirrored screen output of my old refurb Windows 10 laptop running LibreOffice Impress to provide a background to show in the “green screen” space. Recording using OBS is going to my M1 Pro MacBook Pro.
The last test run was mostly viewable although the test person in front of the screen wasn’t sufficiently visible. I have to either improve my chroma key settings or see what I can do to improve how they’re light. That shouldn’t be too difficult now that the harder tasks of getting a screen up and rearranging my home office are done.
Why do all this? I’ve been taking over a year looking at doing video production. I’ve shown we can use the Internet Archive as a hosting backend for a video podcast through the ELP Television site. That site’s coding is on GitHub while the work-in-progress data gathering scripts are on Launchpad.
This is highly resource-constrained. There is no funding. There is no space. Bootstrapping this in the current economic environment is gonna be complicated. It still needs to be done, though.