Blue Screen photography for firearms?


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Rembrandt
March 27, 2005, 08:21 PM
The movie industry uses "blue screen" technology for special effects....that's the technique of filming an object against a light blue screen which doesn't show up later when the object is superimposed over another background. I'd like to try this with some handgun photos....anyone know how to do this or is there another way to eliminate the all the background around the gun?

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wasrjoe
March 27, 2005, 08:46 PM
I'm sure the same effect is achievable - with some practice and "figuring out" - using Photoshop and good lighting. Photoshop allows one to select a color or range of colors and remove them. I have tried this before, but I couldn't get the lighting to not cast a shadow. Then again, I didn't try hard or for very long.

Preacherman
March 27, 2005, 08:50 PM
Hey, if I can get a "Sky Captain" effect and have Gwyneth Paltrow in the same photograph as my firearms (and I get to take the "shot"), I'm not complaining! :D

Standing Wolf
March 27, 2005, 08:57 PM
It's not remarkably difficult to knock out backgrounds in Photoshop, providing none of the colors in the background occur in the foreground.

I used to work with a fellow who meticulously drew clipping paths around everything, then faked dropped shadows.

I used brushes to erase the edges of backgrounds, then the color range function to select the remaining portions of backgrounds, and deleted them. My edges were just as crisp, and the process took about a third of the time. I'm averse to most dropped shadows, so I just skipped them.

P95Carry
March 27, 2005, 09:01 PM
Peter - you are definitely improving! Well - in general terms! :D

I use masking in various ways to pull something out of a pic ...... not PhotoShop per se but same idea. Often necessary tho to feather edges to avoid an unnaturally crisp outline.

Hkmp5sd
March 27, 2005, 10:40 PM
It is remarkably easy to do this with Photoshop no matter what your photo's background is. The more background noise present just takes a little longer to eliminate.

I went from this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/M16A1-M4-004.jpg

To this:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/M16A1.jpg

And finally to this in under 5 minutes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v495/Hkmp5sd/kylie-M4.jpg

Fly320s
March 27, 2005, 10:46 PM
Where did the rifle go? :what:

Jim K
March 27, 2005, 10:48 PM
Forget the damn rifle, send the girl. You don't even need an FFL.

Seriously, an old process is to use ground glass and underlight it with a diffused light or a reflector. A bit tricky to set up, but shadows are eliminated.

Jim

tension
March 27, 2005, 10:52 PM
Use the pen tool in Photoshop. Use the beizer curves function with the pen tool and work at about 300% magnification. Save your path then make it a clipping path. Don't delete the background in case you want to go back and re-do something. There are tutorials at adobe.com.

tension
March 27, 2005, 10:54 PM
Use the pen tool in Photoshop. Use the beizer curves function with the pen tool and work at about 300% magnification. Save your path then make it a clipping path. Highlight your path and make it a selection. Copy and paste into another background. Don't delete the background in case you want to go back and re-do something. There are tutorials at adobe.com.

tension
March 27, 2005, 10:57 PM
Sorry about the double post. Looks like I know more about Photoshop than forums.

Standing Wolf
March 27, 2005, 11:52 PM
Use the pen tool in Photoshop. Use the beizer curves function with the pen tool and work at about 300% magnification. Save your path then make it a clipping path. Don't delete the background in case you want to go back and re-do something.

It's much faster to use layers and brushes.

lwsimon
March 28, 2005, 12:10 AM
Using curves allows you to maintain the background. Eraser is faster, curves are more versatile. Each have their uses.

Justin
March 28, 2005, 01:32 AM
To be completely honest, going through the pains of setting up a bluescreen environment isn't really worth it for still photographs, unless you're trying to accomplish something really tricky. With a still, it's easy enough to cut the subject out from the background using any of the techniques that have already been listed here.

For video work I've used both blue and green backgrounds depending on the gear available at the time and what we were doing. Specific shades of blue and green are the most popular because they are the least likely to be present in skin tones. There is far more red/cyan in a photo of a person than blue or green.

If you decide to go the color key route, be sure to set up an environment where the gun is on a background color that is radically different than any color values in it. Be sure to light your background as evenly as possible, and try to minimize color spill by moving the subject as far away from the colored background as possible, and lighting it seperately. If you're planning on compositing the image of the gun into a different picture, you'll have to be sure that the camera angles and lens settings from both images are as close as humanly possible.

Then once you begin compositing the two images, that's when the fun begins. :)

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