“Magreenta screen”?

I never particularly enjoyed keying anyway.

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What happened to the sand screen? Is it no longer a thing?


LED screens? AI tools? Man, how convoluted and how many things to go irreparably wrong. Should just go back to this, Mary poppins style sodium vapor lamps. Sodium vapor process - Wikipedia


It feels more like someone’s trying to find a use for all of the led volumes that are sitting around, empty, unbooked and collecting dust having eaten up no end of investment capital.


Have a pixel peeper inspect the quality of the skin tones.

So much work has gone into creating full spectrum LEDs (e.g. RGBACL wide gamut) because early generation LEDs didn’t produce pleasing skin colors. This technique may be a VFX person’s dream, but I find it hard to believe that it doesn’t impact skin tone when you don’t have the important green spectrum participate in the subsurface scattering of the skin structure.


It’s interesting though that they are suggesting it for a volumetric stage though, as itsn’t that counter intuitive to the reason you use a volumetric stage? Guess if you haven’t built your background in unity or if something breaks, you can resort to old fashioned keying.

I’m still surprised that ARRI never got their depth scanning to work for Alexa. That had this cool infrared (I think) send/receive system going to generate a depth map (which you could then key off). I’m guessing the results were never up to the standard needed? Does anyone know what became of that? The Lytro camera did the depth thing as well, but we all know how well their camera went. A depth map combined with a volumetric stage would be the ultimate combination I think, as then it would be easy to isolate things in 3D space.

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I wanted to say “Disney called and they want their sodium vapor technique back”

I can’t see this catching on when so much stuff that happens on the volumetric stage seems like real time. WYSIWYG.
Why would anyone want to be bathed in Magenta? Interesting tech all the same. Not so bad in 1933 when it was all black and white films. See the Dunning Process.

I think someone has already tried ultra violet (Widmere).


On one hand I think this is cool from a tech standpoint, but the reality is this is utterly useless as no DP is going to light this way. Maybe it works when Netflix demands the DP does this, but all that’ll do is scare away anyone who cares about nice lighting.

Very on brand for Netflix to sacrifice art for money.

Also, I have a reasonable hunch that if they shot the exact same shot with white fill light it would be damn easy to key.


Err, is it April 1st?


Agree this is BS. Paraphrasing from the thread:
Not exposing the actors to green spectrum is idiotic.
And if you’re already on a volume stage, why the fuck are you shooting green screen?


There’s a parallel thread over on CML for the same story. Interesting to see some of the camera world takes on it.


Starving skin tone of green light is a bad idea. Green, and possibly even more so cyan, are incredibly important parts of the spectrum for the proper rendition of skin.
Also, by lighting a person with only red and blue emitters other issues will undoubtedly come up due to lack of full spectrum lighting.
This is exactly the issue one encounters when using only the LED panels for lighting inside a volume, since the panels only have RGB emitters. We published an article in AC about this:
Color Fidelity in LED Volumes - The American Society of Cinematographers (en-US)

I had a similar issue on a project with the Muppets. Scooter has a very saturated yellow skin tone, and when we shot him on blue screen there was a magenta outline around him that was un-keyable. In our research on why this was the case, our VFX sup recreated it in photoshop with pure CG graphics and a slight bit of blur between the two. Turns out the vector between this yellow and blue runs right through magenta. ~ Craig Kief, ASC

On Supernova, along with a color pass, they were using clear UV paint on the models to photograph to light the entire silhouette blue with UV light, and red screen was chosen for the best separation from the blue. Should have made keying the models a snap.
The only issue is that there is a big gap between red and blue due to the different frequencies of light, and this resulted in a black outline on the edges of the models that was very hard to deal with.
This ‘new’ screen technique seems to be headed down that road.
Using AI for better edge detection seems like a much better use, however there are half a dozen solutions for this already, which wouldn’t generate these kinds of headlines.
I get it that R&D departments are supposed to break things, but this is like filming Titanic in a home made sub. ( Too soon?)
Filmmaking of all budget levels requires minimizing risk, but unfortunately, some hungry producer is going to go all in on it. I just feel sorry for the poor DP/colorist/vfx artists who will jeopardize their careers trying to make it work. ~ Rachel Garcia-Dunn


Talking about the “SandScreen”. I remember there was a video explaining how “it works”. Any idea where to find it?

@andy_dill knows all about it. He’s a huge fan. :slight_smile:

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It might be this: Why Dune Won Best VFX - YouTube

Roto. Lots and lots of roto.

The PR about it has a twee quote like “if you invert it, it becomes blue!” while ignoring that the entire plate is the same sand-color and thus would be about as easy to key as green on green.

I’m not saying the crew were fools for working in this way–the VFX on Dune are gorgeous–It’s the PR that reduces clever solutions by good people to “we have a new trick!” that drives me up the fucking wall.

Good VFX has two simple ingredients: time and good people. There are no magical tricks, no proprietary solutions, just good people given the time to do good work Any article that says otherwise is lying and being shitty to the workers.


We should make a T-Shirt with that :slight_smile:

It reminds me of a quote the Amazon finance team had printed on a banner and hung up in the office, that said “In God We Trust, Everyone Else Bring Data”.

Everyone would love to find the holy grail of short-cuts. But there really just aren’t any good short-cuts that come without compromises.

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