Chroma Keying for the Masses: Serious Magic Ultra


You will need a variety of backgrounds to keep your audience entertained, and the complete install gives you 2.5 GB worth of still pictures and animated backgrounds.

For stills, you can load in any JPG, GIF, or PNG file. For that extra "wow" factor, you can also use video for your backgrounds. If you think about it, who wants a still image of a sunset, when you can have video of the sun actually going down? Backgrounds are added to the project by dragging them into the Background pane.

Virtual Sets

Ultra has several Virtual Sets, which are animated backgrounds that incorporate camera zooms and pans. This lets you put your actor or actress into a talk show, library, or virtual news cast. This is the hidden power of Ultra, which levels the playing field for the amateur movie maker.

Some of the Virtual Sets have reflective floors, which will reflect an image of the actor/actress. Other sets have foreground elements such as a guard rail, which will appear to be in front of the actor in the final render.

If you get bored of the included Virtual Sets, you can purchase more with Serious Magic's Master Sets Library Volume 2. Other vendors have also started selling after-market virtual sets.

A And B Source Backgrounds

Many of the Virtual Sets have space for A and B sources, into which you can put separate video inputs. This allows you to layer stills and even more video into the project; think of it as "video inside video". For example, in our picture you can see that the virtual television is displaying the Pentagon seal. We could have easily had a TV program playing inside the virtual TV. If you are doing instructional or sales videos, the A and B source ability will be extremely valuable - you can advertise your product right inside the extra window.

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