How to Create a "Virtual Set" from a Photograph
Put your chromakeyed footage "inside" a photo, not just "on top" of it.
Have you ever wanted to have your actors appear in a particular location but couldn't get a set built in a 3D modeling program? And even if you did, did the result "look" like a 3D set and not reality?
Sometimes you just can't get permission or the approved time to shoot at a specific location, but you can get permission to take some quick photographs. Perhaps you have a scene in a museum or a library or in an aircraft. You can easily take appropriately composed still shots and turn them into a Virtual Set.
Being able to drop footage "into" and not just "on top" of a still photo that I've converted into a Virtual Set has been a real life saver. So I thought I'd share the technique with others that could benefit from it.
Also, there are a couple of things you should already be familiar with regardless of the software you are using. You should be familiar with using "layers" and you should be familiar with using "selection" tools. You don't need to be an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but you should know what these terms mean and how to access the tools that drive them.
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Frequently Asked Questions
I've been working with Photoshop since around version 5. I've also been using Adobe After Effects and Premiere and the rest of the Adobe Master Suite for many years. Although you really don't need these specific pieces of software to create a Virtual Set from a photograph. So I'll also explain how to do it with any generic photo and video editing software.
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