I’ve just been doing some research on getting a good green screen, which will be essential for a future project. Normally you’d be stuck between a rock (expensive and powerful professional solutions) and a hard place (cheap and nasty consumer software). Fortunately I’m pretty technical, which means I’m going for the third way: Blender, which is awesomely powerful and completely free…but an absolute bitch to learn. The interface design is entirely geared towards power-users and makes no compromises for newbies. I’ve been meaning to get to grips with it for years, but never had the time to tackle it. I still don’t really – but if I can get over the initial hurdle there’s a wealth of wonderful features I’ll be able to use. To begin with…the node-based compositor, which will let me generate multiple mattes and recombine them to create very specific keys for particular shots. I don’t trust one-button magic solutions, I’ll take the toolbox thanks.
I also discovered an excellent site selling green screen training DVDs: Hollywood Camerawork. Not only does their training look pretty exhaustive, they have a whole stack of test green screen shots for you to experiment on. In some ways they’re TOO good – I’d prefer to do my tests on less pristine footage, but I suppose I can always shoot my own BAD test shots 🙂