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One of the most powerful techniques for small video studios is shooting in front of a green screen, and then “keying” out the background, so one can put any background one desires. As the classroom moves online, more and more of what a teacher does will involve video production, so at least some portion of educators are going to need to know how to do this.

(BTW, kids today grow up learning how to do this in their bedroom with their desktop and mobile devices and access to YouTube and, sometimes, pirated software.)

This allows low budget shoots to have a “set” that can be anywhere in the world, and in most cases, only require a modest fee to use footage, or the time to curate open source footage for appropriate backgrounds. The challenge is to make the “key” look seamless, and not to look like what it is…a fake. That’s where professional level software comes into play.

Like many aspects of media production it can seem simple on the surface, only to reveal a great deal of complexity below, for dealing with the “problem areas”. Much as with all powerful software apps, the complexity is often hidden in all the additional commands and drop down and popup menus. And that means a steep learning curve to accomplish  “professional results”.

Just for fun, or as a discouraging example, here’s the manual for Hawaiki Keyer 3, which is one of the best available plug in chromakeyers for Final Cut Pro X.

(which is what we use in our PSA studio. This YouTube tutorial actually is starting to make sense to Admin… but then they have to go and say at the end of the tutorial that there’s a zillion other “features” to know about that you can find out about in the manual.)

And perhaps one might point out, this is just one of many plugins for Final Cut Pro X which is already a swiss army knife warehouse full of video production tools on your computer.

Here’s the YouTube tutorial taking about 20 minutes, and here’s the manual, taking about 17 days…  =^)


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