View Full Version : Keyers

06-07-2004, 01:23 PM
Who does lots of keying? (On behalf of a client, I've a few questions.)

Any recommendations for a really good add-on keyer, preferably for use within AE? The choices appear to be the new kid on the block -- UltraKey, and Ultimatte or PriMatte. The client wants as "low learning curve and top quality results" from DV-Cam footage (teehee).

He was kind of sold on UltraKey based on their promos, but I've seen a few people reporting niggles and its still pretty new so ...?

06-07-2004, 05:25 PM
Ultra Key does a pretty good job of keying DV footage and has a number of other compositing effects that provide pseudo virtual sets. Only problem is you have to bring the clips in and render via the Ultra Key software.

Ultimatte advantedge works as a plugin for Premiere, Photoshop and a number of other editors so you can work within your NLE if supported. I hear keys are about the same quality with it, but I can't confirm myself.

06-08-2004, 03:42 AM
Hi steve, I've tested ultimatte and primatte on AFX, I had the best results with primatte, you have like 8 step to do your keying, very user friendly, I love it.

Never tested ultra key.

06-08-2004, 05:45 AM
Thanks, guys - I've passed this all along :)

06-15-2004, 06:24 PM
My vote is for Ultra Key.

It's one of those "even eye" systems.
Even I can afford it,
even I can figure it out, and
even I can get amazing results from it!

We got it last fall and I now have both sets of virtual studios.
All the clients are blown away by it. You can drop out behind blowing, flowing hair, and drop out behind windows or glass objects, like through car windows.

And... I was told by someone on a users forum around Christmas, that the people who are doing SeriousMagic, used to be NewTek employees. At any rate they are eager to help and are easy to get along with.

If anyone knows for a fact that's true (or not) about past associatins with NewTek, and can verify it, I'd like to know.


06-16-2004, 10:45 AM
You can say yes to that. But then they went to Play Inc.
The ones I know of at Serious Magic were some of the best at Play. It's nice to see them doing well.
They have also created a GREAT tool called DV Rack. You can see it at,

06-16-2004, 01:44 PM
I'd still deny they worked at Newtek. Yes they did all work for Play so anything good they learned from being at Newtek was thoroughly corrupted. :D Still ultra key is pretty handy, I might even buy their virtual sets pack if I can get over my severe case of Snappa-trini-gizmo-globa-phobia.

07-06-2004, 07:13 AM

Did you check Mirage Keyer?

It's one of the best I had ever seen and integration with VT is amazing!

I use it with Reflecmedia backgrounds and I get incredible results even with standard DV camera

07-06-2004, 08:53 AM
Funny you should mention that - in the end, after the client tried out AE 6.5 and Primatte, I did wind up using Mirage's Advanced Keyer to do the job for them.

It was still pretty touch and go (lots of translucent blond hair with sunbstantial green spill from a badly overlit greenscreen, with a hotspot that was nearly white behind the head!) but the results were useable.

I've been reading a text about compositing and keying, and have learned more about the subject than I ever wanted to know. Having looked 'under the hood' I've come to appreciate that it's it's a miracle it ever works half-decently! Superficially, it seems a simple concept, but deeper down there are countless issues that with luck you never have to consider.

07-06-2004, 09:53 AM
What text did you read? I would want to read as much information as I can about ChromaKey!

I was using ChromaKey for years and all days I learn a new things.

If your customer has problems with blue or green spill You can talk about Reflecmedia products. With this kind of retroreflective background you don't get ANY spill and you get a even green or blue coloured background in seconds.

07-07-2004, 06:10 AM
Originally posted by madoka
What text did you read? Digital Compositing for Film and Video, by Steve Wright. IMHO, it's quite well written and informative.

07-12-2004, 01:25 AM
AdvantEdge from Ultimatte is probably the best add on for AE/DF/DFX/Premiere/PS.

Works wonderfully with DV footage as well... Goofy interface, but whatever.

Eric Pratt
07-23-2004, 09:45 PM
I started up a new chromakeying forum which seems appropriate to the discussion at forum.virtualsetworks.com (http://forum.virtualsetworks.com)
That I thought might help since it doesn't seem anyone has a forum for just chromakeying and virtual sets, it's just starting out so it could use some posts so don't hesitate to register, jump in, and post!

About the above post, I can only think of two people who worked at NewTek who work at Serious Magic, Mark Randall, and Stephan Bouchard. I only really worked with Stephan at Play (as technically I was in sales even if I never sold anything :) ) but despite that I can tell you Mark at least is a good egg for various reasons I won't go into here, for my opinion on Stephan you will need back copies of Trinitycentral :)

Mark also used to be a magician, actually received an award in Singapore for it, hence the name; Serious Magic.

And actually come to think of it I don't think Stephan worked at NewTek, I think he was the canadian dealer.

07-23-2004, 11:18 PM
I have to do some major photostitching later next week...
Does anyone have any tips of additional apps that I might want to look at?
the idea is that I am going to map the photos to a "cove" in Lightwave3d and emulate camera moves inside of it for later composite in DF.

I need to find something that will give me decent stitches fast as the BG plates are not super critical to the final shots.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions beyond "photoshop".

07-24-2004, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by djlithium
I have to do some major photostitching later next week...
Thanks in advance for any suggestions beyond "photoshop". Sorry, but I have a Photoshop comment... Did you know the latest version, PS CS, includes a photostitching plug-in that
makes the work almost automatic. I tested it and it worked well. I'm sure it is not as high-end as a stand alone stitching app
but it may be a good enough reason to upgrade if you haven't. CS also includes pixel aspect support for video.

07-24-2004, 05:39 PM
I am not a big fan of PSCS. which is why I said non-photoshop. But thats cool.