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Thread: Guys, a question re reflections and virtual desks

  1. #1
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    Guys, a question re reflections and virtual desks

    I am asking this question because I do not have a tricaster to check out the included virtual sets....so, please be patient with me. I am about to pull the purchase plug and take the plunge.

    I would like to do a virtual set which had one or two person(s) sitting at a green screen desk with a computer and coffee cup etc. I want the talent to be able to rest his or her arms on the virtual desk with reflections realistic blurring etc.

    I have looked for detailed visuals of all of the virtual sets included to verify that at least one of the virtual sets permits this. My search produced three 404 pages so i have not been able to find detailed photographs.

    Can you tell me if such a set is included and what its name is. I will then find it and make sure it works for what i will need to do.

    Thank you

    I appreciate your help as this is a confusing and powerful tool. Yes, I went to film school but they actually cut negatives back then!!!!

    Rob

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    Hi Rob,

    the "Demo Studio" works with reflection on the desk.

    Best wishes
    rabbit

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    thank you very much

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    Registered User Stream's Avatar
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    But it's not a blurred reflection, just so you know.

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    Just to be clear - in a TriCaster Virtual Set, the keyed "talent" layer is a FLAT plane located BEHIND the virtual desk layer. The talent's arms will not be able to be rested on the virtual desk and items on a green painted desk (in talent layer) are not going to appear to be sitting on the virtual desk. Rather, use a REAL DESK and remove virtual desk from the virtual set (requires VSE software to modify existing sets) if you need laptop or other props in the scene.

    Also, the "reflections" seen on the shiny marble desktops in some virtual sets are created by taking the talent layer and adding transparency, then flipping transparent talent layer and overlaying it onto the virtual desk layer (this is built into the set design). These reflections are from the flat layer behind the desk, and if the talent sticks their arms straight out ahead, the bottoms of their arms are not going to reflect off of desktop below, that would be a 3D space and we are working with a 2D talent image behind desk.

    Think of it this way - are you familiar with using Photoshop? So you have a picture of a person, and their arms are out in front of them. You then add a cutout image of a desk (alpha background) onto a higher layer than the talent. If you move the desk up to where the arms are, they get covered. If you wanted the arms on top of the desk (and talent body behind) you would have to cut/copy the arms off background layer, and paste them onto layer above the desk to have them appear on top of desk. Virtual Set works the same way.

    There are no real shadows from talent. Some sets that are standing sets may have a dark shaded area around where the feet are supposed to go which help pull off the effect to some degree so talent does not appear to be floating above the floor. But do not mistake that for real shadows - these are not generated from the talent and do not move with the talent.

    So, the Virtual Sets in TriCaster can look very very nice, but don't confuse them with a $100k dedicated system with motion tracking and realtime shadows and such.

    I will add that with AE, you get the "Parallax" option in Virtual Sets. This means the talent layer - or could be a graphic overlay, whatever - can have a placement in space such that when zooming in/out of set, or moving left/right/up/down then the perspective of talent layer in relation to background and other layers changes dynamically to project a sense of depth to the scene, very cool option to use! Still dealing with a 2D talent though, if they stick their arms out in front of them they have the same depth as the rest of the body. Hope this makes sense.

    EDIT: have just added an image from the VSE setup software, which shows the "A" layer placeholder graphic behind the desk, with a "reflection" on the desktop. The reflection is realtime and will react to movements of talent video in "A" layer. But again, talent cannot "reach out" from their two-dimensional world and put a hand on top of the desk surface.



    Thanks

    JeffClick image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by JPulera; 03-08-2017 at 02:03 PM.

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    Another picture, showing actual reflection. Just using a still image as "A" layer. You can see reflection is flipped. If "A" layer is a person, reflection updates live as they move.Click image for larger version. 

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    Jeff

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    LiveSet Making Machine joseburgos's Avatar
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    Jeff, great explanation!

    I'll add I have many people that use a foldout table for host to rest say a laptop and to the viewer, using built-in sets, looks like a two layer desk which is a look that is seen in broadcast television (two level des).

    I'll also make a small plug that i do in person and remote training if you are interested

    Take care
    Jose Burgos
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    Jose,

    Thanks for bringing up the lower desk option - was aware of this method and totally neglected to include it in the conversation! Too caught up in desk reflections I guess.

    Jeff

  9. #9
    I make things Eric Pratt's Avatar
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    If you are wanting to rest your arms and props on the desk like some of our customers do you will need to put the desk layer behind the talent layer and use a green desk that precisely matches the shape of the desk in the virtual set. It takes some trial and error to get it right. For reflection I've seen people use plexiglass over green screen with mixed results, it can be tough to get a good key where your body parts are touching the desk.
    Eric Pratt
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  10. #10
    Virtualsets.com Tim H.'s Avatar
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    Exclamation Live Virtual Set Shadows in TriCaster - Virtualsets.com

    Quote Originally Posted by JPulera View Post
    Just to be clear - in a TriCaster Virtual Set, the keyed "talent" layer is a FLAT plane located BEHIND the virtual desk layer.

    There are no real shadows from talent. Some sets that are standing sets may have a dark shaded area around where the feet are supposed to go which help pull off the effect to some degree so talent does not appear to be floating above the floor. But do not mistake that for real shadows - these are not generated from the talent and do not move with the talent.
    Jeff's explanation about how the VSE layering works was very good.

    Our virtual set designs do have live shadow capability with current model TriCasters. We also have distorted shadows (and reflections) that warp around virtual objects. Not wasteful of TriCaster resources by copying the camera input to multiple virtual sources, no proc amp tricks, just using the regular, unmodified camera input. Will work on a TriCaster Mini with the standard software.

    See some screen grabs here: http://virtualsets.com/new/news.html

    I need to post some video (with green screen to show that we aren't doing any in-camera tricks with real objects painted green). Hopefully I can find some time to post the video clips relatively soon.

    Sincerely,
    Tim Hedegaard
    Virtualsets.com, Inc.
    NewTek Authorized Reseller
    NewTek Developer Partner - Customized LiveSets for HD-series TriCasters

    www.virtualsets.com
    newtek@virtualsets.com

    (323) 512-1542 office
    or call toll-free: 1-855-TRICAST

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