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remove-the-background video effect

remove the background from video
  [vote for,

I want a function on my video editor where I can remove the background and leave only the subject of the video.

Normally this is done using a greenscreen (also known as chroma key) where a person stands in front of a single color screen (usually green) which can then easily be removed (and then replaced) during editing. However this can only be done in a studio; I want to be able to do this effect with video/images taken at any location.

How to do this: a camera is set on a tripod and the background image is captured. Then the subject moves into the frame and video is taken.

Software is then used to subtract the initial image from the video. Or more accurately: any pixels that are identical in the initial image and video frame are removed.

Result: only the things that weren't in the initial shot remain.

Using this software a subject can be viewed without the distraction of a background (e.g. in sports coverage). It could also be used for special effects in the same way greenscreen is used. This could also be useful for still images.

It probably won't work as cleanly as greenscreen, but it'd still look pretty cool.

xaviergisz, Feb 14 2008


       It would be cool. I imagine you'd have problems if the background contained any movement (waving branches, passing cars), or if the camera weren't perfectly stable. But [+].
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 14 2008

       Baked. The webcam software that comes with OSX (predatory cat) has this. You get out of the way and start filming, then when you get back in shot you are overlaid on a beach with lapping waves, etc in real time. This doesn't work if you move the camera, although I'd have thought that should be fairly easy to implement as long as you were not near the edge of the frame.
marklar, Feb 14 2008

       Hawaii not?   

       Also, you could do it with moving shots with one of those computer-controlled camera rig things, but that would probably take away from the "images taken from any location" thing.
lostdog, Feb 14 2008

       //Just don't wear a Hawaiian shirt in Hawaii.//   

       Or Bermuda shorts in Bermuda.
theleopard, Feb 14 2008

       Panama Hat in Panama?
lostdog, Feb 14 2008

       factoid: Panama Hats are actually from Ecuador.
DrBob, Feb 14 2008

       Or Brylcreem in Greece.
marklar, Feb 14 2008

       I'm surprised no one has written a Final Cut Pro or Avid plug-in to do just this, but afaik no one has. It's probably because there's no mileage in the broadcast industry doing something that will never work perfectly. Glad to hear Apple have done the bodge.
wagster, Feb 14 2008

       And don't wear a bikini on Bikini.
zeno, Feb 15 2008


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