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Thread: Any software that can do this with my camera?

  1. #1

    Default Any software that can do this with my camera?

    I have recently purchased a camera (Canon EOS 550D) and a studio set up with lights and green screen etc. and would like to get started with filming.

    However what I would like is a program that can apply a chroma-key effect in real time.
    So I want to be able to view what the camera is seeing in real time and be able to take out the green screen and add a background.

    My budget is around 2 grand but the software needs to work with my camera, so any recommendations?

  2. #2


    There is a program that can do what you want, but like all chromakey use... lighting is very important and subject separation is critical.

    The software is by "Serious Magic" and it is called "Ultra".
    There may well be other software out there, but i have used "Ultra" and find it really good.
    Loads of commercially available backgrounds, but you can easily create your own.
    I use it on a laptop usually situated alongside the camera, you get the raw image and the output image on screen plus access to all the control filters.

    Good luck....

  3. #3


    Didn't Adobe buy out Serious Magic a few years ago? Do I remember right that it was them who also had the excellent "DV Rack" now "On Location".

    When I was a student we had a vision mixer in the studio with a harware keyer built in, it was analog and starting to show it's age at the time, but there was no messing around. Just light the screen well, make some adjustments and record. I can't recomend any hardware solutions as it's the only hardware keyer I ever used, but with a 2k budget I'd look into whether or not it would be a possibiltiy.


  4. #4


    Hi David,
    You are quite right about Serious Magic and Adobe.....

    i had totally forgot to mention that point, but it may be possible to find a used copy of the software.... something similar at a good price.

  5. #5


    My budget is 2000AUD, not GBP, so a hardware solution isn't within my price range :p

    I will look into Ultra since it's cheap if nothing else, it's just camera support I'm worried about.

    Thank you all very much for your help.

  6. #6


    Am I right in thinking you have HDMI but no firewire on your Canon?

    If so you may want to contact Matrox or Blackmagic Design, they both do relatively cheap HDMI capture hardware. I'm pretty sure that you'll need at least a hardware/software combination, and they're probably the best people to ask.


  7. #7


    Yea I have hdmi and USB capture, with a top of the range server-spec PC to back it up, so my hardware is capable I'm sure. I'm not after anything necessarily professional yet, this is just a hobby I'm just learning to keep me sane.

    I don't necessarily need any software to capture the film either, just so I can get a preview of what the film will look like and get positioning worked out. I'll probably just record straight from the camera onto SDXC and add effects in later. I do want to preview the effects in realtone though.

    Thank you for your help.

  8. #8


    If you just want to preview then it might not be so bad. But I'm sure your off track thinking your server spec PC is good enough hardware alone.

    I'm not after anything necessarily professional yet, this is just a hobby I'm just learning to keep me sane.
    I appreciate this but if you have a think about it, the big studios don't use really expensive hardware because they can, it's because it's what is needed to do the job. If they could do it on a software only solution then they would. TV/film producers are notoriosly tight and if it would work they would use it.

    The lower end HDMI capture cards from the two companies I mentioned above are kind of compromise cheap solutions that may not be considered by the larger pro setups. If there is a way to get them to talk to some compositing preview software they would possibly have some lag in your realtime preview. But you wont be able to do this through USB for sure and I'm assuming your pc doesn't have any form of HDMI capture available. And even if it does you still need to get it talking to some form of software, which you know already as your asking.

    If I was you I'd consider forgeting about realtime preview and just get it straight into after effects.


  9. #9


    Here's a thought for if you do decide to go ahead with this. I don't think serious magic ultra worked with HDMI inputs but ultra 2 definately worked with HDV.

    So maybe in combination with this HDMI to HDV converter you'd be able to plug your DSLR into your firewire port.

    Canopus ADVC HD50 - HDMI to HDV converter

    If it interests you I'd find out more about it first, but as it converts in realtime and needs no drivers/software I'm as close to certain as I can be that ultra 2 would tsee it as an HDV camcorder.


  10. #10


    Yeah my computer is in the personal supercomputer market - so it is more than capable. It has both hdmi and FireWire so that adapter will probably be a must if Ultra won't recognize through HDMI.

    It's a pity this is such a complex procedure, though, would have to ruin it for amateurs without money to burn. I thought this would be something a fair few people would do. Seems that lack of FireWire is a serious limitation of the camera, I didn't give it a second thought as I just wanted something to take vacation snaps easily.

    Well thank you Dave for your help, more research must be done it seems!

    I will give ultra a crack but I'm not so optimistic about it now.

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