Ultimatte: Mixing Foreground and Background

Ultimatte is a chroma key video editing program that makes it possible to mix foreground and background images. This software is one of the most powerful plug-ins for aftereffects. Instead of switching back and forth between the images, Ultimatte combines them in the form of an additive mix. Both the background and the foreground are processed individually and then added together.

Benefits of Mixing

The main benefits of this complete mixing is that it is possible to process the foreground and background separately first. Therefore, if any color correction is needed, you can go in and process this individually. This means that if there is smoke, fog or other foreground element, this will not be lost when the 2 images are mixed.

Color Conformance

Ultimatte manages to make the foreground and background mix realistically because the program can match the color influence for the lighting as well as the background elements. ARGB gamma, RGB saturation, RGB level and RGB black can be completely programmed to automatically make the correct color adjustments so both areas match. This keeps everything perfectly tracked. The automatic tracking makes it easy to composite these 2 grounds.

Field Depth

Another important factor that is easy to use in Ultimatte is depth of field. If the background and foreground are both completely in focus, then this leaks very false and unrealistic. The background defocus does not need its own program. The software takes care of all of the issues that go along with determining how much to defocus, where to defocus and when to defocus.The defocus key input takes care of all the difficulties of defocus.Simply see the alpha channel to indicate where the software should not defocus.

Ultimate vs Chroma Key

Chroma keying uses an on/off process. With chroma keying, the software cannot look at both the background and the foreground at the same time. Chroma keying can only take in one or the other and will switch between each. Ultimatte can allow for a mix of the foreground and background by using what is known as a linear analog mixing process. The bluer and brighter the background, then the more the background will show up in the shot with the foreground. This allows for a shadow to form on the background as the actor in the foreground will cast a shadow which results in a darker blue on the blue screen.This darker blue of the shadow will have less of the background showing through. This helps create that realistic look that the foreground is actually in the digitally created scenario.

Starts with the Camera

The linear nature of the process makes it easy to create images that contain hair detail, smoke, water and shadows. The background is turned on so that it is proportional to the blue that is seen by the camera. So, ultimately the success of the mixing in post-production comes down to the skill of the person shooting with the camera and using the Ultimatte hardware. The light on the blue screen is also important, as there is no way to compensate for a blue screen that has been poorly lit.