Chroma Keying for Aperture

Apple’s Aperture 2.1 has some new features, which allows photographers to better edit their photos, and one such feature is chroma keying. This feature is so easy to use that even beginners will be able to quickly combine two images.

Step 1: Chroma Keying

Before anyone can use the tool, they need to know what it does. The chroma key tool allows the user to effectively combine two images. This is generally done either via blue or green screens. Somebody or an object will be placed in front of one of these screens.

As the image is recorded, another image will be superimposed behind it. This gives the appearance that the object is actually in front of this image as opposed to the blue or green screen. This effect is most often seen on weather reports. While the meteorologist appears to be standing in front a radar map, he or she is actually in front of a screen.

Step 2: Importance of Chroma Keying

Chroma keying is important since most photographs, especially of people, are taken in random places. And, items will show up in the background that are simply not needed or just not wanted.

Chroma keying allows photographers to delete unwanted item, or they can remove the background and move the main object into a better background. The background can also just be changed to a solid color that better matches the object or person.

Step 3: Using the Chroma Key in Aperture

The chroma key was added to Aperture’s new version via the dvGarage’s dpMatte plug-in. While chroma keying is most often associated with video, it can also be used for still photographs, and that is how this tool works.

With this tool, users can remove the background from a photo or just other unwanted items. This is done via the 8-point garbage matte. It will paint over any unwanted background images.

Step 4: Unspill Process

Once the background is removed, it should show up as green. If it shows up as purple, this could be problem, especially if the background is going to be replaced. This is often the case when items are removed from the background. But, this can be fixed using the unspill process.

This allows the user to adjust the color until it turns the appropriate green. Now, the background can be changed.

The background colors can be manipulated via amount sliders below the picture. The sliders include BG Blur, Black Point and White Point. These will adjust the color of the background even further.

Step 5: Using Composite Tools

Now that the background has been changed, the picture can be manipulated further using the compositing tools. The foreground image can be added to a different background. For example, if a picture of a dog was taken, and there were several objects in the background, the background can be removed, and the dog can now be placed in a park.

Further, the background of the image can be blurred to enhance the foreground object. This can be very useful for portraits, profile images or business cards.