Green screen: analog or digital?

looking to make a virtual background via a webcam (like behind myself for a built in cam, or outside of dj gear from 2nd cam).
do i need physical green screen materials, or is there some kind of feature or plugin that can provide this function? searched around and it seems like chroma mask with a real green screen is the way to go. zoom and photo booth make it look easy though, so maybe there’s a software based way to do this.

Maybe you could also try an Xbox Kinect sensor. It would allow you to detect a “player” (body) and then you can use that body shape as a mask for the virtual background or other FX. This way you wouldn’t need a background, but I think it depends on your physical setup, because you will need to place the sensor to see at least half the body to ‘lock-in’ and stay put. Here is the resource on the software that lets you do that:

There’s also a small KinectMask2Syphon app that was made for Millium but It should work with VDMX since it just outputs a syphon. ( And this one works simply on Depth rather than body tracking.

oh thanks, i did some digging on kinect and thought it is windows only.

There’s a few ways to do this, but in my opinion a green screen fabric (wrinkle resistant like spandex) is going to be your best bet. You can use depth sensing cameras, but you’ll have to do more than a simple chroma key filter. There’s also a software that boasts using any background with a screen grab, then subtracting you, but I heard from the users that there was a delay (expensive price tag) and it wasn’t all that good. A properly lit green screen (or blue screen) is easy and affordable these days. Heck they sell green screen backdrop kits for $20 on Amazon:

The VDMX Chroma Mask does a good job as long as you have proper lighting. I would say avoid the eBay and Amazon green screen kits and look for low cost LED ceiling lights. The ones I use are £12 each and work well for small controlled studio set ups. I use 2 for the green screen, 1 for a subject backlight and 2 for foreground key lights.

Note: one thing to watch with LED lights and lighting in general is flicker. To avoid this set your camera to manual and use a slow shutter speed. Also make sure the subject is not close to the green screen, leave at least a 1.5m gap between the subject and screen.

BTW the Chroma Mask FX is also really useful if you are having problems with stacked layers in a folder where you need the group to have a transparent background. In the group where you have multiple animated png images add a bottom layer of a solid green and then add a Chroma Mask to the group folder FX and set the key colour to the green of the groups bottom layer. This will create the transparency for the group. Sometimes this is quicker than juggling with composition mode issues when the group is set to overlay.