In the era of modern technology, television production has changed in several exciting ways. Many of these changes mean that studios now have the ability to save not only money on groups, but also have more flexibility and options when it comes to backgrounds they choose to use for different groups. While there are definitely some drawbacks to using virtual studio technology, the many advantages far outweigh what you might lose when it comes to this new wave of technology in TV production.
Technology essentials of virtual television studio
The core of virtual studio technology in TV recording is known as Chroma Key technology. This is the technique used to create two frames, or images, together by using a single color range removal from an image. Most of the colors used are either blue or green, and the common terms blue and white screens are at the heart of this technology in virtual studio.
This concept has been around for decades, and it is the most used for the first time in news and weather bulletins, where the news anchor or weatherman will be held in front of a blue screen and Chroma Key overlay with weather map or any related background in the studio, so that the viewer does not see the screen, but rather the merged images.
TV filming technology has changed forever
But these days, as computer technology and graphics advance, television studios head towards green and blue screens more easily to shoot any number of scenes in an attempt not only to save money, but also to increase their production options. By photographing actors in a group in front of these color screens, production staff can mix these sequences with changing backgrounds in order to capture and experience the best visual settings without having to photograph a number of different locations.
One of the major drawbacks of Chroma Key technology is that the ability to move cameras and zoom in and out is somewhat limited and needs to be carefully set before photographing a particular scene. By moving the camera, the director and cameraman change spatial signals, which can distort the image, when mixed with film.
However, a number of new methods have been developed to help combat this. One of these developments is the ability to effectively simulate lighting and shadows with computer-generated images, rather than relying solely on the lighting of the group itself.
The virtual studio, despite some minor annoyances that are overcome with more advanced technology, has a number of advantages it offers to the TV director and the crew. One of the best advantages is that studios can save a great deal of money on groups. Studios no longer have to build physical collections, and for those products that require a number of different combinations, or ever-changing combinations, this can be a huge advantage.
Virtual studio technology also allows production personnel to change the colors and textures of background scenes without re-photographing the scene. Also, if the director determines that the setting doesn't really work for the scene, he can change it at the touch of a button.
Another important feature of virtual studio technology is that even small groups can now look larger. In fact, a small studio can basically film anywhere in the world, allowing them to be able to compete with much larger and higher budget studios.
Virtual studio technology has continued to advance in important ways in recent years, and as technology and innovation continue to advance very quickly, television and movie studios will have more options available to them when they use Chroma Key technology.