Can a MacIntosh and $100 software program replace $60,000 in hardware?

Kukl, a video equipment rental company in Iceland was in the middle of shooting a scene with five leading actors and 20 extras, when their $60,000 dedicated Chroma Keyer failed. After several hours, Hreinn Beck, the technical director for Kukl, found a software program called Veescope Live which can perform the same functions as the Ultimatte Chroma Keyer for 1/600th of the price. Veescope Live saved the day and he was able finished the shoot using only the MacIntosh and the software.

Veescope Live works by using the powerful graphics processor unit or GPU that ships with all MacIntosh computers. These GPUs are capable of performing the same movie magic that is used to create films, such as, Star Wars, Spiderman, and Titanic. This magic is called Compositing. It allows an actor when filmed in front of a green or blue backdrop to appear to be dangling from the side of a building. A computer can replace the backdrop with the scene of a city scape, so it looks like the actor is now hundreds of feet in the air.

Until Veescope Live, it could take hours for the computer to composite a few seconds of film or video. Therefore, dedicated Compositing hardware devices called Chroma Keyers costing tens of thousands of dollars, were used to perform this task. Veescope Live, a $100 software program, can replace all of this expensive equipment and run on a MacIntosh computer costing as little as $600. Veescope Live can connect to everything from consumer DV camcorder using firewire to high-end digital cinema cameras using in-expensive video capture cards. Veescope Live composites the video instantly and displays the result on the MacIntosh.



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