Actually, Ultimatte by Blackmagic Design is an expensive keyer hardware for television & film, and it is my impression that the fact is hardly mentioned that there is a Photoshop plugin available that costs about $ 800.-. While this is only interesting for pros, there is a free demo version available for Windows & Mac. As I found out, the Windows version of this demo works with Photoshop CS2 under Ubuntu Linux.
Right now, after taking a look at a book on Gimp 2.10 at Wittwer bookstore, I vaguely remember that there is the possibility to run Photoshop plugins with the Gimp, and after a Google search I found this page. It seems to be possible to run Photoshop plugins by AKVIS with the Gimp. So, I’m wondering, should it be possible to install the Ultimatte plugin as well? Ultimatte would imho make Gimp much better. There is in fact a very simple chroma keyer included in the Gimp GAP package, but this keyer is not so good. Unlike Ultimatte, it doesn’t preserve shadows.
For quality-conscious people or people (like me) who are interested in visual fx & post-production, there is an online forum where one can ask questions about the handling of Ultimatte. I am really determined to find out how this amazing plugin works.
gThumb is “an image viewer and browser for the GNOME Desktop. It also includes an importer tool for transferring photos from cameras. gThumb is available for most Linux distributions, just do a search for gthumb in the package manager.” In addition, gThumb has limited, but effective image editing capabilities (see scrennshots above).
While working with both Photoshop CS2 & Gimp, I am able to compare the various features: Regarding the path tool: Photoshop has finer bézier curves & control points, whereas Gimp’s path tool is imho easier to handle. In Photoshop CS2 (I can’t say anything about the current version, Photoshop CC) correcting a misktake is more difficult. Navigating is better in Gimp. One doesn’t have to invoke the hand tool (panning the view) all the time. All in all I can say – and this is maybe a surprise – that I like working with the GImp more than working with Photoshop.
After writing my last entry “Quote of the day” I remembered reading about how Paul McCartney composed “Yesterday”. He described that, after waking up, he went to the piano, and “there it was, the whole thing. I just couldn’t believe it.” Things like that fascinate me. In his second book on near-death experiences, Raymond A. Moody mentions a “realm of knowledge” where all knowledge, past, present and future, is already “there”.
Meanwhile i’m still trying to figure out how to make the background of the photograph I’m working with right now transparent. I created a mask for the model, but how do I tell Ultimatte that the mask is there? In the manual, I couldn’t find this information, so far.
And regarding writing, I am making progress with my science fiction short story. I have now written some eight pages.
Did you ever try to remove regular noise from an image? Do you think this is impossible? You’re wrong. The key: So-called Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT). This can be done e. g. by using ImageMagick. According to the information on the ImageMagick website, it’s even possible to deblur an image. I have on particular image where I will try this, and I’m going to post the result here. Imho, ImageMagick is sort of a Swiss Army knife for graphics, and there are really amazing things one can do using it.
As I found out, working with Eclipse 3.1.4 is quite different from working with Photoshop or the Gimp. In Eclipse, each effect has to be rendered first. In the photo above, I colorized the image with a pink tinge. I haven’t found out yet what ShapeLayers are, nor have I worked with masks in Eclipse. At the moment, I want to concentrate more on Photoshop & the Gimp, and when I feel like it, I will finally start working with Eclipse. Too bad that it’s not available for download. My impression is that for compositing, this is really cool.