Ultimatte offers top-line keying solution


The Ultimatte keying system sits on display at the 2009 NAB Show. Photo: Dak Dillon/NewscastStudio

Virtual environments require more than just a clean key to be convincing, says J. David Hoffman of Brainstorm America, the company behind NBC’s virtual election night sets.

“To get a truly believable virtual environment you have to match color and lighting, said Hoffman.

That’s why Hoffman thinks Ultimatte is such a great solution, since its system boasts such a rich feature set that hones in to details other solutions miss to create a finely-rendered result. It’s on the higher end of the cost spectrum, but adds valuable tools to create visually-arresting effects.

For example, real-time shadows were visible when the models on hand during NAB Show walked across the floor. In addition, a real glass desk was displayed convincingly using the Ultimatte with realistic see-through rendering. The system was also able to handle the fine outlines of flowers with little glow or artifacts that one might expect to see.

Ultimatte also comes with the ability to have talent interact with virtual elements on multiple planes. For example, the models seated on the ProCyc bluescreen were able to be seated behind a virtual movable glass wall and then walk up to them and wave their hands in front of the wall. Meanwhile, the wall’s color and transparency levels could be adjusted instantly, creating a slew of interesting effects.

It’s all made possible by individual, isolated matte channels that are controlled via the software and rendered into the scene in real-time.