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Key Filters

Key Filters

Key filters are used to remove backgrounds of elements, people, or objects to isolate these elements from their original backgrounds and composite them over a different or new background. An everyday example of a key is the one used in weather segments of newscasts.

The weatherman is not standing in front of a moving and ever-changing background. In reality, he is being shot in front of a green or blue screen most of the time. The sometimes-animated background of a storm front is supplied by an animated graphic from a computer system. To see what's behind him onscreen in the composite that viewers see at home, the weatherman watches this composite on monitors placed where he can see them. (Watch his eyes—it's sometimes a dead giveaway!) That's how he pinpoints certain things like the temperature of the area he is reporting on, even though his pointer is actually touching a green or blue screen.


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