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3 Fun Facts About Chroma Keying

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Montreal Bell Center, Montreal Canadiens official photo session
The Official Photo Session With the MTL Canadiens
May 25, 2018
 

How much do you really know about chroma keying?

The use of green screen technology is an essential tool for every photographer out there. Here are 3 fun facts you can use to impress people around the office...

# 1

Which movie was the first to win an Academy Award for Best Special Effects while using chroma key technologies?

The Thief of Bagdad, shot in 1940, was the first movie to use a proper blue screen process to create a traveling matte for a scene featuring a genie escaping from a bottle. This technique won Lawrence W. Butler an Academy Award for Best Special Effects in 1941.

 
 
Man dressed in green suit presenting an Academy Award
Ben Stiller, in green suit, presented an Oscar to the visual effects team from "King Kong," which won three technical awards.
 
 

# 2

Which technological advance in cameras led to the rapid growth of chroma keying?

Digital cameras led to the rapid growth of chroma keying due to the way they encode red, green and blue intensity levels into 3 simple numbers. Chroma keying is then achieved through simple numerical comparison.

 
 
Photographer Natasha Rousseau taking a picture
 
 

# 3

Which industry propelled green screens into the mainstream?

Blue screens have been used in the film industry for a long time, but it’s the news channels who propelled green screens into the mainstream. Struggling with extracting their newscasters’ blue suits and dresses, they realized they could obtain a better extraction with less effort by using a green screen. The practice eventually transferred to the industries of film and photography.

 
 
Green Screen fail - Weather board shows through weather woman's dress
 
 

So, there you have it. You can consider yourself slightly wiser today. Stay tuned for our next fun facts post to learn more!