Streaming Media

Streaming Media on Facebook Streaming Media on Twitter Streaming Media on LinkedIn
 
Upcoming Industry Conferences
Streaming Media West [19-20 Nov 2019]
Esport & Sports Streaming Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
OTT Leadership Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
Video Engineering Summit [19-20 Nov 2019]
Live Streaming Summit [19 Nov 2019]
Streaming Media East [5-6 May 2020]
Past Conferences
Streaming Media East [7-8 May 2019]
Live Streaming Summit [7-8 May 2019]
OTT Leadership Summit [7-8 May 2019]
Video Engineering Summit [7-8 May 2019]
Content Delivery Summit [6 May 2019]
Streaming Forum [26 February 2019]

Review: Reflecmedia ChromaFlex for Easy Keying

An in-depth look at a portable Reflecmedia chromakey kit that combines a retro-reflective screen with a green-blue ringlight for versatile, quick-and-easy, reliable greenscreen setup and keying.

Lots of us have had to do some keying at one point or another. We’re familiar with the vibrant green color or the blue screen used to provide the keyable backgrounds that are replaced in editing.

Those of us who have to do background replacement a lot often have dedicated areas set up for keying work because having the green screen evenly lit, and carefully isolated from the foreground, is critically important to getting a clean key.

We may have some green fabric and spend considerable time draping it, making it flat and wrinkle-free, and pulling it taught with clamps and more. Then you add the side lights, top light, and work to make the background as even and bright as possible, without all that green light getting on your subject’s clothes, or in their hair. It works, thanks to quite a bit of setup and preparation for what might otherwise be a simple and straightforward shoot. But there’s a simpler alternative.

Chromatte

Reflecmedia has a unique product that uses millions of very small glass beads that act as reflectors to any light. Reflecmedia has created a fabric surface called Chromatte that can be hung, draped, and easily set up. It looks grey to the eye, but when you add a green or blue ringlight around the lens of the camera, the retro-reflective (bouncing light back to where it came from) nature of the glass beads make the entire backdrop appear as one perfectly lit greenscreen. Any wrinkles or bumps in the fabric vanish.

Part of Reflecmedia’s offerings are big drapes, but the company also sells smaller, portable kits called the ChromaFlex and the ChromaFlex EL. The ChromaFlex is a 2.1m / 7' square, and the ChromaFlex EL is a 1.4m / 4' square. These are built on self-supporting, collapsible rings that “pop” out like the fabric reflectors you’ve seen many times.

Reflecmedia ChromaFlex
The Chromaflex retro-reflective drapes

I requested one of these ChromaFlex kits to see how they work, and what I could do with them.

These kits include the LED ringlight, power, and mounting components, as well as a bag to carry it all. You can rest the Chromaflex on the wall, or hang it from a light stand with ease. The smaller EL unit, which is handy for head shots, can even be used on a table, the bottom 
track of a whiteboard, etc.

The ringlight can be green or blue, and Reflecmedia also offers a model that incorporates both green and blue LEDs and can be switched between colors in an instant to accommodate your situation.

Sony EX3 Reflecmedia ringlight
The Reflecmedia ringlight on the Sony EX3

The ring is powered by an adapter/controller that lets you switch (if you have the bi-color light) between colors and it adjusts the intensity of the LEDs so you can add only as much chroma color as you need, and not so much that the LEDs actually color your subject.

The controller can also be powered by a Sony Info-lithium-L-type battery. At any given controller setting, I found that the amount of light provided by the ringlight was lower when powered with a battery than when powered with the AC adapter.