A green-screen effect, or chroma keying, is nothing new. The technologywas first used in Hollywood as early as the 1930s, and is still used today in movies, sports broadcasting and, of course, weather shows. But its not reallyconsumer technology mainly because of the need for an actual green screen, a static camera and studio-quality lighting.
But being able to havea live video background behind you is cool especially if you can use it to createunique social content to share with your friends.
Meet Blin.gy, a new app thats figured out how to achieve a mobile green-screen effect without the need for a full studio environment.
Theres some background behind Blin.gy the team had previously builtChosen, an American Idol-style app where you could create and share short video clips showcasing your talents. The startup partnered withThe Ellen Show and gained some traction but it soon became apparent that theirkey demographic, teenagers, were more into apps likeMusical.ly,where music was the focus of the content they created.
So the team took a step back and went heads-down with the goal of buildinga tool to create content that would letyoung people express themselves in a way that hasnt been done before.
Essentially, they wanted to create a new type of content that would be unique to Blin.gy. Musical.ly has fast-motion videos with overlaid songs, Snapchat has filters and AR-style effects, Instagram has Boomerang you get the point.
Eventually, the team came up with the idea to put users inside a music video, using a mobile green-screen effect. And while youd think that with todays technologyit would be easy to just port old-school chroma keying to mobile, its actually more complicated than that.
The teams patent-pendingalgorithm (they wrote a white papergoing into more detail) essentially combines old-school chroma keying with new technologies, like object class detection, edge detection, color manipulation and other computer vision technologies. In short,they dynamically prioritize and combine these different techniques depending on the environment in which the video is being recorded.
So while a technology like Apples Photo Booth effect would be totally messed up the second you move your camera(and distort the background), Blin.gys tech allows you to use a non-stabilized camera that can actually be moving while you record the video.
Of course, computer vision technology isstill young (and limited by how powerful our phones are), so Blin.gy still recommends you do things like record your video in front of a plain background in order to achieve the most realistic result.
This meansnot all of the videos are perfect scrolling through the main feed shows videos on all ends of the spectrum some are great and look as if done in front of a real green screen, while in other videos the effect barely works.
But the startup explained that some of these videos are coming from lower-powered Android phones that dont have the processing power to fully support the effect. Theres also an instructional component the first time you use the app that shows you how to pick a good background and lighting, and by nature of having a young audience (most current users are teenagers), they dont always follow the directions, which results in sub-parvideos.
Right now the app features tens of thousands of music video clips to choose from all 15 seconds long. Eventually Blin.gy hopes to work with labels to get customized content designed for their app like a version of a music video where theres an empty spot next to Drake that a Blin.gy user can dance in. Theyve already experimented with this the app has a special editof Migos Bad and Boujee video that contains footage with open spaces and no jump cuts making it look more realistic when someone uses it as a background.
Source article viahttps://techcrunch.com