Color Your Own Chromakey

I’m working on my presentation for NECC on things you can do with codeemmatthreatenscity.jpg and tinkered a little with the work of Cindy Lane, Jen Dorman, and others nicely noted in Matt Monjan’s blog. The trick is doing chromakey (the “weatherperson effect”) where a video clip can play inside another clip through a color that is “keyed out”. Final Cut Express and Adobe Premiere Elements can do this masterfully but for $50 or so. What if you could do itcityline.png in Windows MovieMaker? Turns out you can. You can also pick the color that gets keyed if you play with a little code–and by “play” I mean just cut and paste. You can create your own transitions in MovieMaker. One of these can replace the color of a clip and overlay it onto the preceding clip (details here). Turns out, the code that allows thisemmatthreatenscity2.jpg can be manipulated. By adding a line, you can specify the color that goes away. Below, the blue line is added to the trick Matt reported. The red is the color that is replaced. Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as typing in “yellow.” Computers don’t work that way. But you can find the code for the color you want and add it–that’s the red number, the HTML code. “000000” is code for black, so black disappears, letting you put a video of a student threatening, say a city, as in the images above. Or, have a student inserted into a DiscoveryEducationstreaming video or image. I like doing this with images. Below is the code that keys out black for the image above, which I believe came from the Ezedia iMovie chromakey plug-in (for Macs). Others here.

colorcodeeyedropper.png<TransitionsAndEffects Version=”1.0″>
<TransitionDLL guid=”{C5B19592-145E-11D3-9F04-006008039E37}” > <Transition name=”BlackChroma” iconid=”11″>
<Param name=”KeyType” value=”0″ />
<Param name=”RGB” value=”0x000000” />

To do this, you have to know the color you want replaced. Shazam! There are eyedropper-driven code identifiers on the web. You can cheat and eyedrop the colors to replace with HTML Color Picker from Blue Chillieshexcodewcircle.png then select colors from here , which gives you the number HTML number to paste into the code. I have now several new Transitions in MovieMaker. It is not perfect and, yup, Final Cut Express and Adobe Premiere Elements are better. But this is fun, and it’s free. Enjoy! And, remember, that you don’t have to master this, but what a great thing to toss to your kids to build on. The code behind what works. A very good thing for them to know. It was bicycle mechanics that figured out flight. A look behind the curtain can go a long way! See you at NECC for this and more arcane (and entertaining!) tricks for K-12! And stick around for the cell phone session. Mmm, what can streaming video, cell phones, and students have in common….:).

chromakeyoz2.pngNote: the images above are from the code for chromakey green, which I used to make my head (from a previous Google Earth post) float over DiscoveryEducationstreaming videos. The code is for green, not black. I build the slide in PowerPoint–truly cheap graphics!


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  1. Heather Blanton said:

    Thanks for the info. I look forward to seeing this at NECC> I have two green screens from my visual communicator kits (which I haven’t had great succes with. I never knew that Moviemaker had this ability. Again thanks for the great ideas!

  2. Willy said:

    Thanks for the tip! I am more of a Mac-Final Cut guy, but I will be going back to the classroom in a PC school. This will come in handy.

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