The Amazing 3×5 Notecard X-Ray Machine (Free!)

brain-17.pngThis is a fun one.  It is the “ChromaKeyYou’veGottaHaveHeart” effect, but think of it as an X-Ray machine.  It turns a 3×5 notebook card into an “X-Ray” machine that sees inside the human body— with a few video tricks.  Remember the X-Ray Glasses ad from kids’ magazines? It’s that!  For this, you need: A) Videos of the inside of the human body–notably editable clips from DiscoveryEducationStreaming  B)Editing software (Premiere Elements, Final Cut Express, img_3611.JPGQuickTimePro)  C) A Mac running Leopard  D) a colored 3×5 notebook card or PostIts.      How To:  I edited together clips of the heart and brain in Premiere Elements.  I shrank them, then floated them about where they would be in the body.  I exported the “HeartBrain” video as a QuickTime movie, then moved them to my Mac on a flash drive.  Once you have your edited movie, Open Photo Booth (works in iChat, too), then selected View > Video Effects. On the last effects panel,  you can drag QuickTime files into the video background.  I dragged the HeartBrain video into the panel. When the program tells you to Please Step Out of Frame, don’t.  Instead, hold the colored index card up to fill the screen.  The program makes this card teffects-box.pnghe invisible (chromakey) color.   Then, when you pull the card back, you are in the frame.  When you hold the card over your heart, it shows a beating heart ‘inside’ your chest.  Hold the card up to your forehead, and the brain shows through.  I included the video below, so you can download it and try it yourself.  Two important tips:  1)  Turn down the brightness of the screen a lot before you get the ‘Step out of Frame’ command.  The brightness throws off the color.  After you see “Background Detected”, you canimg_3616.JPG turn the brightness backup.  2) Use View > Reset Effect until you’re satisfied with the color. 3)If you use iChat, the program flips the background in a mirror reflection. If you want the heart on the left side, you have to put on the right side when you make the background video.  You can record the movie in Photo Booth.  Voila!  A magical, heart.pngmedical, video.  Try it with other things:  The face of a historic figure, or artist, replacing yours.  Inner animal faces, etc.  Note:  You can do this in Premiere Elements on a PC, but not live.    This chromakey effect works really well with the curriculum-based image library and video collection in Discovery Education Streaming.  ‘Nuff said!   Send me your clips!  Note on the clip below.  I made it for iChat, so the heart is on the wrong side for Photo Booth–but you get the idea.   🙂

Download the HeartBrain background QuickTime movie.


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  1. Hall Davidson said:

    Jannita – I did it on an airplane. Why not make your own inflight movies? 🙂 (Glad you liked it. For you, a picture of the kiddo where the heart would be.)

  2. R. Hoffman said:

    This seems like a very simple process. I will introduce my students to this in their video production course!

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