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How to shoot touch screen interaction and screen replacement

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Jay Lloyd
How to shoot touch screen interaction and screen replacement
on Nov 7, 2014 at 4:07:01 pm

How would you shoot touch screen interaction and replacement? I have done a few of them(shoot and comp) but I still haven't found the perfect way to shoot this kind of thing. Can someone please shed some light on this?

I have tried shooting it with the screen turned off. The good thing is that it keeps the reflection on the screen. So when you do a screen replacement. You can just use "add" or "screen" to composite the insert. The downside is that when the actor is interacting with it, tapping or swiping, it is very difficult to get a good result with roto or luma key, even if you shoot with a fast shutter speed. The finger would have a black outline around it when you comp it over the bright insert.

Take a look at this video from Jawbone. They obviously shot it with the screen off and then roto or luma key the finger, which doesn't look good in my opinion.






I have also tried shooting it with the screen turned on and fill the screen with a green image. This seemed like a good idea until you tried to key it. It's not as easy as it seems. It gets worse if you are shooting with a DSLR, which is usually the case because people don't rent an Alexa for you to shoot some iPhone, due to chroma subsampling. Another problem is the interaction, if you show a solid green image on an iPhone, you can't really touch it. If you do, then menu bar is gonna show up and that would ruin your key. I am aware that there are apps specifically for this. But I haven't tried it yet.

Can anyone share their experience on this?


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Todd Terry
Re: How to shoot touch screen interaction and screen replacement
on Nov 7, 2014 at 4:48:02 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Nov 7, 2014 at 4:49:27 pm

We almost always do tablets and phones in exactly the same way, by covering the screens with green.

I've been meaning to buy some dummy iPads and iPhones (readily available on eBay or Amazon, and cheap) and paint the screens green just to keep on hand, but haven't done that.

In the past we have relied on cutting pieces of green paper and putting them on the screens. The last time though, I found this great very thin self-stick green foam at Michael's craft store. I cut it to size, and stuck it on. It was completely unremovable and ruined a few $30 screen protectors, but the ease of use totally made up for it... it was a good vibrant color, matte finish, worked really well. We have used devices to actually display a color screen before, which sometimes worked well depending on the situation. This last shoot though was an exterior, and there's no way the screens would have displayed in sunlight good enough for photography. The jpeg compression in this photo makes the screen look a bit mottled here, but in reality it was perfectly smooth and uniform and made for seamless and perfect comping and motion tracking...



I do like reflections... but I don't want the real reflections. They are uncontrollable, and don't always reflect what I want. We add our own reflections in post.

These following spots were all done with the stuck-on greenscreens, and reflections added later...

http://fantasticplastic.com/portfolio/news012.html
http://fantasticplastic.com/portfolio/news022.html

...except for that one car interior, in that case the tablet displayed a green screen since it would have been harder to light it well using the stuck-on screen.


Since there are a couple of ways of doing this, sometimes it's trial and error and one method will work better than another completely dependent on the situation.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Jay Lloyd
Re: How to shoot touch screen interaction and screen replacement
on Nov 12, 2014 at 10:00:27 am

Thanks Todd
I prefer the green screen approach simply because you can get a good enough result a lot quicker than rotoscoping.
But some people prefer to roto because they get to keep the contact light on the finger and don't need to deal with green spill.

I am still torn between the two.


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