Holy cow this is AWESOME! [Stargate Studios Virtual Backlot Reel]

I had no idea Green screening had gotten this good, although I guess I’m not surprised.

You might like this then.

Sorry, meant this (though they’re both good)

I rather liked this, which is ALL cgi.

I’m almost sorry I watched that. I feel like I did when I learned Santa Clause wasn’t real.

He isn’t?

Spoilers please for a dial-up primitive for whom youtube means a forty-minute wait.

I didn’t recognize the source for everything in the video, but for example, there’s a scene from Ugly Betty where she’s leaving a building, crossing a sidewalk, and running into a door. It was totally green screen. No building, no sidewalk, no door, just Betty in a room with green walls and floor.

Okay, the first was awesome. This one has me in rapt silence. They shoulda sent a poet.

The link consists of about four minutes of video from effects house Stargate Studios, showing before-and-after clips from various TV shows of scenes that rely heavily on green-screen effects and digitally-composited foreground/background elements. What I find most interesting is that most of the work was done for what most people would consider ‘ordinary’ urban scenes, in which a character is standing on a corner or crossing a street. I suppose there’s a significant cost savings by remaining in a studio rather than trucking actors and a lot of kit to a location.

I found the whole thing quite fascinating, but did notice that some scenes came off considerably more realistic than others. The scene from Ugly Betty mentioned by AuntiePam was indeed very slickly done. Same for a scene of Jack Bauer sitting on the Capitol steps. On the other hand, one involving some paramedics arriving on the scene of a ferryboat disaster (about 1:05 in) looks about as hokey as anything that in times past would have used miniatures or a matte painting, and the closing scene (camera spins around the asian guy from Heroes as he stands in the middle of Tokyo’s Ginza) really stuck out as obviously composited.

Not complaining, really; it can be rather fun to find the man behind the curtain in some of the shots. For example, the snowy cityscape about 2:37 in. The original shot has about 30 feet of intersection and street dressed with artificial snow, and shot under bright sunshine. The finished shot shows several blocks under snow, with the lighting now a dull overcast. During the shot, a character walks in from the left, and the technicians either forgot to, or couldn’t, remove his well-defined shadow. Granted, if you’re seeing the shot for the first time, it doesn’t stick out all that much, but there’s lots of that sort of thing in the linked video if one looks for it.