It’s been a year or two since the release of Reflecmedia’s Chromatte and Chromaflex screens with their accompanying LiteRing technology, which means that it’s time to start discovering fun new uses—not that Chromaflex and LiteRing aren’t fun by themselves. I love any keying technology that lets me set up anywhere in five minutes, light my subject however I want without having to worry at all about spill on the screen, and lift a near-perfect key with a single pass. The “retro-reflective” process does have some undesirable artifacts (like a faint shadow outline where the subject obscures the LiteRing and some faint green fill in deep shadows), but it only takes a few experiments to find appropriate compensatory settings in Keylight, and Reflecmedia’s own Mattenee keying software is right on target.

It’s the strange and theatrical applications where the Reflecmedia gear really excels. Shadows, silhouettes, and negative shapes can be lifted without even lighting the subject. Because the retro-reflective process ensures that any green light incident on the screen reflects back in the same direction, the angle of screen to camera and screen movement are irrelevant, meaning tracking shots are easily accomplished simply by having someone move the screen along with the camera, eliminating the need for huge screens. Also, the LiteRing lights can be exploited for interesting effects by bringing subjects close enough to the ring to be lit by its LEDs.

Though not an incidental purchase from a cost standpoint, the flexibility of the Reflecmedia setup will ensure return on the investment.