Where Your Characters Come to Life

This book was made for you and me! part 1

Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of working on the new book trailer for America’s National Parks A Pop-Up Book. Being that this book is not only an award-winning book (a 2012 Gold IPPY) but also is intended to help raise money for the preservation of our national parks, I felt I needed to go above and beyond on this trailer to help separate it from the rest of the pop-up book trailers out there.

In researching other pop-up book trailers out there, one thing remained consistent among them all, the good and the bad; hands. All these disembodied hands moved about the frame, hiding details of the pop-ups and generally distracting the viewer. I decided this was the first thing that had to go – but how?

The obvious answer came from a recent conversation I had had with a film making colleague, and entailed the use of clear tape and spider-wire, or fishing line, to open all the pops during filming. But the next quandary was the background. That, however, was an easy decision. I would green screen it so I could use whatever background I wanted for any scene.

However, this proved a greater challenge than initially expected. The typical keying colors are chroma green or blue. Normally, one or the other is sufficiently up to the task. Unfortunately, that was not the case this time. Surprisingly, there is a lot of blue and green in nature – go figure. So the question was: what color can I use for my background that can be keyed out without depreciating the quality of the image.

Nature is full of color, and this book, with two-page pop-ups of 6 different national parks, is no exception. In the end, I settled for a hot pink background for keying out, which worked, for the most part. The trick with keying is that if any of what you are filming shares any colors similar to the background you are keying out, then they too will “disappear.”

That is where layering and cropping video layers came into play. I cropped an additional layer “beneath” the top, keyed out layer, then set it to track any movements of the top layer. This “filled out any transparent pixels, and made for a fully colored video image for the pop-ups.

The result: see for yourself. America’s National Parks A Pop-Up Book Trailer. And when you’ve finished, pop over to NationalParksPopup.com and find out how your purchase of this beautiful masterpiece can help to preserve our national parks!


One response

  1. Pingback: Bruce Foster Paper Engineering » America’s National Parks YouTube Video

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