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01-20-2009, 06:19 PM   #1
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Recommend Mac Image Editor for Chroma Key/Greenscreen Project

I need some advice. A company developing an application for the Mac has dumped a Chroma key project in my lap, which should be fun considering I haven't used a Mac in some years. Would rather not purchase the Mac version of Photoshop for this one project, nor switch back and forth between my PC and the Mac to edit and view images.

So, I'm looking for a good Photoshop alternative for the Mac. GIMP appears the most popular freeware/shareware alternative, followed by Pixelmator, Pixel Image Editor, and Photoline. Not sure if any of these will even handle the Chroma Key/Greenscreen process. Apple's Aperture (with dvGarage’s dpMatte plug-in) appears to be my best bet when it comes to commercial software.

Anything else I should be looking at, or any specific recommendations, advice, or warnings, regarding these programs? It would be especially nice to learn how the Chroma Key/Greenscreen process within any or all of these compare to that in Photoshop CS4. A good online tutorial would certainly help with that.

Thanks for your kind assistance and I'll certainly be looking forward to each reply with great interest.

stewart



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Last edited by stewart_photo; 01-23-2009 at 09:27 PM.
01-23-2009, 09:32 PM   #2
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Okay. Based on the zero responses, evidently very few do Chroma key work with a Mac. Thanks for considering my question nonetheless. I've pretty much decided on Aperture at this point, but will still keep an eye out for alternatives.

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01-24-2009, 12:14 AM   #3
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Not sure about the chroma key thing (I thought that was for video overlays?) - I'm not familiar with its use for stills.

But Aperture is what I use on the MacBook Pro - highly recommended and extremely capable. Many plugins now available too, directly into Aperture, via the right-click and Edit.

I also have the Mac version of Photoshop CS3, but find that I now hardly ever use it. My requirements are not those of a pro, but virtually everything that I need to do can be done within Aperture.

But you may still need to check about chroma-keying....
01-25-2009, 04:18 PM   #4
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That's for the input, Pete. A brand spanking new iMac is sitting on the desk opposite me and Aperture (ordered from the USA) is on it's way. So, unless Aperture seriously disappoints, the purchase choice is a done deal.

By the way, Chroma key works the same way with still images as with video - removes the green/blue/whatever single color background to allow any image to be placed behind the subject. Offers virtually unlimited background choices. The dvGarage dpMatte plug-in, mentioned in my first message, facilitates this greenscreen/bluescreen process within Aperture.

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01-25-2009, 08:58 PM   #5
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GraphicConverter is a PS alternative shareware app that you should look into. If PS has any Chroma Key/Greenscreen plugin, GraphicConverter can use them.
01-27-2009, 06:18 AM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestion, RollsUp. Used GraphicConverter years ago when it was truly just a converter and freeware. Interesting to see they've since expanded it to include editing capabilities and a purchase price. Regardless, if Aperture fails at the task, I'll definately look into GraphicConverter.

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01-28-2009, 03:03 AM   #7
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Good luck Stewart And thanks for the info that greenscreen techniques work on stills as well. Learn something new every day!

I might look into that plugin for Aperture, and have a play.
03-18-2009, 08:49 AM   #8
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Well, as a followup, I purchased an iMac, Aperture, and the dvGarage dpMatte plug-in, but that combination didn't work so well (the plug-in just didn't provide a fine enough selection). I then tried a few freeware and shareware options, including GIMP, Pixelmator, and GraphicConverter, again without entirely satisfactory results (and don't remember exactly why). In the end, I purchased another copy of Photoshop since that's what I'm most familiar with. The Mac version isn't exactly the same as the PC version, but it gets the job done quite nicely.

Of course, your mileage may vary concerning each of these software options. I was looking for a very specific result similar to what I get with Photoshop using my selections within the various tools, but you may be satisfied with something quite different. The dvGarage dpMatte plug-in, for example, does work and many seem satisfied with it. It just didn't work the way I wanted it to.

On another note, since my wife likes the Mac, she has pretty much taken over that iMac, and taken over editing the images on that (saving me time). At this point, we're mostly done with the project that started all this (assuming they don't change their mind yet again).

stewart

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