Over-keys construction (1)

Here are the construction steps to filming our keyboard overhead – black surround, black under the player’s hands and arms. We use a Youtube jazz teacher’s channel as a reference; we could of course ask him how he did it, but we prefer to work it out !!

We didn’t yet know if he uses green screen and color keying technique, or simply a non-reflective deep black panel. Our first step is to make a two-sided black and a green panel which can be placed over the pull-out drawer below our midi keyboard. Color keying of the green screen hasn’t worked well for us in this application, the lighting is rather critical. And the spray-painted mat black still reflects some light (see video further down).

Then, which camera to use, and how to mount it?

Our GoPro was favorite (light weight, full remote control via the i-phone app) – but it has a wide angle lens which produces a curved image of the keyboard, even on its “narrow” setting.

So next up is a little-used Sony Cyber-shot which seems perfect for the job.
The Sony is larger and a bit heavier and has no remote control. Fixing it will be a decision between using its threaded tripod support but not being able to use the charging/data cable permanently connected – they are right next to each other.DSC05376

Temporarily, for initial tests, we have the Sony fixed to a microphone stand – this gives the height and position  (168 cm above floor; approx 110 cm above keyboard table level). The video shows the results – starting with the bare footage and then moving and cropping to provide the final “look”.

Next we devise a decent and permanent support for it which can hold also lighting. That will be our next technical post.
In the meantime, we need to re-think the “blackness” under the player’s arms — so we investigate materials and positions, here is the video:

The solution turns out to be simple – black cloth bought from IKEA. The next video shows how we fixed it and the result.

Go here to return to the actual filming results updates.