A New Calibration Process for a Homogeneous Cyclorama Illumination in Virtual TV Sets

Abstract: A virtual TV set combines actors and objects with computer-generated virtual environments in real time. Nowadays, this technology is widely used in television broadcasts and cinema productions. A virtual TV set consists of three main elements: the stage, the computer-system and the chroma-keyer. The stage is composed by a monochrome cyclorama (the background) in front of which actors and objects are located (the foreground). The computer-system generates the virtual elements that will form the virtual environment. The chroma-keyer combines the elements in the foreground with the computer-generated environments by erasing the monochrome background and insetting the synthetic elements using the chroma-keying technique. In order to ease the background removal, the cyclorama illumination must be diffuse and homogeneous, avoiding the hue differences that are introduced by shadows, shines and over-lighted areas. The analysis of this illumination is usually performed manually by an expert using a photometer which makes the process slow, tedious and dependent on the experience of the operator. In this paper, a new calibration process to check and improve the homogeneity of a cyclorama’s illumination by non-experts using a custom software which provides both visual information and statistical data, is presented. This calibration process segments a cyclorama image in regions with similar luminance and calculates the centroid of each of them. The statistical study of the variation in the size of the regions and the position of the centroids are the key tools used to determine the homogeneity of the cyclorama lighting.

keywords: chroma-keying, cyclorama, illumination, virtual TV set, mixed reality