By Neil Bennett | on December 19, 2002
Price: £995 plus VAT
The Chromatte system from Reflecmedia is designed to make it easier for everyone to own their own chroma-keying facility – and the company has just added the ChromaFlex keying-screen-in-a-bag to its repertoire. Chromatte is a fabric that behaves like cats’ eyes in the road. It’s dark grey under ambient light, but is highly reflective under direct light. A LiteRing (a ring of green or blue LEDs) sits around the lens of your camcorder, the light from which is reflected by the fabric to create an instant blue or green screen. ChromaFlex is a two metre square (7-x-7 feet) piece of Chromatte surrounded by a frame that allows it to fold down into a bag no larger than a standard dinner-jacket carrying case. This makes it simple to transport and set up, as it can be held or just leaned against a wall. Take it out of the bag and it springs into shape – though putting it back in the case for the first time wasn’t an easy job. For the price, you get the ChromaFlex, a large or small ring (depending on the type of camera you have), plus a controller for the brightness of the ring LEDs. This is incredibly good value. The benefits of the Chromatte material are immediately apparent. You don’t need a dedicated space and, being reflective, it needs less lighting than conventional blue or green-screen paint. It even works in low-light conditions, though you have to be careful of creating a green or blue cast on your subjects. Our test results showed clear mattes, even in editing applications. The only downside is that a seven-foot square piece of fabric is actually quite small. It doesn’t give your subject a huge range of motion – and there certainly isn’t room for two subjects. However, for presenter-based set-ups or a quick reshoot, ChromaFlex can be ideal.