Live Picture

Ken's experience with Live Picture began when he saw Kai Krause demonstrate a program he saw in France that allowed "real-time" manipulation of huge image files. Live Picture also utilized layers, which were unknown in any other Macintosh application at the time. The only drawbacks were that it wasn't available, and that when it would be available, it would cost $3500.

A few months later, Ken found himself in the position of Live Picture's first techical support person for HSC software. These were exciting and optimistic times. Live Picture offered features unknown in other applications and utilized a technology called FITS which still are unequalled in any application in its ability to manipulate large files.

For those unfamiliar with such things, photographic images when digitized produce large files. While a 4"x5" file used for magazine output will be commonly 300dpi or less (a file size of under 7Mb), a 4"x5" file for photographic film output will commonly be scanned and output at resolution up to and above 2000 dpi (a file of over 200Mb). If you increase the image size to 8"x10", the file size can be larger than 500Mb. If you add multiple layers these files quickly become much larger.

Now, most people probably laugh and don't think they'll ever have to deal with such file sizes. Don't be so sure. The age of Digital Photography is just dawning, it is in its infancy. It is certainly not yet a mature industry. 4"x5" and 8"x10" negatives and transparancies are common products of traditional professional photography. The are also common products in the new world of digital imaging. Live Picture paved the way for manipulating and compositing such images.

Currently, Ken teaches Live Picture to individuals and Companies and also has worked as a consultant implementing Live Picture into a digital studio's workflow. He also does free-lance production work utilizing Live Picture and other software. At this time,almost all of Ken's Live Picture production work is done for a company called Lund Background Pictures, which is run by a gentleman by the name of Richard Lund. Richard uses an 8x10" camera to photograph elements for TV and movie backdrops which are then composited in Live Picture. That's where Ken comes in. He does most of this compositing under Richard's instruction.

The following is an example of such an image. It was done for MSNBC's new studios in Secaucus, NJ. The greatest challenge in compositing this image was removing the clutter from the foreground. Unfortunatly, when you remove foreground objects, you leave large unsightly holes in your image. This required quite a bit of work to replace these holes with meaningful imagery.

Place your cursor over the image and the unretouched version should be revealed.

MSNBC Secaucus

An image such as the one above contains over 200 layers and several gigs of images by the time the project is completed.