While at Bluewater getting an iPhone checked out by Apple, Sophie and I spotted the Samsung Olympic Torch Experience. They have a green screen backdrop with a green support securely holding the official Olympic torch in place. Sophie wanted to do it but didn’t want to go first.

It would have made a nice reminder of the events coming to the UK but sadly the results fell far short of the expectations.  The young lady with the camera tried a second shot to get a lighter exposure of Sophie, but she wasn’t going to get a third.

As the late Professor Randy Pausch said in his last lecture, “When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody’s bothering to tell you anymore, that’s a very bad place to be. Your critics are the ones telling you they still love you and care.”   So I hope the team at Samsung see this as the constructive criticism it’s intended to be and others learn from it too. I still love Samsung for their awesome screen technology.

So how could they have done better?

With the cost of having staff on a stand at Bluewater the technology should have been given a little bit more thought.

  • Light the background so that no shadows are seen. Using only the light from an on camera flash wasn’t helping in this regard with the green screen so close to the subject. Shadows are an instant give away. Since they’d made an enclosure of sorts with three walls the side walls could have been deeper and the signs on the ends of the “U” used to hide tall softbox strobes.
  • Have the software compositing the images correct the exposure and contrast so that it’s less obvious that the subjects image has been added.
  • Have the kiosk software work with a low resolution image for sizing and position, but send the high res original ‘to the cloud’ for the final data crunching.  The pixelation in my image is yet another give away that something has been added to the original much clearer image.