How Does it Work?

Still Have Questions? Check below for technical questions about Virtual Backgrounds

Technical Support

What is a Virtual Background System?

A Virtual Background System utilizes a special optical flash projector working with the photographer’s DSLR camera in conjunction with an incredibly reflective background screen, to enable the photographer to have infinite background variety.  Simply put, if you have a transparency of essentially anything, it may be used to create a background in real time.  The photographer sees both the subject and the background in the camera viewfinder before the  shutter is released.  The process is optical and instantaneous. It involves no computers.  There is no post processing as there is with green screen and Photoshop cutouts.  There is no additional cost.  When the image is captured it is done and can be shown to the customer immediately.  A background change requires nothing more than changing the background transparency, which takes only a few seconds.

How long does it take you to change a traditional muslin or canvas background? How long does it take to move the ” poly foam sets” around?  Where do you store all this stuff?  Does the outside weather ever limit your ability to do portraits? With the Virtual Background System, all of these are problems of the past. Your own creativity would only be limited by your creative imagination and your collection of background transparencies.  If you show the clients the collection of background slides and let them choose their own backgrounds, they now become involved in the making of their portrait…and that can lead too much higher enthusiasm and sales.


What are the major problems associated with using a Virtual Background System?

The only problem you might encounter, is your possible fear of something different.  If you have learned to shoot in a studio and can do good posing and basic lighting setups, then there are no real problems. The photographer does have to learn to integrate lighting, posing and background. Your judgment in creating the lighting is the most critical, along with choice of background, as well as the amount of illumination of used on the background.  With VB, the photographer has total background control.

In the past, there were some issues with the older machines, but today any problems that are encountered, arose primarily from misuse of the system. There are really no technical issues associated with a Virtual Background System that are any greater than that of using a professional camera with off camera lighting. The only restrictions are your imagination.

How much space do I need to use virtual backgrounds?

Great question!   A very small space is all that is needed.  If you have enough space to work without VB, you have enough space to work with VB.  The VB System can be set up in as little space as an 8 x 10 room.  A large studio space used to be the answer so that many backgrounds and/or props could be set up for variety purposes. This is not necessary with a VB system because the variety comes from the variety of background slides available.

If you have limited space, then the Virtual Background is made for you!  If you have a large space, then you can do even more exciting things with virtual backgrounds.

Are Virtual Background Systems portable?

Virtual Background Systems are very portable and can be used on location for schools, proms, church directories, special events, or to operate in a remote studio location. Rick Harding in San Antonio, a school and event photographer, has 8 VB systems that are used on location as well as in the studio.   It takes only minutes to set up the system.

Can Virtual Backgrounds be used to do school photography?

Absolutely. School photographers have been seeing their averages decrease each year for the past dozen years. They can turn that decline around if they institute innovation in how they do school photography and the very best way to do that is with the use of virtual backgrounds to generate customized backgrounds. It is even possible to use the student’s own school as a background…or their classroom. School photographers need to learn how to make their school photography more contemporary and more meaningful or their averages will continue to drop.  The use of virtual backgrounds helps the local photographer get contracts away from the national companies.

I’ve heard the virtual background projector requires all types of complex adjustments. Is this true?

Not at all!  There is an initial set up for mounting your camera on the quick release that is simple and takes a short time. In daily use, you will have adjustments such as background brightness, focus, proper position of client to the background, and posing. These are perfectly normal for any kind of photography.  The hardest thing about using virtual backgrounds is having good creative judgment…and that is as it should be.  VB allows the photographer to be maximally creative in ways they never thought possible.

Do I have to change my lighting to use a Virtual Background System?

Not necessarily.  The only place where you cannot put a light is directly behind the camera and therefore perpendicular to the screen.  Most photographers do not do that anyway, so you will probably continue to light just as you always have. However, with the virtual background system, you will probably want to be more creative with your lighting in order to match the lighting with the total scene you are creating. With this technology, there are very few restrictions on lighting.

Just how much control does the system give me over the background?

The system gives you total background control and choices of backgrounds

You have control of the background focus

You have control of the proportional size of the background

You have control of the position of the background

You have control of the brightness

You have control of the color

You have the responsibility, as the photographer, to control these adjustments correctly to create art for your clients

Can I capture my own background slides?

As stated earlier, of course you can.  Backgrounds can be any image that you capture with your camera and made into a slide, but better than that, you can use some textured objects along with a colored gel and have incredible abstract backgrounds. For example, a piece of textured semi obscure shower glass can create great backgrounds.  The only limit is your own imagination.  VB offers over 1,000 backgrounds but the most fun comes from capturing and using your own backgrounds…because they are all yours.  Your trips to capture backgrounds can even be tax deductible.
You might have a great location, like an elegant hotel or a grungy downtown building and you want to turn it into a background slide but there are problems with telephone poles, wires, etc. ….NO PROBLEM ….. retouch your image and then have the slide made.  Your backgrounds can be better than the real thing.  Using Virtual backgrounds is fun and easy to do giving you a lot of marketability.

Can I do full length photography with a Virtual Background System?

Absolutely!  There are several ways to create a floor for full length photography by using rugs, plants, props and such. Some photographers use a Plexiglas mirror as flooring for some very creative results.

Is the Virtual Background System process good enough to win top awards in print competitions?

Definitely yes. There are prints created with virtual backgrounds that have received the top scores in the country in national PPA competitions. And unless the maker of the prints discloses this information…nobody ever knows that the Virtual Background System was even used.

Someone told me I could shoot video through the virtual background system. Is this really possible?

Yes, video is definitely possible.  Most of the new DSLR cameras have both video and still capability.  With VB, you can have unlimited backgrounds for video and still photography.  There are actually many other applications for VB that we don’t have room to mention here.

Where can I get more information?

Call us and talk with a studio consultant. You can also talk with one of our field consultants’…virtual background users who want to help spread the good news. Review your basic needs with one of our consultants and they will help you choose the system that is right for your studio operation. A new DVD titled, Imagine The Possibilities, is available that presents a huge sampling of prints of all kinds submitted by system users from around the world. This DVD will undoubtedly amaze you because it represents everyday work created with the system by so many different photographers. We can also send you a wide variety of sample prints. The evidence is clear. It’s available for you to look at. Virtual Backgrounds is a smart investment.

Click Here for video on How Virtual Backgrounds works. Click Here for a comparison of Virtual Backgrounds VS Green Screen. Enjoy infinite background variety without leaving the studio, and without storage issues. It is possible with a virtual background projection systems coupled with your camera and your creative talent. The photographer simply inserts a transparency of any imaginable background into the projector. The background image is projected on to a special retro-reflective screen behind the subject. The screen is 1,000 times more reflective than an ordinary white background and can replace just about every other background. The photographer actually sees the background live in the camera’s viewfinder along with the subject, just as if they were working on location. The background image is flashed simultaneously with the studio strobes that are lighting the subject and the composite image can immediately be shown to the subject. There is no software, no computers, and no time consuming pasting in of backgrounds later. Any imaginable scene can be projected including indoor, outdoor, canvas, graphics, and much, much more. It is even possible for the photographer to create their own backgrounds of local importance such as your local sports fields, schools, churches, etc. [raw] [/raw]
Due to the extreme reflectivity of our projection screen, it is important to note that the background image being projected does not appear on the subject(s). A small amount of light from the projector yields a bright and saturated background yet it is not enough light to show on the subject’s skin or clothing. It's like MAGIC! Virtually any camera will fit on the background projector. The photographer has total control over the background including its relative proportional size, brightness, color, focus, and position behind the subject. With today’s sophisticated digital cameras, any amateur can go on location to shoot snaps that sometimes can look pretty good. However, only the professional photographer with a virtual background system can photograph a subject with a wide variety of different backgrounds without ever leaving the studio where the photographer has total control of all the elements, producing a wide range of images that generate substantial sales results. Even in today’s difficult times, it just makes good sense to use virtual backgrounds to make your clients go “wow”! A virtual background system is really an image enhancement system. It enables the photographer to be so much more creative and generate more variety for each client. More Variety=More Sales.

We call it Background Power!

Watch the video below to get a better feeling for exactly how Powerful the Background can be

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