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Don't have a Window as your Background!!

Last Updated: Oct 16, 2018 05:33PM CDT

Making the most of the Magic of Personify: The Two Most Important Variables

To get the best use of Personify there are two things to always take into account: Lighting and Background. Showing is always better than telling, so I took a few screenshots. 

​In this first example, you see that my Persona doesn’t look very good. It looks ok, even though I am literally doing everything wrong, but good is not acceptable when great is always possible. Let me explain…

As with any video technology, you can’t use Personify in the dark. The beauty of Personify is that you don’t need super expensive, studio-quality lighting to have a top notch experience. What you do need is some uniform overhead lighting, like that from a standard conference room. If you are in a dimly lit room then being lit from the front is the answer. Any small desk lamp is more than enough to do the trick. And the last thing with lighting is that you don’t want too much sunlight. This is because the infrared from the sun interferes with the infrared from the camera. When you get lighting right, user extraction looks far better, like this:



​The other thing I am doing wrong in the first set, which I correct in the second, is my background. You don’t want a window, or a mirror directly behind you because that stresses the sophisticated depth calculations and number crunching that Personify is doing in the app. You want to be wearing something that contrasts to your background, like my blue sweatshirt against a white wall.

Here is a Personigram (aka a recording using Personify; for more on Personigrams see this topic in the Knowledge Base) I made that explains the background variable in a few frames:




If you can learn to work with those two variables, you will take care of literally 99.9% of any quality issues associated with extracting your persona with Personify. Getting the lighting and the background right really is the Nuts and Bolts of making high quality content with Personify.


And the further beauty of Personify is our patented UserGain Control. Basically, at a high level, gain control is meant to smooth out the extreme colors and light in a given live video feed. But, if you don’t have a background, then the extreme colors/lighting in the background shouldn’t affect how you look in the video. However, this isn’t possible with 2D Cameras. With 3D Camera technologies like Intel’s RealSense and Personify, the nature of your background matters less than it did previously. We can algorithmically make your persona look great, regardless of background; though it certainly still helps to follow the best practices outlined above.
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