US005986718A [ii] Patent Number: 5,986,718  Date of Patent: Nov. 16,1999
An image processing method and photobooth employing the method are disclosed which produce a composite image using a conventional chroma-key device. The subject in the photobooth is illuminated with low temperature light and is filmed before a backdrop of uniform saturated blue color to provide a foreground image to the chroma-key device. The chroma-key device compares the intensity of the blue color component for each pixel of the foreground image to a threshold intensity level and replaces those pixels of the foreground image that have a blue color component intensity greater than the threshold with a corresponding pixel of a pre-stored background image thereby producing a composite image. By illuminating the subject with low temperature light, the method decreases the intensity of most blue color components in the light reflected from the subject to a level below the threshold level used by the chroma-key device. The output color of the chroma-key device is preferably adjusted to correct for the color-shifting of the subject caused by the illumination with low temperature light. Further, the blue backdrop may be illuminated with a high temperature light to further saturate the blue color and enable the threshold intensity level of the chroma-key device to be increased thereby increasing the likelihood that the chroma-key device will be able to distinguish between the subject and the backdrop in the foreground image. Also disclosed is a photobooth having a separate processor for resetting the photobooth controller in the event it becomes hung-up. Additionally, a photobooth operating system is disclosed that enables an operator to readily add, delete, enable, disable, and update program routines for various user selectable picture-type options in the field without having to replace the photobooth.
64 Claims, 14 Drawing Sheets