Rainer Heintzmann from Leibniz IPHT in Jena and Ryan Ketterer have been awarded the gold medal at the International Inventors‘ Fair iENA for their pioneering optical method for green screen technology. In the Microscopy research department, the team has developed a process that allows green screen videos to be created without annoying reflections and semi-transparent objects.

Rainer Heintzmann is a professor of microscopy at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, where Ryan Ketterer is a student. The award was presented to the team on December 12, 2023 in a ceremony at the Thuringian Patent Information Center PATON at Ilmenau University of Technology. PATON is in charge of Thuringia’s trade fair stand at the iENA in Nuremberg.

Green screen masking is used, for example, to make people appear in front of different backgrounds – be it a weather report in front of a map or the appearance of actors in virtual worlds. However, this often results in unwanted artifacts. Often you can still see a green shimmer as a reflection in the hair. Even in fully produced cinema blockbusters, a thin tuft of hair can disappear in some images due to the green screen technique and then reappear. In order to remove the resulting artifacts, complex post-production is currently required.

The optical method researched by Rainer Heintzmann and Ryan Ketterer solves this problem. Their confocal masking technique accurately captures reflections and semi-transparent objects, resulting in significantly improved quality and accuracy of green screen videos. The patent-pending approach offers the film and television industry as well as camera technology providers a promising new possibility: green screen technology without artifacts.

As an expert in modern microscopy methods, Rainer Heintzmann develops and optimizes light microscopy techniques at Leibniz IPHT to make biomedical mechanisms visible in the submicrometer range. With the help of these methods, structures and functions can be recognized and better understood at the cellular level. Together with Ryan Ketterer, Heintzmann has now successfully transferred his expertise in computer-aided image reconstruction methods to the field of film and television technology.

In the picture:

Prof. Dr. Rainer Heintzmann was awarded the iENA 2023 Gold Medal at TU Ilmenau on December 12.
Photo: Jens Dahlems/ PATON-PTH