Reverse bluescreen

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Reverse bluescreen is a special effects technique pioneered by John Dykstra for shooting the flying sequences in the film Firefox.

The model is painted with a phosphorus paint and photographed with strong lighting against a black background, then rephotographed with ultraviolet light. This turns the model from a light radiator to a light emitter. When photographed on special film, this creates the necessary male and female mattes.

The technique is useful for shooting dark, gleaming objects like fighter jets against a bright or white background like a blue sky or snow. It also picks up thin protrusions like tailfins and antenna that would normally disappear in traditional travelling matte.