If anybody wants to connect with their viewers deeply, creatively, and professionally, we think adding the green screen effect is a big deal. But gone are the days when we thought green screens are so expensive and were only used by professional film studios. You can shoot video anywhere by replacing the background with branded graphic, stock photo, or video element, instead of renting studio time or building a fancy one.
If played well, your videos can look pretty amazing using the right editing software, and affordable equipment. Remember to invest in time and money wisely because these are two keys to great keying. So, with a bit trial and error and the following tips you can start shooting green screen videos in no time.
What is Green Screen/ Chroma Key?
Technically and according to Wiki, Chroma key compositing, or chroma keying, is a special effects / post-production technique for compositing (layering) two images or video streams together based on colour hues (chroma range). The technique has been used heavily in many fields to remove a background from the subject of a photo or video. A colour range in the foreground footage is made transparent, allowing separately filmed background footage or a static image to be inserted into the scene.
The chroma keying technique is commonly used in video production and post-production. This technique is also referred to as color keying, colour-separation overlay, or by various terms for specific color-related variants such as green screen, and blue screen – chroma keying can be done with backgrounds of any color that are uniform and distinct, but green and blue backgrounds are more commonly used because they are not present in any human skin tones no matter the ethnicity.
Understanding Effects of Green Screen:
Green screen or blue screen shooting can be utilized to change the background of your film. This works by utilizing a one of a kind shading as the backdrop in the scene. Clever use of software, can help you isolate this colour and make it transparent. With the background completely transparent, it can then be supplanted effortlessly with a still picture or some other footage.
Green screen can be utilized to make something that would be extremely costly to create another way. It can record something that would some way or another be difficult to catch on film.
You can do a lot of cool things with it like- Walk on water, Go skydiving, make dinosaurs and a hundred fangirls chase you, drive a car 70s Bollywood style, open a passport size photo studio, go around the world in 80 shots.
But for low key stuff people use it for:
-To make special effects big productions like Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones or Spy Kids.
-Newscasts, weather, and headlines.
– A green suit can be used for making paranormal horror movies or doing this:
Things you’ll need:
Backdrop (necessary in this case)
You want either a green or blue background. Green is used more often than blue because blue eyes can actually key out, looking a bit strange. When you remove all the green or blue, the actor will show up just fine, as long as they aren’t wearing green or blue.
No matter what you use, paper, a painted wall, or fabric, you want a smooth appearance. So reflective paper or wrinkled cloth won’t do. You always want a smooth, even look for both, backdrop and lighting. Setting up a studio in your home could be as simple as investing in paint, painter’s lights, a camera, and a good video editing program.
Many creators’ favourite setup is a painted wall. Some have a sloped floor as well. it’s easy to set up on location when you use paper instead of cloth because it’s hard to keep it smooth.
Foam or portable green screens are some other great options. There’s also this Pro Key method which is effective but expensive. You use green reflections on a grey cloth. But for this, you will need another software. So it is not highly recommended for web videos.
To get started today, you just need a regular smartphone. But if really want to go for the professional camera, you want something that shoots HD quality video (720p or higher) and that saves out files in a format your green screen software can import.
Watching for any movement is one big challenge of green screening. You have to make sure your actor doesn’t move too broadly or outside of the backdrop. One hand goes out of the green and it’ll ruin your entire shoot. Then you’ll have to figure out how to fix a missing hand in editing, and it won’t be easy so be careful from the beginning. Have your actor move around before you start shooting, and make sure there aren’t going to be gestures outside the green screen background.
Lighting (optional, but recommended)
Proper lighting can make the green nice and smooth. Even the right editing software and a good camera can’t fix bad lighting. If you want your background to be of the same colour, then you need even lighting. It is much easier to edit(on any software) when you got your lighting is soft and even.
Use appropriate Background Lights, Key Lights, and Fill Lights:
Use 5 to 6 lights to set up a green screen on location.
Back Light: 2 or 3 lights are used to light the background. Light the background first and make sure the light is evenly distributed. Once the background is right, begin lighting the actor. First, add the backlight. It helps separate the actor from the background and lights her from behind. Place it overhead where it shines on the actor’s hair and shoulder. You can call it the Hair light. But be sure to diffuse the backlight so actor doesn’t look like a white soul sent from heaven.
Key light: That’s your main light because it is focused on the actor’s face and body. But this should also be diffused for a soft and even look.
Fill light: This goes on the actor too but it fills the opposite side of the actor. Together, key and fill help create a little contrast ad emphasis on the talent’s face. You can use a large diffuser like on the key light and an umbrella on the fill light or you may use softboxes. Because you don’t want the lighting to be dark green or light green, you want an even green.
Look out for Reflections and Hair colour:
Even if your lighting and background are great, blonde hair and thin hair can be challenging. Keying can be difficult because blonde is near yellow, which is near green. So you can use a magenta gel on your backlight for blondes. Magenta will neutralise the green because it’s the opposite colour on the colour wheel.
Other challenges include reflections. Watch for eyeglasses and reflective jewellery. Anything that sparkles or reflects will be hard to key. So get rid of those objects before you start shooting so that your post-production goes easy-breezy.
Look out for Shadows:
You don’t want your actor too close to the screen. You want to be 8 to 10 feet out from the green screen to avoid shadows. If shadows end you up with a darker-green screen, you might have to switch to some other chroma key to correct it.
Choose The Right Software. Final Cut Pro, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere and even I-Movie are all great for green screening.