03 Nov DIY Green Screen
Do-It-Yourself Chroma-Key Green Screen
We love chroma-key and making the impossible possible at VMP. We regularly film on green screen and for a variety of reasons. This month we have green screened presenters for web walk-ons, microwaves for television commercials and hands for whiteboard animation sequences and with post effects, the budget is only limit on what we can do.
What is it and why should I bother?
Green screen is when you replace the background of a video with a digital background. For instance, if I wanted to make a video in the African Sahara but couldn’t afford to actually go to Africa, I could buy some stock footage of Africa for my background, then green screen myself running with the Antelope. Green screen is commonly used in our corporate and e-learning productions for integrating a human presenter with presentation slides, animated elements and so on.
Green screen allows you to create incredible shots without having to actually create the scene in real life – but it does take some post-production time and knowledge.
Fun Fact! One reason Green Screen is more popular than blue screen is that people with very dark skin tones may have blue pigment present.
So what is required?
With the backdrop, you can get away with a tight piece of cloth that is a colour not matched to any of your clothing, skin tone or eyes. But the colour does require a high chroma colour and even lighting. These days there are decent Chroma key green panels available on eBay or amazon.com.
Yes, you’ll need software for green screen post effects and there are a lot of options in this area. Here at VMP, we use Adobe After Effects and there are lots of plug-ins to tweak things. There are heaps of video tutorials available online so take a few minutes and get familiar.
You want something that shoots HD quality video that saves files in a format your green screen software can import. This means you can sometimes get away with using a smartphone (woo hoo!) but we will always recommend something with a professional lens to enhance the image.
Some people say this is optional, and you can get away without it. However, if you don’t want your green screen to look like a train wreck we highly highly recommend using lighting. Try to create even lighting on the background and it is best to diffuse light. Make sure your backlight hits your subject’s shoulders and back of the head (or outline for a product). Here’s a really short video about lighting that’s worth a watch.
Then you are ready to go! Remember to watch for shadows while filming, keep the distance from the green screen consistent and watch gestures to make sure they don’t go outside of the green screen area. We hope this outline helps and now it’s up to you to have fun with whatever awesome green screen videos you dream up!
VMP is a Brisbane video production house which specialises in many forms of media production. Our services range from television commercials to promotional videos, corporate videos, online video production, e-learning projects and more. Delivering quality screen productions for over 19 years, VMP is one of Brisbane’s leading video and film production companies. We are your one-stop shop for corporate video production Brisbane. For more information, quote or just a chat about how we can deliver your message more effectively, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Pictures and video:
“Green Screen Basics: How to Light a Green Screen.” Savage Universal Corporation. Savage Universal Corporation, 20 Sept. 2013. Web. 13 July 2015.
“18 Revealing Before-And-After VFX Shots From Your Favorite Movies And TV Series.” K, Julija. Bored Panda RSS. Bored Panda, 13 June 2014. Web. 13 July 2015.