Green screen videos allow even the smallest video producers to create amazing content with impressive effects. Green screen is a visual effects (VFX) technique where two images or video streams are layered—i.e. composited together.
Green screen basically lets you drop in whatever background images you want behind the actors and/or foreground. It’s used in film production (and also in news and weather reports) to relatively simply place the desired background behind the subject/actor/presenter. When a background isn’t available—like a fictional, alien, historic, futuristic or even just hard-to-access location—a green screen can be very useful!
Technically, you can use any colour background. A vibrant, almost neon green is the standard choice because it’s strong and usually a distinctly different colour from anything on the subject (e.g. the actor’s clothes, eyes, hair, accessories).
However, green may not work for everything. You wouldn’t be able to film Kermit the Frog against a green screen—he’d disappear! In this case, you’d typically use a blue screen, the “second-in-line” colour.
How to make your Green Screen videos Stand Out
If you’re looking to enhance your videos with a creative background to tell your story, on you on a strict timeline, or a limited budget, a green screen is the best option. You can shoot your video anywhere without ever having to move! Here is a list of 6 green screen tips to make your video stand out.
You can use green screen technology in multiple situations. Here are a few creative examples:
- Educators can point out lesson plans. For example, teachers can use a solar system background to highlight and explain individual planets. By standing in front of an image of the solar system, a teacher can illustrate the position and features of each planet to the students.
- By creating their own newscasts, students can learn about current news and help educate themselves about culture, politics, and society. They can get creative with their project topics.
- Business professionals can create impressive marketing videos. With green screen technology, businesses are able to build their brands by including their logos or important branding elements in a clean and professional way.
Tip #1: Choosing a Green Screen
After filming green screen videos many film production companies use chroma key technique as part of special effects. The technique is used to remove the background colour from the subject standing in front of a green screen. The green background is replaced by images or video streams. Anyone with green screen or chroma key technology is able to create their own desired backgrounds easily.
Tip #2: Lighting effects
Once you have set your green screen, you can begin to build your lighting. Lighting is extremely important to provide evenness and consistency in your background. Having good lighting can make your green screen nice and smooth. We recommend using 2 or 3 back lights to light your screen. Having back lights will help separate the subject from the screen. All areas of your screen should be lit evenly and exposed correctly. If your lighting is brighter on one side than the other, the removal of your background may not be clean.
Tip #3: Camera Settings
It is a good idea to take a look at your camera settings to make sure they’re going to give you the results you want.
Shutter speed: Minimise motion blur by raising your shutter speed to 1/80 or 1/100
Aperture: Setting your aperture to f4 or f5.6 will give you slightly more depth of field, which will blur and smooth out your green screen.
Format: Set your camera to the best recording format it has.
ISO: Try to avoid high ISOs.
Tip #4: Shadows and Movement
While the background is lit evenly, the subject standing in front should also be taken into consideration. Lighting the subject and the green screen helps. Take note of the shadows behind them. Shadows can be a big challenge when you green screen. Shadows often show up when the subject is too close to the green screen. So you may have to put the subject or speaker on a trial, manage the right distance and no shadow position.
Tip #5: Blocking the background
Before you record, pick out a few background images or videos to replace your green screen with. Check the elements and clutter behind you and play with the placement of your subject. If you are trying to illustrate a city setting, for example, situate your subject so that he/she is not blocking anything important that you would like to showcase.
Tip #6: Props
You shouldn’t feel obligated to stand still throughout your recording. Rather it will give you a frozen look. One way to effectively use a green screen is by being interactive with it. Once the lighting is set, you should be able to work with the background and create fun situations. For instance, you can use ocean waves to illustrate that you are surfing. Another fun thing to do is to introduce props into your recording.
Tip #7: Choose the right video editing software
Choosing the right software to record your green screen is essential to create effects to your videos. Head to Screencast-O-Matic to get it done. It’s a one-stop solution for your video needs and it has the chroma key effect you are looking for. First use the screen recorder or video editor to remove colour. Then use the video editing software to add your background and make final edits. Add text, arrows, highlights and more with just a few easy clicks to enhance your video more.
More Little tips
Remember, you can go portable with your green screen.
Green vs. Blue? Use a blue screen when there are natural green elements (like trees, grass, and plants) in your shot.
Review your footage as you shoot it. Look especially for shadows being cast that may fudge up your key later on.
One common mistake is shooting a talking head or a scene with dialog on an indoor screen then keying an outdoor scene behind it. The voice / audio is NEVER believable. Whenever possible, watch for a time that the natural light outdoors matches the footage being keyed in and carry the screen and camera outdoors and you’ll produce ‘matching’ or much more believable footage and audio.