By shooting your next project on a green (or blue) screen, you have ability to create a clean and stylish video production. Since you will have the ability to alter the background of your production at any time in post production, there are no limits to the creative direction of your final composition. There are a wide variety of chroma key backgrounds to choose from that will give your video production a polished look similar to larger video productions.
The basic idea of green screen production is simple: setup a green screen, shoot your talent in front of it, then remove the green in your video editing software and replace it with your chosen background in post production. However, getting a precisekey from your footage can be a trial and error process that could cause frustration if the original footage is not shot correctly.
Here are a few simple tips you can use to help make your green screen background production as troublefree as possible:
How to choose a chroma backdrop
a. A chroma key background can be any color as long as it is not contained within the foreground elements you would like to keep in the scene. Most video productions utilize either a green or blue screen. A clean key can be achieved with either color, but you will want to take into account the color of clothing your talent will be wearing and also make sure nothing in your scene closely matches the color of the background color you are trying to remove.
b. The more consistent and true your color is, the better you will be able to key the color out of your background footage. If you are using a linen or fabric backdrop, try to minimize the wrinkles and shadows in the cloth.
a. This is probably THE most important aspect of a good green screen video production. Having a well lit, consistent background color is key (no pun intended) to being able to remove the background seamlessly from your shot.
b. Having multiple lights will help to even out the lighting in your scene. Fluorescent lighting and outdoor/sunlight provide good consistent and smooth indirect lighting to your chroma key background.
c. Illuminate your subject fully with soft lighting. You may also want to try to add a spotlight pointing at the back of your subject. This will help to cleanly “cut” your subject from the background and will result in a cleaner key.
Place your subject a minimum of 4 steps from your backdrop. This will eliminate shadows from falling onto the green screen and will also help to minimize color spill. Color spill occurs when the reflected green from your backdrop “spills” onto your subject and causes the color of clothing or skin to change hue to match the backdrop . This can cause issues when the video software tries to remove the green from the backdrop and registers the green reflection on your subject.
Try to shoot your video with the best HD camera you have available. If possible, use a camera that allows you to make manual adjustments to the ISO/Gain, shutter speed and white balance. The ISO/Gain controls should be set to a low setting. This will require more light, but will give you cleaner video with less noise and artifacts.
If you follow these few simple rules, you can create high quality green screen footage that will allow you to easily remove the background in your video editing software.Now you can replace the green screen with a virtual background or other video background. Have fun!