When you think of green screen tech, you probably think of Hollywood blockbusters, a big warehouse studio and fiery, on-screen explosions. But green screen technology is more accessible for the amateur film maker than you might think. Increasingly YouTube video gamers, college students, and businesses marketeers are taking advantage of the green screen. You don’t need a big studio or expensive cameras. All you need is a green cloth, a camera, basic lighting, and a little forward planning.
Here are 5 Tips to Pulling off Hollywood-Level Green Screen Effect.
1. Choose the right chroma color (green)
A green screen is literally a green cloth, usually muslin cotton. You can get a 10 foot cloth on Amazon for around thirty dollars. Muy barato! Chroma green is typically the color filmmakers choose to use but the right color blue can also work if you need to use green in your composition. You will also need a sturdy frame to hang your green screen. The cloth must be pulled tight to avoid shadows cast by wrinkles in the cloth.
2. Multiple light sources
Lighting is perhaps the most important aspect of your green screen setup. You must have a light source to create a flat, properly exposed green screen, and a separate lighting setup for your subject. The dual lighting setup eliminates shadows that can turn your nice green to shady grey. Check out the diagram below that does a better job at explaining 🙂
3. Select the optimum camera settings
- Low ISO – If using a DSLR, keep your ISO or Grain as low as possible to avoid adding grain to your footage. Grain will make it harder to key out your background.
- High shutter speed – Use a high shutter speed to avoid motion blur. Motion blur in green screen can be very problematic. It will leave a green mist on the edges of your subject that will ruin the effect… not cool.
- High F-Stop – Based on how much depth of field you want to allow on your green screen in order to match your background, you should always try to use a higher F-Stop and more depth of field.
4. Choose the right software
Final Cut Pro, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Premiere and even I-Movie can all be used to green screen. At BENCO, we use Adobe Premiere most often but I-Movie is also easy to use. I-Movie is a free software on Macs. So, it’s a great way to get started.
5. Make sure to plan
When shooting green screen, you want to be extra prepared. Test out your kit. Play with your camera settings. Know how to key properly. Know where the light source is coming from in each shot. If everything is planned, you will save yourself a lot of time and effort on the day of the shoot.
With these helpful hints and a bit of practice, you will be shooting Hollywood-Level green screen footage in no time, even on a tight budget.