If your dream is to make movies or participate in the making of one, you should know that this is a dream that it’s more and more within your reach. Technology improvement has been growing so fast and takes bigger and bigger steps forward, making available to you some resources that were only available to big studios. The use of the green screen or chroma key is one of the tools with which you can accomplish extraordinary things and if you add your narrative skills, some design, production, and post-production, you can make a studio out of your own house. Yes, there will be an initial investment but the results will be worth it.
What is a chroma key?
Chroma key, green screen or blue screen, is the technology that filmmakers use to create a different background in a video. A common example of a green screen background is the one with the weatherman in the news. The weatherman on TV is filmed standing in front of a blue or a green screen background. Then they replace the green or blue screen with weather graphics. To achieve this, you need a green screen studio or a green screen background, video camera, and computer. You will also need software with the chroma key feature like Adobe Premiere Pro or After Effects.
Even if you’d much rather hire a professional video production team for your green screen video production, it’s important for you to know how to use a green screen, how much is a green screen video production, what makes good green screen footage, what it takes to produce a chroma key video, what is the green screen cost, etc. So you to know what to expect when getting into green screen video.
How to film a green screen video
1. Prepare your green screen studio or set up a green screen background in a wide space. Set up adequate lighting for your camera and remember to light your green screen evenly.
2. Set up three-point lighting for your chroma key video. The green screen lighting should be even, with the source lights pointing at 45 degrees to the green screen background. The lights need to be away from the background enough to not create spotlights.
3. Make sure the subject of your green screen video is at least 3 feet away from the green screen background. The third light must light the subject in a way it doesn’t cast shadows on the background.
4. Put the camera at the right distance from the subject so you can get the desired look. A long shot, a medium shot or a close-up.
5. Film 10 seconds or more of the green or blue screen background without the subject in the scene. That way you can get a “cleaner” key from your software.
6. Move the subject and place them in the right position and start shooting. If you’re going to use live audio, attach a lavaliere microphone to the subject’s clothes. Keep it away from their mouth far enough so that the microphone doesn’t catch the breathing.
7. Start shooting a green screen video. Make sure you cut a few seconds after the moment you want your edit to end.
8. After you capture your chroma key video, dump the footage on your computer and open it in the software that you use for video editing and apply the chroma key effect. If you’ve done a good job, the green screen should virtually “disappear” and you will be able to replace it with any graphics or footage you want.
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