Have you ever watched a big-budget movie and wondered, “How did they do those special effects with real actors?”
Easy. With a green screen you can practically do anything!
In filmmaking, and video production, using a green screen in the background can easily allow editors in post-production to remove the color and replace it with anything they want.
How’s that for wizardry?
Setting up the background
At Your Local Studio, we use green screen technology all the time, and we follow a specific process.
We first set up a solid color green background. A solid blue works well too, especially with blonde hair. The reason for the green and blue color selection is that the two are completely unrelated to skin tone, so you won’t have to worry about a presenter disappearing when you remove the color.
We always recommend to our clients to avoid green clothing when they arrive at our studio. Otherwise they will disappear!
Once the background is set up, we then start recording, paying careful attention to any creases or wrinkles in the background that may need to be smoothed out
Removing the green screen
After recording, we import the files into our editing software and get to work. We use Apple’s Final Cut Pro X for editing videos, and it’s green screen capabilities are quite powerful. The technique that removes the solid color background is called “Chroma keying”, or “Chroma key compositing”. It allows you to remove pixels of a specific color from an image to layer the remaining pixels on top of another image, like a custom background.
With the software we use, we can soften the edges around the presenter to make their appearance in the setting look more realistic. We often do some more minor adjustments to perfect the keying in a video. For example, Chroma Keying can sometimes remove color on a subject, in which case, we would need to play around with it to balance the color out.
Want to see this in action? Click here to check out how they used slick green screen effects for The Avengers.
That’s green screen technology in a nutshell! It’s not rocket science, and you don’t have to be a Hollywood pro to use it, but it sure is handy to use if your video content calls for it.