How To Use A Green Screen In Your Photography Or Videos

Adding Versatility To Your Studio.

Green Screen SetupA green screen or blue screen, also known as a chroma key background, is a great way to add flexibility to your photography or video creations as well as adding a very professional feel to them. A green screen gives you the ability to place your subject just about anywhere they or you may want them to be, in quite literally the world. The ability to change out backgrounds in a photo can be invaluable as well in your photography or video hobby and almost a necessity if you are performing it as a business.

Learning how to use a green screen is a simple process and one that you can implement in a short period of time once you have the screen. To set up a green screen you simply replace the white or other background you use with the chroma key background. Then film or shoot your subject in front of it.

Listed below are a few techniques that will help you cut down on some of the trial and error involved in getting the shoot put together correctly.

Getting the right backdrop.

  • Truth be known the screen can be almost any color, but that color cannot be contained in the foreground image (your subject). This is why the colors chosen in commercially available screens are an almost neon green, since there is little chance of that color being anywhere else. Any color closely matching the screen will disappear when you remove the background.
  • If you are using a cloth background try to make sure it is stretched as tight as possible to eliminate any folds or wrinkles, since this will cast shadows and reflect differently changing that area of the screens color.

Lighting your project.

  • In learning how to use a green screen you soon discover that properly lighting your project is of the utmost importance. Make sure that you use several lights to make sure any shadows are eliminated and that the green screen is evenly illuminated.
  • If you obtain photography lighting kits you will have just about all the lighting you will need in one place, as well as the green screen.
  • If you need to supplement your existing lighting you can use hot lights, fluorescent photo lighting or even some of the new LED photography lighting that’s available.
  • Diffuse your lighting as well using umbrellas and/or soft boxes.

Placing your subjects.

  • Insure that you subject is far enough away from the screen to make sure that shadows don’t start popping up. The distance a subject should be from the screen is between 3 and 4 feet. Proper distance will also help keep the screen color reflecting back on your subject and causing problems.
  • Make sure that your subject does not have anything reflective on. These items will quickly pick up the screens color causing it to disappear and leaving holes in your subject.

Setting up your camera.

  • Whether this is for still photography or video use the best camera you can that will give you the most flexibility through use of manual adjustments, such as shutter speed and white balance. To reduce the noise in any image set your cameras ISO or Grain settings to low.

So there you have a few quick tips on how to use a green screen, which should make it easy to get a great shoot. Your video or photo editing program should have little problem removing the green screen and allowing you to insert any background you wish. The important thing is to play around with it and have some fun.


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