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5 Must Know Tips for Green Screen Work

Learn how to use the green screen.
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The use of green screen is on the rise. Even small budget movies now include green screens used to merge two video streams or images together. How do you think the colosseum came to life in Game of Thrones? Yes, green screens.

You can use green screens whenever you want to change the background or present your character in a different world. It saves time and in some cases money as well. However, VFX can be a bit tricky.

If you’re struggling to get your desired results then check out these tips for green screen work:

5 Tips for Green Screen Work

Treat Is As If It’s Real

The actors and cameraperson should treat the green screen as if everything’s real. Otherwise, the final product will end up looking poor.

A very good way to get the feel is to first explain the scene and background to everyone involved and to mark pointers. For example, if you want to show dragons standing in the background, then you should mark on the screen where the dragon will appear.

This way your actor will know exactly how to move and where to look when talking to the dragon that’ll be introduced later on. The markings will also tell the cameraperson how to record the scene.Tracking markers should ideally be green, but a different shade, so that they’re easy to identify but not too hard to edit.

Light Your Character According to the Background

This is obvious but often an overlooked aspect of green screens. If the character doesn’t go in sync with the background, then he or she will look out of place.

The lighting on the subject must be in sync with the background. For example, if the final scene will have your actor running in the desert at midday, then you must shoot in similar conditions.

There should be enough light on the face of the actor. Also, the light should also change direction based on where the performer is going.

Taking Care of Other Elements

Pay attention to the overall atmosphere so that the two screens can go together seamlessly.

For example, if the scene involves your character drowning then waves must go in the right direction, there must be wind, etc. These weather elements can often be difficult to take care of since it can result in a lot of messy edges.

Motion blue can make it difficult to get a good key on these edges. The best way to solve this problem is to film with a higher shutter speed. This will decrease the motion blur.

If you want a high shutter look then you can opt for a built-in motion blur effect or purchase a paid plugin like Reelsmart Motion Blur.

Light Wrap

This feature will wrap background light around your character so they appear a part of the scene. You can choose how strong and wide you want the effect to be.

This technique can add realism to your scene. However, it is important to be careful as going overboard can make the scene look unrealistic.

Know When to Blur

If you shoot with a lower aperture meaning you open your lens up to give more of a shallow depth of field, you can blur the screen a bit to help smooth out the green screen even more in camera.

It reduces the risk of having noisy footage. However, depending on how much the depth of field effect is, you will want to blur your background layer in the composite to match the shot.

We hope these tips will help you get the best out of your efforts. Check out our blog for more tips and tricks.

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