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How to Film and Edit Green Screen Video

Green screen cinematic techniques are used to produce videos with visual effects that are extremely exciting and generally impossible to produce otherwise. These highly realistic, mind-boggling visual effects captivate audiences of all ages and we’re going to show you how to film and edit green screen video so that you can capture the attention of your audience.

With some basic green screen video equipment, creating these special effects videos can be achieved, even if you’re on a budget. Just remember, green screen video production requires both pre- and post-production services in order to achieve the absolute best results. For information on these services, or to learn more about green screen video production, call Beverly Boy Productions to set up a time where we can review your project needs.

Green Screen Compositing Techniques

What exactly is green screen compositing and how does this filming technique really work? That’s a real common question for production companies. The answer: chroma keying.

Chroma keying or green screen video production is a visual effects (VFX) technique that involves the proper layering of two digital images together so that they form a desired visual effect.  Green screen background videos are created with the actor to achieve a desired set of poses or actions. The green screen allows filmmakers to later layer the footage with footage that has a completely different background such as a historic view, a futuristic view or a location that’s virtually or actually impossible to film in. Using green screen compositing  teams can create picture perfect backgrounds to achieve the desired visual effects.

How to Set Up Green Screen Backdrop

Green screen setup begins with acquiring the necessary equipment to build your backdrop. Several options exist to create a green screen background. The option you choose will likely depend on individual needs and preferences. Consider any of the following green screen backdrop options:

  • Green paper against a wall.
  • Green fabric against a wall.
  • Green fabric hanging on a movable rack.
  • Green paint, also sometimes referred to as “video paint” or “Chroma Key Green” paint.

Fabric screen options allow for maximum versatility as they can be adjusted and moved as needed to meet the demands of the project. When choosing a green screen option, consider the size you will need to accommodate your projects while providing maximum on-screen action.

In a studio space, green screen paint can be used to create entire rooms that fit the green bill and are adequate for green screen video production. Paint is also durable and offers a long term solution for ongoing projects.

Green Screen Video Production Lighting

Proper lighting ensures that your green screen video achieves optimal results when editing takes place. Every area of the green backdrop must appear in the background of the frame and should be evenly lit. No shadows or changes in the exposure should be seen in the background.

Various lighting options exist to help you create green screen effects videos. Flexible lighting should be considered in addition to any fixed lighting sources either in the production area or studio where filming takes place.

Additional Green Screen Video Equipment

In addition to the background and the lighting, in order to shoot green screen videos, you’re going to need a camera that can shoot high quality footage, preferably 4K. When shooting green screen in HD, we recommend a progressive frame over an interlaced one for best results.

When shopping for a camera, consider those with ultra-high sensitivity and a wide-dynamic range. The better the quality of your footage, the better your visual effects will ultimately render. If you must seek a budget friendly camera, consider one that will shoot green screen footage in low and moderate lighting.

filming green screen - Beverly Boy Productions

Green Screen Video Editing

Once you’ve shot your green screen footage, you can begin to produce the desired visual effects, but you’ll need a green screen video editor. Even if you’re not sure how to edit green screen video footage, consider a more advanced software to work with as these are most likely to include step-by-step instructions to help you through the process.

Several green screen cinematic techniques will come into play here including: chroma key green screen effects, rotoscoping, and advanced compositing techniques that can be used to bring your videos a professional appearance.

Green screen video editor software will help you to switch out the green screen for new backgrounds, automatically import digital backgrounds for use, and incorporate images and videos into the layer which brings your green screen production to life.

Color Key or Ultra Key Effects?

Two options of Chroma keying exist: Color Key and Ultra Key effects. Color key removes pixels of the same hex code as the color that you choose. Therefore, you choose the hex code that exactly matches your green screen and voila’ the green background disappears. Ultra Key editing is a little bit different in that it does not require a background to be a single shade. Ultra Key editing is ideal for dimly lit or low lighting applications.

Using Color Key or Ultra Key editing software you can drag and drop footage to the appropriate timeline and layer the green screen footage on top of it. The Color or Ultra key becomes an effect that you utilize to remove the green background from the footage.

Although we make it sound rather simple, green screen video production takes time and patience to achieve the best results. For more information, call Beverly Boy Productions to discuss the various cinematic techniques that we specialize in. We’re sure to have a technique that is right for your creative vision.

Check out how Beverly Boy Productions films using green screens