Shooting On Green Screen

Shooting on green screen has its challenges, so here are five tips that will help you get a cleaner key and more natural backgrounds.

  • The most important thing is lighting. If you don’t evenly and brightly light your curtain or wall you’ll be spending some frustrating time in post. Evenly lighting your wall means it should be the same brightness from top to bottom and left to right. You can check this with a waveform monitor and some cameras have them built in.

  • Keep your subject as far from the wall as you can to avoid light from the green screen bleeding onto your subject. If you’re not framing up full body shots then avoid standing on green, it will reflect green light into the shadows and cause some problems when keying.

  • Use a higher shutter speed to help cut down on motion blur. Motion blur creates soft spots that will mix the green into your subject and it’s tough to key without losing some edge detail. I like to set my shutter at 1/120th. Now check out this tutorial to help you get started on basic color keying.

  • Replace the background with something more interesting than a solid color or and less distracting than a stock animation. Keep it subtle. You can find some great textures to use at YouWorkForThem.

  • Add a small amount of blur to your backgrounds to help your subject stand out and your backgrounds will look more natural, too. I use “fast blur” in After Effects with the amount set to 3 or 4 on a wide shot. The tighter the shot the more blur you’ll need.

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