Behind the Green Screen Part II

Our early green screen efforts were less than desired and never made it into our finalized productions. While we were able to remove the overall green screen background in  PowerDirector 9, we were left with a green halo around the actor and a hazy mostly-transparent background.  You can read more about that in Part I of this series. 

PowerDirector was unable to fully remove artifacts from our green screen clips.  We followed these tips for using the green screen and reshot:

–          Stand a couple feet forward of the green screen.  That will reduce shadows.

–          Include backlighting. Any remaining shadows are eliminated.

–          Stretch out wrinkles in the fabric.

–          Light as evenly as possible.  Editing software will have an easier time keying out the green screen.

–          Don’t wear anything green.  Sounds simple enough, but we had some greenish zombie makeup in one of the clips which was enough to make a cheek transparent.

–          Only move where the camera sees you in front of the green screen.  Again, this sounds simple and it is when you’re sitting down, but it’s more difficult to manage when you’re swinging toy light sabers around.

–          Don’t wear anything reflective.  A white shirt is more likely to reflect a green light. Sanj’s beanie has blue plastic propellers, the underside of which tends to pick up and reflect green light. If you need to shoot something green use another background color. Blue, black and white are commonly available.

Related: Behind the Green Screen Part 1

Here’s the list of goods used in our makeshift basement studio:

We found that the green screen we were using was adequate for our Dear Zombies responses and to capture a single, standing person, but once you have two people moving around there are issues.  In the image above, there are some artifacts just behind the zombie on the right that still need to be cleaned up. More on that in next week’s installment.

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