Greenscreen example before adding a background

9 Suggestions When Using Green Screen With Videos

Greenscreen example before adding a backgroundHave you ever wanted to have a more exciting background for your videos, but just can’t get out and film at all those cool places? Maybe you would like your subject’s background to be more fitting for the topic at hand?

With the help of a green screen, you can transform yourself anywhere you want (or so it looks like you are somewhere). Ok, to do this you also have to have a few other things and we will go through them in this video and post. These are tips and suggestions. Every studio/house/location will need to be adjusted for; there is no exact measurements for where to place things. Just get your screen and play with it and soon you will understand how it works and what to look for when setting up.

Greenscreen example after the background image is inserted.

See this video in action at How Many Bones Does a Shark Have

A Few Green Screen Tips for Video

  1. You need a green screen. It can be store bought or homemade. In the video I talk about how we made ours using a painters cloth and green paint.
  2. You need a stand or somewhere to hang your green screen. Most store bought screens come with a stand. If it didn’t, you can make a stand with PVC pipe at a pretty low price. If you think ahead, then this stand can be used for a variety of things, easily taken down and stored. Some people have said they use a painted wall. The problem you may have with this, you may get reflection.
  3. To attach your screen to a stand, you can use the awesome invention called Velcro! Or you can use any kind of spring clamps. I happen to use clips from dead clip fans. The fan has died, so I just toss out the fan and keep the clips! You will need enough clips or Velcro to keep your screen taunt. If the screen is crimped, folded or rough, you can get dark spots or all out shadows.
  4. Once you have your green screen and a place to hang it, you are going to need some adjustable lighting. Here again, we have homemade soft lights. (Dang, Brad is so handy to keep around and NO you cannot have him). You are better off using a soft light box rather than halogen construction lights. The halogen lights can wash out people’s skin and make them look a bit dead.
  5. While I am not going to get into a huge post about lighting, you will quickly see that having movable lights is a must. You need lights to come onto your video subject at an angle from the sides to avoid shadow.
  6. Shadow is a green screen killer. Hopefully, you have a good bit of area where you are making the video, so you can move lights around. It is also best to be at least 1 foot away from the screen. If you have the room and can get 2-3 feet away from the backdrop, you are lessening the chance of casting a shadow. Having a dark spot such as a shadow, means that you may end up with splotches of green when you replace the background or you may have to go dark with your chroma key and end up “blacking out” part of the person talking.
  7. Pay attention to what color clothes you are wearing in the green screen video. Anything green will be a real problem since you will be removing the green.
  8. Frizzy hair! I know it sounds silly, but when you have frizzy hair, it can get blacked out to easily when clearing the background. Part of this will depend on how good your editing tool is. So, just keep it in mind before you spend a huge amount of time making the video only to find out that you may be better off taming the wild hair back a bit.
  9. Editing tools, yes you need them. For any of you who are going to say “How do I do this without an editing program?” Short answer, you won’t!
  10. There may be some free tools that let you edit green screen, I personally haven’t used them. I have a paid tool that I use; it has paid for itself over and above.
  11. Images! You need images (or video) to place behind you. Once you remove the green, you can easily slap any image you have on as the new background. I strongly suggest that you use images that you own. These can be pictures you have taken while in your yard, out at the beach, on vacation…any place and anything can now be your background. You must have full rights to use the image or video green screen or not!

Ok, there are 9 tips and I know that those of you who have used green screen will have a tip to share also, go ahead and leave it in the comments!

About Sheryl Loch

I am always learning new and improved ways to better our blogs, forum, and e-commerce sites. You can find me at The Internet Marketers Guild and +Sheryl Loch.
I tend to be a bit straight forward and sarcastic at times so ask for an honest opinion and you shall receive...even if it is not what you want to hear.

Comments

  1. That’s cool. Green is a new pink))) Guys, stick to your hangouts like to coffee)) thanks for so great info that you always provide! Thumb up!

    • Thanks for stopping in and taking time to leave a comment!
      We enjoy the Hangouts on Air…gives us a chance to disagree. LOL

    • Thanks Sheryl for proving us these valuable tips. I’ll definitely try to implement Green screen in the video developed next time.
      These are no doubts cool exciting background for our videos which can drag huge amount of visitors in your site and can prove very much vital for your business.

  2. It’s interesting to see how things like this evolve. Not too long ago having videos at all was a major deal, then quality became a bigger factor, and now polished editing and effects and even greater quality is what is desirable, both for creators and viewers. Pretty soon the expected quality in a video will rival that of a full length feature film, or at least it appears to be heading there.

    • Hi Peter, I hope we don’t all have to go “Steven Spielberg” on our Youtube videos.

      I think part of this is because the prices of equipment and editing tools has come down so that “regular” people can now do more things with video.

      I use the Green Screen for fun. It can add a little at no real extra cost. Of course, I don’t do anything real fancy.

  3. Haha great article. Lately there was a sex scandal video about political leader in my country, and some people thought that this “green screen” method is how the video was made since the person is a very religious person. Not sure who’s the culprit, but this kind of technology tell us to not believe anything you see in the video.

    • Hi Rudd, it does make the line between real and “fake” much harder to define.

      With things like PhotoShop and green screens, anything could be made to look pretty real.

      I’ll stick to using my green screen for fun and not evil. ;-}

  4. hmmmm I haven’t gone as far as videotaping MYSELF – but when I do….. I will definitely invest in a green screen – thanks for all your tips! 🙂

  5. I always thought it would be cool to create more videos Sheryl with a different background because where I sit to shoot the majority of my videos, that’s the best lighting in the house. I’ve bought an extra spot light and I try clipping it different places but the light just never seems to work as good when setting it up.

    So I thought this would be cool but as soon as you mentioned we ladies with the big hair might have an issues well then that just burst my bubble. Yep, I do have poofy hair although it’s no longer frizzy but maybe I’ll just get the white background because I’m going to be shooting a lot of videos soon and I do want some of me in front of the camera for my product.

    I appreciate you sharing this with us Sheryl, thank you so much.

    ~Adrienne

    • Hi Adrienne, I have used green screen even with my frizzy mop, it just takes really good lighting and crossed fingers.

      Having a light that is behind and over you may help a lot to keep shadow down. It also depends on what type of lights you have. We have used all kinds and Brad made my soft lights for dirt and they can also be attached to a tripod.

      When we do the HoA’s, I have a pvc stand behind me (again Brad came in handy). I attache different pieces of fabric, so I have different backgrounds. The pvc is cheap, light weight and can be taken apart easily.

      There are many options for those of us that don’t have a studio.

  6. What do you do when you want dramatic lighting with shadows? Do you back light the screen so shadows don’t show up on it?

  7. So, the truth is it`s probably cheaper and worth trying the “do it yourself” green screen if you`re gonna need one. Even if I`d manage to get one to work for me, I don`t know much about editing tools and I wonder what paid tool are you using that you have mentioned. Thank you for the article!

    • Hi Simona, we have a lot of “do it yourself” when it comes to my video “studio”.

      I use Power Director to edit. It doesn’t do near as many fancy things as Camtasia or Vegas, but it doesn’t cost as much either.

  8. Hi, good post, thanks! I like and use chromakey (or “green screen”) to make “classic” background (grey, white or black) and add a text, title or graphics near the spokesperson. And my video looks more professional. But i do not use another video as a background, it looks unnatural.

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