How to Make Great Green Screen Videos

How to make great green screen videos

There are a lot of reasons that you might want to use a green screen for your next video project. And typically for business owners, its because we don’t have a good looking space to shoot in!

In recent years there’s been a huge increase in the number of people making green screen videos, although not all of them actually look that good.

In actual fact, a poorly-done green-screen video will likely do you more harm than good, as even the untrained eyes of your audience will realise that you’re not shooting in the space that you’re claiming you are.

So what are our top five tips?

  1. Choose Your Background
  2. Decide Between a Green or Blue Screen
  3. Light Your Screen Evenly
  4. Frame and Light Your Subject Properly
  5. Use Full Manual Settings

Want to know more about each of these? Let’s take a look…

How to Make Great Green Screen Videos

1. Choose Your Background

To many people this sounds counter-intuitive – but when you’re shooting green screen content then you need to decide on your backgroud firstly and foremostly before even thinking about shooting your content.

But why? Can’t you just drop yourself into whatever scene takes your fancy at the end?

Quite honestly, no, because we want to know what kind of environment we’re dropping you into so that we can match the lighting during the shooting process.

This might not be so much of an issue if you’re looking for a more abstract background, as we do with our FIrebrand Video content. But, if you’re wanting to place yourself into any other kind of environment, we’ll need to take a look at the lighting that already exists so we can place you seamlessly into it when post-production rolls around.

2. Decide Between a Green or Blue Screen 

These days you’ll typically here everyone talking about green screening content as opposed to using a blue screen, but there may be situations where we need to use blue as opposed to green.

Maybe you need to wear an item of green clothing? Do you have green props you need to use? Potentially the colours themselves aren’t actually green, but are pretty close to green, and likely to cause issues? This is where you’ll need to use a blue-screen.

Similarly, if you’re looking to wear blue or use blue props, you’ll definitely want to be using a green-screen.

If all you have is one or the other, then you can quite simply avoid bringing objects of a similar colour into the shot with you. Get this wrong, and you might end up with a transparent person or object, and cause yourself a wealth of issues in your post-production workflow.

3. Light Your Screen Evenly

In order to make removing the green screen as easy as possible, you need to make sure that you’ve lit the screen evenly.

This means that you’ll need to have at least one light, if not two, just to light the screen itself.

You’ll also want to ensure that you’re not casting any shadows on the screen either because this will also cause you issues in post-production.

4. Frame and Light Your Subject Properly

Remember what we were saying above about choosing your background first? This is where it really comes into play.

Figure out where in the scene your subject will be placed – and then start to look at the lighting in that particular area of the background.

You’ll want to use this as a point-of-reference for lighting the subject in these shots. Is the scene lit from above? Is there more light to the left or the right? Use this information to light your subject.

On top of that, is there any coloured lighting? You may want to add some practical lights to your mix is so! Done right, you’ll ensure that the subject is fully immersed in the world we’ve created in the final video, and the audience will be too.

5. Use Full Manual Settings

Using full manual settings on your camera when producing green screen content is an absolute must.

And it means that smaller budget shoots won’t be able to use things like mobile phones or consumer handycams.

The fact is, using automatic settings will mess up your footage and will be a pain to edit later on.

This is because you are allowing the camera to control your settings for you. Things like the aperture and the focus will change will movement. Thus, the image you get simply won’t be consistent.

Ultimately, this will make all of our efforts to light the scene properly redundant!

But, done right, we’ll have consistency throughout the shot, and footage that’s easy to work with in post-production.

So use these tips next time you’re producing a green-screen video. You’ll end up having a far better end result for doing so!

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