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The Beauty of the Green Screen

We just finished working on a great video for our upcoming marriage conference. I can’t show the final video just yet, because we haven’t shown it in service. But I can walk you through the beauty of the green screen. These are the basic 7 steps for green screen (now these are basic steps, there comes a lot of tweaking in those steps to make a killer chroma key).

First Step: Video the subject – A lot of work in its own right.

Second Step: Mask out areas of the footage that aren’t needed. Be sure to keep in mind movement of the body and hands throughout the whole video. You don’t want to chop off the subjects arm as he’s waving his arms.

Third Step: Chroma Key. For this effect, I prefer to use After Effects Keylight Effect. When used correctly, its a powerful chroma keyer. You don’t even need a clean perfect green screen.

Fourth Step: Add in your flooring (basic texture). Make sure its a 3D object sent back into Z space – very important for lighting later on.

Fifth Step: Add in your background (for this video, I used the same texture as the flooring, but its at a different angle than the flooring).

Sixth Step: Add your light – adjust as necessary.

Seventh Step: Fix the funny-lookin stuff. For example, on this shoot, I had to go back and fix his feet. I copied the video layer and masked off everything but his feet and adjusted the settings. Compare this image below to the one on step five to see the difference.

Voila! The end result is quite pleasing. Even though there are only seven steps, it took us about 8 hours to complete two versions of this video from filming to finish product. The video turned out fantastic, I’ll be sure to post it at the beginning of next week.