While a professional green screen can be purchased for as low as $50, if your production is on a limited budget, creating your own green screen is just as simple. If you have solid-colored fabric sheets of the suitable hue lying around the house, you may just use them to film against. These background plates are called chroma keys and they're used in many films, television shows, and commercials to add special effects.
The first thing you'll need to do is choose a color that will work well with your subject matter and go from there. Once you have this key color, you can start adding other colors to create a scene. For example, if you wanted to paint a wall red then the blue sheet would be perfect for painting over the top of it. There are many different ways to use these colors to create different scenes, so experiment away!
Once you have all your colors laid out, it's time to get filming. You should plan on spending about two hours setting up your green screen scene. The more involved the better - dress characters up or down to fit your needs. Have fun with it!
When shooting video, be sure to leave enough time to edit your clip. You may want to remove some parts of the scene that aren't important later. It's also helpful to write down ideas for future shoots so you don't forget anything necessary for success.
Most video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects, make it simple to delete and replace the backdrop from chroma-keyed footage. You can find free resources online that can help you learn how to do this.
The quality of your green screen depends on what kind of camera you use. If you shoot with an inexpensive webcam, the image will look grainy and lack detail. For less than $100, though, you can get a good quality web cam that will serve you for many projects.
If you have access to a studio or another space where there's room to set up a green screen, that would be the best choice. The more space you have, the better.
However, if you don't have enough space, this isn't the only option available to you. Many people create great looking screens by simply using a piece of white paper and some black tape. As long as you don't mind having a screen that doesn't match any of the other elements in your shot, this is fine too.
The most important thing is that you are happy with the result. No matter what method you use, if you feel like you need to alter something about the screen later, go for it!
We've compiled a list of some of the greatest low-cost green screens to help you improve your filmmaking talents.
How to Make a Green Screen Background All you need to pull off this method are a few items: A piece of green or blue cloth or fabric, a camera, lighting, and video editing software. Start by putting the cloth on a table or other flat surface. If it's a uniform color, such as green, use that. Otherwise, use a background-color property on a pseudo element to create more interest.
Clip out the area of the image that you want to be able to transparently place behind the subject. In this case, we're going to use the front door as our frame. Place the subject in front of the green screen and have them walk through it. You can light the subject from behind the screen if needed. Once they've passed through, remove them from the picture using photo editing software or by drawing a mask over them with graphite pencil.
The background will now appear transparent where the subject has gone through. To make multiple passes, just repeat the process with a new subject through each time.
This technique is great for creating background shots for your videos. There are many other ways to go about doing this like using cardboard or paper, but nothing beats a real-life subject walking through a door!
You may create your own portable green screen out of PVC tubing and cloth from a fabric store. You don't want draped cloth since it will exhibit a different hue in the shadows. Get two pieces of 1/4" thick by 18" long PVC tubing. Cut one piece of tubing in half lengthwise. Fold each piece in half, making sure the edges are lined up properly. Insert one end of one tube into one folded edge of the other piece. You should now have a pair of "pillows" that enclose the tube. Repeat this process for the second pillow.
Next, take two sheets of 24" by 36" white cotton canvas and fold them in half width-wise. Unfold each sheet and lay it on a table or countertop. Place one of the PVC pillows on top of each sheet of canvas. The tubes should be inserted through the bottom layer of canvas and out the back. Use rubber bands to secure the ends of the tubes together so they don't come loose.
Now you're ready to shoot! First, set up your background about five feet behind the subject. Position the subject such that they fill the canvas but don't cover the entire image.
Green screen shots are not very expensive in and of themselves. Of course, careful lighting is required. However, the subsequent matte and fill in post-production is a different story. The performers in the front can get real-time feedback and alter their behavior accordingly. A simple change to the camera angle can also lead to a new shot.
CGI characters, on the other hand, are extremely expensive to create. They require detailed models and high quality textures. Even then, there's no guarantee that your character will look realistic. Sometimes they need extra details added such as scars or tattoos.
The more complicated the character, the more time it takes to render. With today's technology, it's possible to render entire scenes in just a few minutes. However, this comes at a price - accuracy. If a scene contains complex objects that aren't properly modeled, these will appear blurry when rendered into film.
Finally, special effects can add up too. For example, a green screen effect might cost $15,000 but require additional tweaks such as lens flares after the fact. These costs have the potential to really add up!
In conclusion, green screen photography and CGI are two extremely expensive processes. It's important to be aware of this before you begin shooting so that you don't spend all your money before the shoot even starts.