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Green Screen

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Thomas Hughes
Green Screen
on Feb 13, 2010 at 2:53:03 am

Is there a quick and easy way to do green screen really well? It seems everywhere I look I see really good examples of it: on youtube, by high school kids, college kids, hobbyists, on local tv stations; yet every time I have a client ask for it, my editors break out in hives telling me it’s really difficult and it’s critical how it’s lit, etc.

Hasn’t it gotten easier over the years? Aren’t there tools for doing it that didn’t exist years ago, that make it easier?

I have a client who asked for a sample. I told her it’s easy to do, we’ve done it many times but because I haven’t done it in over a year, I’ll put a sample together really quick and have it to her next week. I want to make sure I'm showing her a really clean sample.

Any input would be appreciated.

Thomas H

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John Fishback
Re: Green Screen
on Feb 13, 2010 at 2:34:59 pm

There are many posts on the Cow that answer your questions. Probably the most important factor in achieving a good key is lighting the green screen properly. After that there are many tools/plugins that will do an excellent job. Search and you'll find your answers.


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todd mcmullen
Re: Green Screen
on Feb 15, 2010 at 2:19:00 am

Hmmm. The simplest and most direct answer to this question is to get the best vfx house you can to do the work. I have had a number of vfx shots in the past that would have required green/blue screen. But because of newer technology, greater experience and in this case, money, the vfx house was able to pull a key from my frames with no problem. No green screen and most of these shots were handheld.

I am positive many vfx houses require: proper key to green screen lighting balance, preference of blue or green screen, locked-off camera frames, and a bunch of other technical stuff that will halt your production to a stand still.

The reasons are simple. More time is more money.

Anyway, these reasons are all valid and are all worthy for that perfect key, but it all depends on who and what the shot is.


Todd McMullen
Flip Flop Films

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Mark Suszko
Re: Green Screen
on Feb 16, 2010 at 3:50:14 am

Quality lighting, flat, even screen lighting, then record and post in a high-res format as possible. I do it all the time in DV25 in FCP with only the standard keyer and it works. But I would rather shoot it in something better than DV and work uncompressed.

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