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Techniques for Independent Production
The challenges of creating Digital Cinema and other narrative forms.

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Old December 15th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #1
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Baby to Film Community, Greenscreen help.

Hi. Me and my freinds have been making silly little movies on the weekends as long as i can remember. And so now were starting to looking into movie production as a serious potentional for all of us. Would really enjoy advancing our Special effects level beyond cheap camera tricks and kool aid for blood. (which we haven't actually done, but you get the picture. i hope.)

We've been considering buying a screen for a while now, we know what color we want and what size and have laerned everything about tones and lighting but we have one slight problem. We have no idea what hardware we need to make the green screen work. And basically we need to know if special cameras are needed, if you we just need software, or if we need all of thee above plus some. Any help at all would be much appreciated. Even non green screen suggestions would be great.

Jon Mitchell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #2
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Hi Jon,

Welcome to the community.

Greenscreen work can be extremely demanding. The screen must be clean, and free of 'wrinkles'. The lighting must be even across the entire screen, and the actors should be lit to avoid casting shadows on the screen.

If you shoot in DV (I assume that's all you'll have money for.) Then most of the better Non Linear Editing software (NLE) will have a 'chroma key' effect in them. This is true for Avid, Premiere, Vegas, Final Cut Pro, Liquid and others. There are also third party applications dedicated specifically for performing chroma key work.

After you shoot the footage in front of your screen, you must capture it into the computer, and the NLE system you are using. Once in the program, you will follow the instructions of the NLE, and tell the program to "Key" out a particular color in the shot. This is usually the green, but can be the blue screen, or indeed in color or 'chroma' you choose. The computer eliminates the color of the screen, and replaces it with.... whatever you have for it to replace. Other people, backgrounds, effects, whatever.

That's the simple explanaition.

SEARCH is your friend here on DVinfonet. Do a search for 'chroma key' and 'greenscreen' and sit back with a beer, (or perhaps a soda in your case0 and read up on all the problems and joys of 'keying' and 'compositing effects.'

Good luck.
Richard Alvarez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 15th, 2005, 09:18 PM   #3
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Awesome. Thanks abunch.
Jon Mitchell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 17th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #4
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I have some more tips.

To avoid shadowing, move the actors away from the green screen. This allows you to have separate lighting on the actors and avoid green spill.

Avoid green clothes. :)

Another tip that I haven't tried, but should work, is to have a fast shutter speed to make the picture as sharp as possible. This helps eliminating the green "halo" that can occur around the actor.
Carl Jakobsson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 25th, 2006, 12:52 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2005
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BTW, blue screens tend to produce less noticeable/objectionable halos than green screens. You'll want to position your actors far enough from the screen that the blue or green light from the screen doesn't reflect onto them. I've seen screens as large as 10' X 20' on eBay for reasonable prices. Good luck.
Shawn Stevens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2006, 04:56 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Saint Cloud, Florida
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I purchased a $29 green screen, (chroma bed sheet basically) You can look at my "Billhips and Associates" commericals to see how the screen looks. Almost all of it was done in front of a GS with poor light. After putting it through PP1.5, it didn't come out all that bad. Website link in my signature, then click on productions, then Redneck Planet.
Marco Wagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2006, 09:05 PM   #7
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Billhips & Assoc.

That was some funny shit!
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