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Green Screen Videos – are you looking for an easy way to create green screen videos – but think it’s too difficult or expensive ?



I wanted to create some green screen videos and it looked as if that would be an expensive proposition – green screen background, stands, lighting apparently being essential.  I’ve been trying things out – and it’s possible to create good green screen videos simply and inexpensively – I’ve proved it !!

The video above shows me starting out with just a couple of pieces of green card as a background – it cost me less than £2 ($3) – I sellotaped the cards together and blu-tacked it on the wall and it worked surprisingly well.  I wasn’t sure what colour card would work – I purchased fluorescent green card and a mid-green card to compare them – it didn’t seem to make any difference although I think I prefer the fluorescent green card (just).

I then purchased a 2m wide x 3m high PhotoSEL chroma key green screen (muslin cotton) from Amazon UK (similar to this product in the U.S.) as I thought this might be better and being bigger certainly provides more flexibility – although I can’t say the results are actually better in terms of green screen video production; I just thought that card would probably not last as long and might be a bit more awkward to store.

Initially, I was a bit disappointed with the green screen.  I hung it on a simple 2.3m long x 19mm diameter metal tube (curtain rail) mounted on two brackets on the wall. I tried to light it by swivelling my ceiling mounted room spotlights but this created shadows and the green screen effect was worse than the card. I found that it’s actually best to swivel the spotlights away from the green screen and just use them to create good ambient room lighting.

My study isn’t huge and I was a bit worried from what I’d read that you need to sit 2-3m in front of the green screen – I don’t have that much room!  However, I set my panasonic SD900 video camera on a Gorilla Pod tripod (the gorillapod SLR is available here in the U.S) on my bookcase and used the video camera’s remote control and swivel screen (set to front-facing) to zoom in / out so that I fitted in the frame OK and could see that there weren’t horrible shadows falling on the green screen. I sat on a stool about 0.5m in front of the screen and it worked fine.

I created the video above in literally minutes and used iMovie on my Apple iMAC computer to implement the green screen effect.  Apple’s iMovie makes it extremely easy – you literally drop the green screen footage over a suitable background image or movie and it magically creates the green screen video effect.