According to statistics, 80% of marketers confirm that video increases sales and 83% say video directly helps generate leads.
But, if you’re a brand looking to create killer video, there’s one problem. The shooting logistics. It’s hard to create a compelling video with the perfect background, in a space that’s free from background noises.
Because of this, a lot of the best video content is shot in a green screen studio. After shooting the subjects, you can add in the ideal backdrops to your video.
However, shooting in a green screen studio takes a little know-how and planning. If you don’t know how to go about using a green screen, you could waste a lot of time in studio—only to find your footage is unusable.
Avoid this mistake and keep reading to find out some of the top tips for shooting green screen content.
Make Sure Your Green Screen Is Wrinkle-Free
One of the first things you need to do to ensure a smooth (pardon the pun) green screen production process is to make sure there aren’t any wrinkles in your green screen.
Wrinkles and irregularities can create shadows and bright spots. This will make it harder to seamlessly insert your background in post-production.
If you are using a fabric green screen, one of the easiest ways to remove wrinkles and creases is with a steamer. Alternatively, you can also iron the cloth.
If you’re using a paper screen, you’ll probably have to ditch it and use a new sheet.
If you want to create green-screen content in-house, we’d also recommend you don’t opt for a paper backdrop. It might be cheaper, but stats show that 22% of marketers create multiple videos per week. If you’re using a paper green screen, it’s bound to get badly crinkled fast.
Use the Right Green Screen
Before you set up your green screen studio space, you also need to think about what color screen to use. Green-colored screens are most common because they’re basically the opposite color of humans.
But, if you’re shooting a subject that contains green, then you should rather opt for a blue-colored screen. For instance, if you’re shooting plants or a person with green hair, a green-colored screen will cause problems when it comes to chroma keying.
Alternatively, maybe your company uniforms are green? This is another situation where a blue screen is a better choice.
The next vital tip for shooting green screen content is creating lots of space between your subject and the green screen. This helps to prevent shadows from falling onto the green screen.
Putting space between the subject and the green screen also gives you more flexibility when it comes to adding backgrounds in post-production. If you want to play around with the scale of the background to the subject, the more space you have to work with the better.
Therefore, make sure you have at least 4 feet of space between your subject and the green screen at a minimum. If you have the space, 6-10 feet is even better.
Light the Green Screen Separately to the Subjects
Any shadows that fall on your green screen can play havoc when you go to chroma key. If there are too many shadows, the chroma key won’t replace these areas with the backdrop and instead include them as part of the subject’s layer. This looks fake and amateur.
To avoid this, light the green screen separately from your subject. One of the simplest ways to do this is by placing two lights on either side of the green screen, and one from the front pointing directly at the subject.
If you’re worried about shadows, you can also use a waveform monitor to analyze how consistently lit the green screen is. If you have evenly lit the area, the waveform machine should display a straight, tight, horizontal band.
If you’re opting for chroma green, the line reading on the waveform should be about 40-45 IRE. If you’re using a blue background, the reading should be around 25-30 IRE.
In summary, don’t rush lighting. Good lighting is key to making virtual sets look real.
Beware of Loose Hair
If your subject’s hair is loose, this can also create problems in post-production. Loose hair can cause a blurry outline. Blurry outlines will make it tough to crisply apply the chroma key and get a sharp, clear divide between your subject and the background.
To be on the safe side, try to make sure that subjects’ hair is either arranged closely to their heads or smoothed down with styling products.
Pay Attention to Lighting Color
Not only should you light your subject separately, but you should also pay attention to the color light that you throw on them. Ideally, the light hue should match the background you’re going to insert during post-production.
For instance, if you want a scene of someone looking at the sunrise, or in an evening setting, you should cast them in warm light.
On the other hand, if you want to insert your brand’s office space into the backdrop, cool-toned lighting will look more realistic.
Shoot at the Highest Resolution You Can
For best results, always shoot at the highest resolution and bit rate you can when filming in a green screen studio.
Shooting in LOG or RAW formats will give you the best color information preservation which you can then adjust with color correction in post-production. You should also select the highest color sampling that’s available, and aim for at least 4:2:2. At a pinch, 4:2:0 is still possible to key with.
For crisp, realistic results, you can also try shooting with a shallow depth of field. This should put your subject into sharp focus and blur the background.
Not only does this put your subject perfectly in focus, but it can also help smooth out imperfections in your backdrop and minimize any backdrop lighting issues.
Are You in Need of a Green Screen Studio?
Shooting with a green screen can help streamline your content creation and give you more professional videos. But, setting up a green screen studio can involve a lot of work and trial and error.
If you don’t have the space, time, or technical staff for running an in-house green screen studio, there are leaner ways to create green-screen content.
Here at San Francisco Media Group, we offer a vast range of production services and flexible production spaces. Not only do we give you the perfect studio set-up, but our editing and post-production services also ensure flawless final results.
Contact us today to discuss your production needs.