Here's Your Guide To Using The Green Screen Effectively!

By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on December 08, 2015

Technology has changed the face of filmmaking. From digitally creating dinosaurs to building an entire space station, we can show almost anything on the big screen now. Green screening or chromakeying has become an important aspect of filmmaking.

A green screen (or blue) can help you create any background & all you need to do is, ensure good lighting & have a decent editing set-up.

1. Good Lighting

Appropriate lighting of the green screen is underrated. Even a professional will not be able to repair a shot in post-production, if the lighting wasn't appropriate. You need to avoid shadows and the best way to do this is by using two different light sources to light two different things. For example, you could use florescent lights (cool texture) for your subject and tungsten lights (warm texture) for the green screen. Using two different lights will give the desired contrast which can then be used wisely for your shot. Another way to avoid reflections and shadows in your shot is by working on the distance between the subject and the green screen. Have a look at the image below to know how this can be achieved.

greenAlso remember that if your subject is wearing green, use a blue screen. This will take care of the camouflaging effect the green screen might offer.

2. Editing Software

Adobe After Effects & Final Cut Pro are two softwares that distinctly stand out. In FCP, if the colour isn't popping enough or if the subject isn't standing out enough, you can do some colour correction, saturation or highlights. This will make the green more distinctive which will be a lot easier on your keying software. You can also use the chroma keyer plugin to add width and softness to your shot. Further adjustments can be made by using correcting the hue and saturation of the subject with respect to the background.


Check out the video by Film Riot on how to Green Screen and get a better understanding of its features. You can also check out this post by VideoMaker that elaborates on the working of green screen.


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