4 vital tips to remember while filming with a green screen in VFX
The most important and synonymous concept to the art of visual effects is that of a green screen. Since its introduction, it has been a vital part of nearly all VFX works. The green screen is a tool just like any other and takes experience and skill to get right. Due to the exposure of ‘behind the screen’ process of a film, these days people think that working with a green screen is very easy. The person who does VFX editing for green screen footage is known as a key artist. Keying is not easy, and a lot has to go right between pre-production and final renders to get a truly masterful composite using green, blue, or any type of chroma key screen.
Let us go through a few vital tips that one needs to know while filming with a green screen and eventually turning the footage into an impactful VFX scene:
Keep a Distance
Ask anyone with experience in working with green screens and they will tell you that the operation of a green screen requires the smallest amount of effort. But it is important to be wise and precise with it. Position your actors and the elements to be used in the scene, as far as possible from the green screen. This helps in avoiding multiple problems like unwanted shadows and spills from your screen. Maintain an approximate distance of 6-10 feet from the screen.
Mind Your Materials
The next most important thing to keep in mind while working with a green screen is the materials or elements that you are shooting in front of it. Wardrobe can often be a hurdle in this case but it’s important to think very deliberately about what materials will and won’t play nicely with your screen. Any clothing or other material that will reflect light, cannot be used in front of a green screen.
The key is the lighting
The most complicated and difficult part of perfecting your green screen is its lighting. Light, of course, is the ultimate factor when it comes to any work in film or video. It determines everything about how your camera will see the world. When going for proper exposure and lighting of your screen, the first understanding is that you don’t want to match the lighting of your background and your foreground. This is a common misconception. The foreground element needs to pop out from the background.
Now that you understand the basics of green screen lighting, the next challenge is to nail down your lighting for even levels across the screen. Ideally, your screen should be exposed to a uniform amount of light from edge to edge, but that is not the reality. The perfect green screen is rarely possible as budget, time, space, and many other factors aren’t going to be perfectly within your control. Regardless, with a deliberate and careful approach, you can take small steps towards saving time in post and improving the final product as well.
The last and the most important step in the process of learning how to use a green screen is professional training for it. Enrolling yourself to a professional VFX training institute that gives you a real-time experience with green screens and other VFX elements is very useful for your career. Rotomaker Academy’s VFX courses are crafted in a way that the students get to learn from one of the most experienced and professional faculty of the industry and also get to practice the teachings through fieldwork.