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4 tips For Shooting & Editing green screen in a non-studio environment

1. The Key to Green Screen IS the “Key”

No matter where you’re shooting, how stressed you are on set, or what time-constraints you are under, remember one thing: when it comes to green screen, being able to “key” out whatever is green is most important. If your talent looks great, and their performance is strong, but the background doesn’t look believable, you’ve instantly set them up for ridicule purely by surroundings. Think about it, when a viewer is watching a movie clearly set in a house, they don’t even think twice about the surroundings because they are, quite literally, all background to the point you want the viewer to focus on: the believability of the performance. Actors work so hard to make the viewer believe them, but if the green screen key is unbelievable, they have literally no chance to be believable.

2. Fix the Tricky Spots with Masks

As much as you try to make the green screen key perfect on set, sometimes there are trouble spots when you finally bring the footage into post-production. You can alleviate these problems by using masks to cut out parts of the key. This is shown at 00:23 in the video above. You can use masks to either cut out portions of the footage completely or you can use them to apply a different key, such as if one part of the green screen is darker than the rest. Using the right amount of blur and feathering on your masks, you can use them to seamlessly remove your foreground from your green screen.

3. Match the Character Lighting with the Background

Creating a realistic looking shot requires that every part of the scene blends well together. One of the most important aspects to achieve this it to match the lighting and color on the foreground and the background. Both parts of the scene should have the same color temperature so neither looks out of place. If the inside of the car is bright, yellow, and sunny, and the scenery going by outside is a dreary blue then it will immediately be outed as a fake scene. Matching the two elements is key to getting a good key.

4. Add Reality

Watch the time-lapse video of our video above. There are two key items we added that really ‘sell’ the idea of reality. The first is a subtle shake of the camera to mimic a car driving down a road. The second one, which you may not realize is happening, is at 00:30 seconds in. We used shots from a road looking up at the canopy of trees, power lines, etc. and made a reflection in the windshield that absolutely sells the idea of reality. All from the not-so-cavernous space of the garage studio! Check out pictures below to see how it happened behind the scenes!

4 tips For Shooting & Editing green screen in a non-studio environment 1. The Key to Green Screen IS the “Key” No matter where you’re shooting, how stressed you are on set, or what