--Nicole Zubiate - STEM Outreach Center
What is a green screen?
In film and video, a green background can be placed behind subjects being filmed. This allows a separately-filmed background to be added to the final video. Using a green screen is a fun way to enhance any video project. Filming in front of a green screen allows any project to be virtually transported to a new location or setting.
Why use a green screen?
There are many green-screen film projects that can enhance learning in the classroom. Using a green screen can make projects more fun, interesting, and effective. For example:
How can I get a green screen?
You can purchase green screen kits on sties like buy.com or amazon.com. Some of them come with just the fabric green screen that you can tack to a wall, and some come with accessories like stands, clamps, and lights. If you do not have the money to spend on an actual kit, there are many ways you can get cheaper versions or even create your own:
When creating your own green screen, finding the right color is important. The correct shade of green makes it easier for your computer to remove the green and show your chosen background. When looking for potential green-screen fabric, paper, or paint, think of the color of a Sprite bottle for the right color.
Be sure to set up your green screen away from doors, windows, or adjoining walls. You want to avoid noise, uneven light, and interruptions to your filming as well as things or kids that can cause damage to your screen.
Is there a special way to film with a green screen?
You can film green screen footage with any camera, and no special camera settings are needed. It is actually the editing software you use that will remove the green you film and let your chosen background show through instead. There are some things you can do to ensure that your green-screen footage will turn out well:
How do I edit my green-screen footage?
In most movie-editing software, you simply import your green screen footage and whatever photo or footage you want to use as your new background. Place the green-screen footage into your movie project, then place your new background behind it. (The order you place your footage and new background depends on the software.) Your software will then either ask you what to do with the two clips or will show a button to let you decide what to do. Look for a choice that either says green screen or chroma key. Selecting this option will remove any green in your footage and show the new background you have chosen in place of the green. Read your editing software's help manual for details.
Some apps have been created to help make editing green screen footage easier. Some of these apps require that the green screen footage be recorded within the app, while others can import footage from you device's camera or photo library. Some of these apps even have special effects built right in that are already green screen. Check out the following green screen apps, and give them a try: