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Green screen effect doesn't look good

observer's picture
Last seen: 4 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 04/27/2014 - 2:40pm

Guys, my green screen and light equipment produces vidoes with edges that are not super sharp. I have to adjust contract to add sharpness, and even then the quality is not perfect. I tried moving lighting around, same result...

Any suggestions?


Laguna Hiker's picture
Last seen: 6 days 5 hours ago
Joined: 05/27/2013 - 12:33pm
Plus Member

You may need more light, and perhaps better NLE software. In most cases, you should light your greenscreen separately from your talent. I use a couple of 4' fluorescent fixtures with 5500K fluorescent tubes, which match the 5500K softboxes that I use to light the talent. I've got the tube fixtures mounted on light stands a couple of feet in front of the greenscreen. Talent stands three feet or so in front of that.

 

Some editing packages have pretty lousy keyers. Premiere Pro's UltraKey filter is very good, and Final Cut Pro has a good keyer, as well. If you are using a low-end NLE, you might want to try a dedicated keying application. Google lists a bunch of them.


Scott Bethel's picture
Last seen: 4 weeks 1 day ago
Joined: 04/28/2014 - 3:30pm

It would be helpful if you could take some pics of your set up and also tell us what software you are trying to execute this effect with.  As Laguna hinted at - some of them just won't do the job adequately.  

 

Your green screen needs it's own lighting.  Cheap scoops are great for this.  Your talent needs to stand in front of those lights dedicated to the screen (so that light does not shine on them).   IMPORTANT - do not overlight your greenscreen.   The lighting does not need to be bright, just even.  Too intense and you will get a green bounce back on your talent that you do NOT want. Simple 3-point lighting on your talent, with emphasis on a back light.  My back light is on a stand BEHIND my green screen with the lamp fixture peeking over the top of the screen to light the talent.

 

I shoot these just about daily so I know I can help, but honestly your post doesn't have enough information to prescribe a solution.  You may doing it just fine and it is a software issue.  I do not agree with Laguna as far as the FCP 7 key - it is pretty bad.  X maybe fine, don't know since I switched to Premiere Pro and YES - UltraKey is quite good and does the job for stand ups.


David Casler's picture
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 01/19/2013 - 12:24pm
Plus Member

Lots of things to consider. First, watch all the videos on the Videomaker site about green screen-they contain a wealth of information. Second, even lighting is critical. Watch the color temperature of your lights. The actual color temperature is not so important as all the lights having the same color temperature. I light my green screen with several 4-foot-long "daylight" fluorescents from Home Depot. Also, be sure to light the talent from behind, particularly so there's good hair light and lots of light on the talent's shoulders-this helps reduce green spill reflected back from the green screen. Finally, it's important that your software really understand what color the green screen is. I control my studio carefully so it's always the same color, and I've done endless experiments to get it just right. Usually the chroma key software has a color picker--try picking in various areas to get an idea for what works best. 

 

Note also that the camera has an impact. Less expensive cameras (including mine) do not record as much color information as b&w information because the human eye is less sensitive to color edges than to b&w edges (this is the meaning of 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 etc.). This makes it more difficult to pull a good key, since the green in your video file tends to spill in spite of the best efforts you make at lighting. Most software can compensate for this a little bit.

 

I realize I'm way in the minority here, but I use CyberLink PowerDirector 12. I don't like the built-in chroma key capability as much as I do that of the NewBlue Chroma Key "effect." I think the NewBlue version is very good. I do amateur radio training videos using green screen and continue to try to improve production values with each one. Here's one of the recent ones:

LQ&index=8. The chroma key effect looks great to my eyes. 

 

It's just a combo of continual small improvements, learning all I can from Videomaker and others, and constant tinkering.


George Henderson's picture
Last seen: 2 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 03/25/2014 - 2:54pm

David your key looks very good.  Looks like you practice what you "preached" ... no green wrap-around!  Your lecture reminds me of a corny scientific joke:

 

1st Atom:  "I think I lost an electron"

2nd Atom: "Are you sure?"

1st Atom:  "I'm positive!"

 

<groan>

 

 

 



magnoliaPower's picture
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/28/2013 - 12:50pm

I have struggled a lot with my green screen.

I had one collapsible. But it was very hard to light it.

I bought a 6m x 3m green screen cover in cotton. They had almost the same color except that when I light it ! The green was really a nice sharp clear green. The next video was good.