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Videomaker's Favorite Greenscreen Effects

How to enhance your video with greenscreen effects you can use in your studio.

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Video Transcript

Hey, who ever said riding clouds was difficult? It’s not that bad. This time on tips and tricks we’re gonna show you some Chroma Key favorites and recreate the process so you know how to do them, too.

A commonly known green screen favorite is the weather map used in every newscast around the world. To do this effect we simply use two green thumb tags placed at separate locations on the green screen to be used as markers to give our talent a point of reference when it came to our locations. Here you can see a massive storm is on the way with clouds looming over Videoville during the weekend, then cascading down to Camcorder Land at an alarming rate while the sun races up to Videoville. Ooh, I hope we brought umbrellas and swim trunks, ‘cause that’s the quickest season change ever.

While we’re talking about the news, we use a picture in picture effect to give the example of an on-location cutaway or phone-in style interview. We placed our talent to the left leaving some extra room to the right of the picture for the picture box. Once we had our picture in picture, we just scaled it down to the right size and had our talent react to the conversation. For our background we simply used some cutaways of space to give the impression that the talent was talking about secret alien spy missions.

Another popular Chroma Key trick is the ability to fly. By lying the talent on top of a rolling cart and the use of a very powerful fan, we were able to sell the effect. The key here was to make sure that we cut the cart out of the frame and the background of the sky was heading in the right direction, as well as in time with the speed of the fan. When everything was in synch together the effect was easy to sell. When the background speed and the speed of the fan was off, the effect didn’t look nearly as powerful.

Another popular Chroma Key trick is motion behind the talent to sell the effect of movement. This is commonly used for shots inside a vehicle or motion around a subject that is not the main focus of the shot. We used a fan and a bicycle and had our talent pedal away in front of a green screen while standing in the exact same spot. When we inserted our background, we made sure that the motion reflected the opposite direction of our bicyclist. This way we were able to sell the idea that the talent was moving forward.

To take the subjects into another environment that we couldn’t normally get to, we again enlisted the help of a fan and the reaction of the talent to sell the explosion of a volcano, which of course we inserted later. After being blown away to smithereens, our talent was thrown to their doom as they fell to the ground below. To do this effect we had our subject lie on top of the green screen, adjusted our lights to face downward, and used a fan to blow their clothes upward to sell the fall down. After adding two markers, one at the beginning of the fall and one at the end of the fall, we simply scaled the talent down in size to give the impression that he was falling further and further, when in reality we were just shrinking the image more and more.

The same basic fan effect was used to add to the illusion of a tornado. We threw in some debris and had our talent react to the fan, which was placed in front of him to sell the effect of a large gush of wind. By adding the debris we were able to add to the illusion by creating what looked like more swirls from the wind, provided by the fan.

Another popular Chroma Key illusion is making select body parts disappear. By first cutting out a portion of the green screen and then taping it to the body part we want to disappear, we can add the background over the green screen and along the stomach, making it appear to have a huge hole right in the center. No wonder he was complaining of stomach pain.

This effect also works on walls or anywhere that you can cut out a specific shape and tape it to a surface. Here we cut out a brick formation and inserted a clip of surgeons working away, making it seem as if we walked by a hole in the wall exposing another room. Again by simply cutting out the design that we wanted out of the green screen and taping it to the wall, we were able to create this effect.

Well, as you can see, whether you’re trying to do the weather, whether you’re trying to use Chroma Key to fly, any one of these effects is all attainable. You can do it. We showed you how. Now get out there and make it happen.

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