Green Screen Troubles

Cshea90's picture
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: 12/05/2017 - 10:59am

So, I have been editing for quite some time. Ever since the company I am with started green screen, I have never seen so many issues. The subjects are too close, the lighting is slacking, and all that. Some subjects key well but others, when their hair tends to, do what hair does, such as moves, curls, or what not...There is a White/Grey Halo all around the hair, inside it, and out. No matter the plugin, technique, or editor...we can not seem to eliminate this. Sadly, there is nothing us editors can do to influence the boss to do proper lighting or listen to us about the subjects. Are there any ways we can get rid of it tho?

Since I can't add a photo or link to the photo...I can't really share it.


Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 1 day 1 hour ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

Years ago Gene Shepard concluded "If your cow doesn't give milk, sell him." You're kind of in that situation with your boss. Can you get rid of him? Green screen is difficult enough when there is perfect lighting and separation; without it it's a mess.

You don't say what software you're using but some NLEs will let you make more than a single pass at the screen, adjusting "green" each time. You might try a pass for the primary green color, then a second or more for colors in and around the hair. Often the halo you're describing is caused by color reflected off the background or some other object in the studio and can be reduced or keyed out entirely by multiple passes.


Rocky M's picture
Last seen: 4 days 17 hours ago
Joined: 03/12/2010 - 5:53am

Problems arise with green screen shoots when (i) the lighting set up is not 100% even across the entire green screen or (ii) lighting creates hot spots on the screen and/or (iii) the talent is too close to the screen and casts a shadow. For a low cost budget video using a green screen outdoors can be an answer.

You can tell your boss the outdoor method is cheaper than lighting or hiring a green screen studio.

I have found Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 "Ultra Key" Effect affords best keying results. I have found PP CS6 to outpreform other editing software. Short 15 second example is:


paulears's picture
Last seen: 1 day 6 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

If you don't have space behind the actors then you need very good lighting for the screen, but without some details - how can we help.

Being very honest, the really vital thing is just bright even lighting of the screen. I painted one wall of my edit suite green and it keys brilliantly with Premiere - the secret simply being even lighting. You can see how small it is here:

and keying is fine - here's a stupid test I did to see how it worked


jrwomack's picture
Last seen: 1 week 22 hours ago
Joined: 11/29/2008 - 1:34pm

Comment 1: Jack Wolcott, I the cow isn't giving milk you don't seel "him." You sell "her" cause if it's a him that explains why you not getting any milk. :-) Couldn't resist.

Comment2: Seriously, outdoor lighting really is both cheaper and ideal on most days. Especially if it's not windy. And a wonderful alternative to those on a tight, very tight budget. I open myself to being corrected here and welcome it. I just accepted orders for anti-pill Kelly green, Lime green, and blue fleece cloth. My theory from past usage is they wrinkle very little, resist slight breezes better and give good outdoor lighting balance. Plus my chroma key outputs are clean requiring less adjustments.


paulears's picture
Last seen: 1 day 6 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

Interested why you went for pigments that have the other colours in to a small degree? In cloth, the addition of other pigments in the dye makes them a bit unpredictable when people wear tints in their clothes - like the yellowy colours that have a tendency to go green? Outside I have never thought of, but you get space, and on a cloudy day lovely soft light - but in my part of the world, it's always windy!