Green screens can be a fantastic tool and cool way to add backdrops to your videos and films. You can use them to add any type of background you desire, from a static image to motion visuals.
They’re also easy to create, meaning you can have one at your studio or even at home.
In this article, I will tell you all that you need to know to set up a simple green screen studio at home.
Let’s dive in!
To get started on your green screen studio, you first need to make sure you have everything at hand.
- A green cloth or a green screen panel (details)
- Video editing software
- Good-quality camera
- Sufficient lighting (actually one of the most important things)
What Green Screens are For
Green screens are used by pretty much anyone who might have a camera and a computer.
Green screens are used so often that you’ve probably seen a large number of them without realizing it. They’re used on news’ weather reports, as well as by film production houses, not to mention a lot of YouTubers utilize them in many different ways.
So why should you set up a green screen studio at home?
Whether you’re a YouTuber, an online influencer, or someone who just wants to have fun, you can use a green screen studio for many things, including:
- Instructional videos
- Online courses
- Short films
- Original backdrops for video-calls 😉
Important Factors to Consider
The quality of your green screen effects indeed depends on the equipment available to you.
However, there are several things you can consider that will drastically increase the quality of your finished product.
- The lighting
- The editing software you plan on using
- The video compression format of your camera
- The accuracy of the shade and saturation of your green screen
A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you have everything you need, it’s time to build your green screen studio at home.
Step 1: The Screen
The first step is taking care of the green screen. You can use a green piece of fabric or even a collapsible green screen.
If this isn’t an option and you’re on a budget, you can always choose to buy bright green construction paper. You can use nails or even thumbtacks to attach your screen to the wall.
On the other hand, if money is no issue and you’ll be using this space for a prolonged time, you can paint one wall of your studio room green. Check the precise color here.
Step 2: The Lighting
Shadows are one of the main reasons why a green screen video might not work. They interfere with the whole look of the final product and can ruin hours of hard work if you spot them too late. It is of extreme importance to set them right an set them so that the lighting in the same shade and with no hot-spots
There are many ways of setting up your lights, but a three-point system is a standard and the most preferred.
One light should be placed in front of the subject, while the other two should be placed on either side. This allows for the curvature of light to illuminate the subject equally while simultaneously canceling out the subject’s shadow.
Another important factor in eliminating shadows is to have your subject stand seven to nine feet away from the green screen.
You should also make sure your green screen is completely flat against the wall with no folds or dents, as this will make the editing process simpler later.
Step 3: Matching the Background and Foreground
We’ve talked about making sure your subject is adequately lit up for your video or film, but what about the background?
If done well, green screens offer a merger of the background and foreground that allows for a realistic final look. However, one factor in this process that’s often overlooked is matching the lighting.
For example, if the background will be scenery during sunset, it doesn’t make much sense to light up your subject as if it’s noontime. This will cause a contrast that’ll be noticed immediately.
Different backgrounds have different lightings, and there are no specific rules as to what you can do with your lighting to match your background. For this reason, you have to experiment with your lighting.
You can experiment with your lighting equipment by changing the position of the lighting fixtures, bringing them closer to the subject or moving them further away, or even by changing the color of the bulbs.
Getting a green screen studio right the first time might seem a bit daunting, which is why we’ve come up with this list of extra tips to help you out.
Avoid Green Clothing
Unless you want the subject’s outfit to morph with the background, you should always avoid green clothing.
This isn’t limited only to what your subject is wearing on their upper half. It also includes accessories such as hats, scarves, and more.
Stay Within the Green
Your subject must stay within the frame of the green screen while shooting. If they don’t, your shot will be ruined because a piece of your subject will appear missing in the editing process.
This is an obvious one, and anyone who breaks this rule does so accidentally. This is why it’s recommended that you conduct several practice shots before the filming process.
Avoid Reflective Objects
Jewelry and certain accessories such as glasses can reflect the lighting from your light fixtures onto the camera.
This is a major faux-pas in all production, but it’s even worse when working with a green screen. Reflective objects, which aren’t necessarily limited to jewelry, can be a pain when editing the footage.
For this reason, it’s best if you wholly avoid the use of any reflective objects when working with a green screen.
Use Green Screen-Capable Software
Many editing software developers claim to have great capabilities to handle a green screen project, but this isn’t always true.
Thankfully, there are a few that live up to this promise, and quite impressively too. Some popular software that’s commonly used by editing pros includes Adobe Premiere, iMovie, Lightworks, DaVinci Resolve and Filmora9.
Anyone can work their way around a green screen and build their own studio at home.
By following the above steps and trying plenty of test shots, your green screen studio should be well equipped and ready for your first official shoot.