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Monday, May 08, 2017

Raise the Bar: Shooting and Editing Green-Screen Video | FocusOn Learning 2017 - Mark Lassoff

Interested in taking a deep dive into the new world of mobile learning? Join us June 20-22 in San Diego for FocusOn Learning 2017, where we’ll be taking a deep dive into the potential and possibilities of mobile technologies and how they can be used for learning and performance.   

Photo: Mark Lassoff
"Green-screen video has been around for years. The local weather forecaster has been standing in front of the green screen gesturing into space for about as long as I can remember." says Mark Lassoff, Founder, LearnToProgram Media, and Punk Learning.

However, many in educational video aren’t using green screen, and there seems to be a false belief that it is either too expensive or too difficult to do.

Figure 1: An inexpensive green-screen setup

In this column, you’re going to learn exactly what tools you’ll need to produce green-screen video—and that they’re surprisingly inexpensive. I’ll also go over some basic techniques to get you started.

The tools of the green-screen trade One of the good things about green-screen work is that you can start very inexpensively and purchase more durable tools later.

I’m going to assume you already have some type of video camera and computer for editing; I’ll discuss only those tools you need specifically for green-screen production.

To start out, you need a few items:

Green screen or green-screen paint
You’ve seen the lime-green screen used in many productions. Sometimes a deep aqua color is used as well. Regardless, you can purchase a fabric green screen from for as little as $30. Usually, the more expensive the screen, the more durable the fabric used. There are several shapes, and they are usually attached to included posts with clips. The screens are often sold as a kit. I recommend the screen set if you’re going to be moving the green screen around.

However, if you’re going to be shooting in only one dedicated location, I’d suggest you use green-screen paint. (Here’s one option.) You’re going to want a consistent green, and a flat wall will be more consistent than a fabric with folds and creases.

Purchase the biggest screen or paint the biggest wall you can afford. You’ll find that a larger green-screen studio will provide you with more options down the road.

A standard three-point lighting solution will work best. There are three-point lighting kits available from Amazon for under $100. You want to light your subject so you don’t cast shadows on the green screen, but you must also highlight well. We’ve augmented our in-studio lighting with a hair light and a ring light. The hair light (obviously) lights the subject’s hair from above. The ring light is a circular light around the camera that evenly lights our subject well.

Source: FocusOn Learning 2017