Useful Tips For Working with Green Screens

We recently received an interesting green screen product that we are about to review and we thought it was a good chance to bring you (as well as remind ourselves) of a few basic points that are worth keeping in mind when working with green screens so here are three recent videos covering this topic.

We will start with five tips from our coulegees over on Film Riot:

  1. Camera movement – this is an advanced tip (if you are just starting – start with something simpler on a tripod with as little movement as you can). The tip here is to add markers on your green screen – this way if you are doing some camera movement you can use with your editing software such as After Effects (use different color green/blues than your actual background).
  2. Light your subject to match the screen – don’t just light your subject, think about what you are going to add in post – the colors and the light in the background and do your best to match them up. You can even work with a laptop or a tablet while shooting and try and view the background as you adjust your lighting on your subject. To really increase this you can use practical effects to match the background (wind, snow, rain even smoke). If it exists on your background try and match it with your shot as well.
  3. Light wrap – this software feature allows the edges of your subject blend better with your background and you can control how much you want to apply this blend.
  4. Open your aperture – opening your aperture will help in two ways – it will allow you to blend the subject better with the background and reduce the chance that you will need to increase the ISO (and the noise which is always a problem when using green screen). Keep in mind that if you are shooting with a wide aperture you will need to blur the background itself in post as well.
  5. Fix motion blur with higher shutter speed – this will not always be what you are looking for in terms of look – but if there is fast movement in your shot – this can be a problem when working in post with a green screen. The suggestion here is to shoot with high shutter speed – this will reduce the effects of this issue (but again – not always look like you might want it to).

The two following videos from the guys at Videomaker on using and working green screens

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We have covered green screen in the past with a video by Jem SchofieldMatt Forbes from Telestream who covered a few different aspects of green screen use as well as  James Mathers from the Digital Cinema Society who made a full Beginner’s Guide to Lighting a Green Screen.

You can watch more HDSLR and video techniques on our dedicated HDSLR channel here on LensVid.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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