What is Green Screen?

Green screen technology is the basis of the effects seen in everything from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to the weather forecast. The idea is simple. If you shoot a video with a single coloured backdrop (blue or green is often used) Pinnacle Studio allows you to make that colour transparent - replacing it with any other video clip, graphic or still image.

With green screen, it's simple to superimpose anything or anyone into any shot. You can transport yourself to the moon, appear in your favourite film, or make a presentation along with all the relevant facts and figures...

You can use any single colour, flat object as a screen, but Pinnacle Studio Ultimate is unique in the video editing world as the only editing package to come with a free green screen.

In Studio

Once you capture your green screen footage and load your background shots into Pinnacle studio, creating a green screen effect is easy.

  1. Set Pinnacle Studio to Timeline mode by selecting Timeline from the View menu.
  2. Drag your green screen footage into the Overlay track (the 2nd track from the top on the timeline and drag your background footage to the video track directly on top so that the two clips run side by side.
  3. Double click on the green screen footage and select the bottom icon on the left of the window which appears to open the effects panel. Now choose Chroma Keyer from the Studio Plus RTFX list and click OK
  4. The effect controls appear and you can use the eyedropper tool to select the background colour. You can then adjust the colour tolerance and softness until you get the best look for your shot

Tip: If your backdrop doesn't go to the edges of your frame, add a picture-in-picture effect and use the cropping sliders to remove the unwanted edges of the screen.

Controls: The Chroma key controls can be a little daunting if you've never used then before, but you should go through them pretty much in the order they appear. Start by selecting the colour with the eyedropper. Then move the colour tolerance up until most of your background vanishes. Next, use the saturation minimum control to tidy up the key - so that everything in the background is removed. Use the softness control to adjust the strength of the background image (bringing it down just a little preserves the shadows on your backdrop if you want them). The transparency slider fades out your foreground image and the Spill Suppression control acts on the edges of your objects, removing any green fringes or hues that can appear on complicated edges or semi-transparent objects.