With today's video editing capabilities, just about anyone can create convincing green screen effects with the right supplies and editing tools. Whether you buy a professional green screen kit or build your green screen out of supplies at home, you can use a green screen to bring nearly any concept to life through the art of visual effects.

However, you need to make sure you use the right green screen setup and know how to use a green screen to get the best results.

What is a green screen?

A green screen, which could also work as a blue screen, is one of the most commonly used techniques for filmmakers to add visual effects to footage. A green or blue screen is placed behind actors or objects in a shot. After filming, video editing software is used to remove the color from the shot and replace it with another background, in a process known as chroma keying. When done right, chroma-keying can enable you to create a convincing illusion of another space. You can use a green screen to place characters in another setting without the need to physically film there, but lighting and framing will determine how realistic the effect looks.

How to use a green screen

If you want to learn how to use a green screen at home or on a set, the following is a guide about how to make a green screen video with the right equipment.

Buy or create your green screen

You can either purchase a green screen specifically designed for videos or use solid green or blue fabric to serve as the chroma in your videos. While you can purchase green screen kits, keep in mind that you'll need more than this to complete the chroma keying process. These kits often only include a couple of lights that won't provide sufficient lighting, resulting in uneven lighting that translates to inconsistent color, which can interfere with replacing the background. Instead, you're better off using green screen material of the appropriate size and buying lighting equipment separately.

Start by lighting the screen

When filming, always light the screen before lighting the subject in the foreground. To prevent patching in post-production, you need to use the right lighting to keep the screen evenly lit throughout each shot. Ideally, your lighting will hit the screen from above indirectly, providing enough illumination without actually hitting the screen straight on. Try to use lights that are 500 to 1,000 watts, and you can use bedsheets or softboxes to diffuse the lighting.

With the screen lit, you can light your subject based on the background you intend to use. If your subject is placed in a setting with natural sunlight, light the subject from the direction the sun will hit, for example.

Leave enough space between the green screen and the subject

With more space between the subject and green screen, you can keep the lighting situations separate and provide enough contrast to make chroma keying easier and more effective. Enough space will also keep the green screen from bleeding into the edges of the subject, which could otherwise cause the subject to mesh with the new background.

Use reliable video editing software

Once you've captured the footage, it's equally important to know how to edit green screen shots and insert the new background. With the right video editing software, you can use the image or video chosen for the background and place it around the subject by removing the green screen.


With a better idea of how to do green-screen effects, you can create true movie magic with the right supplies and editing software. To find out more about how Pinnacle Studio can help create the perfect Hollywood-quality video, check out some other features.

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