A Practical Green Screen Guide - For Beginners

What is Chroma Key/Green Screen?

Chroma keying is the process of transparentizing pixels of specific color in a video and overlay them with another image or video. Traditionally we use green screens for this process, and the green pixels of the green screen will be replaced by your chosen image. We use green screens because usually people don’t wear green clothing. It’s not associated with any natural skin tone or hair color, and in general there aren’t many objects which are green. This way, when the green pixels are being replaced, only the background will change, and not your skin or clothing. 

Technically we can replace any color using chroma key. Some people use blue screens for their videos to replace their backgrounds. It all depends on your needs and the type of video you are making. If you want to wear something green for your video and still use chroma key, it would be a good idea to use a blue screen.

Film makers started using chroma key in the 40’s. Back than when you thought about green screen you would think Hollywood, and big film productions. This is not the case anymore. Today anyone who wants to make a video for his social media page, or any other content platform, can use a green screen if he or she wants to. Using BIGVU’s editing platform would be your easiest way to use a green screen, and change your background with a few clicks.  

Tip: Make sure you don’t wear anything green, or else when you try to change the background to another image, your green clothing will probably change as well.                              

 

Make sure you don’t wear anything green, or else when you try to change the background to another image, your green clothing will probably change as well.
Credit: Peter Chiykowski – Twitter

Any Video Creator Can Use Chroma Key

Green Screens are much easier to find and buy than ever before. In the past green screens were used solely in the filming industry, while today any TikTok content creator can use it without having any prior knowledge, as it is very simple to use. You can use green screen for anything. Seriously. BIGVU’s platform is integrated with Pixabay, so you can search and download any image or video you want to use as a background for your videos. You can also use your own Images and videos by simply uploading them to BIGVU.  

There are plenty of types of green screens you can find on amazon and buy without having to do much research. ‘Webaround’ green screen is a product that shows how green screen as a video tool has evolved and adjusted to new type of customers: independent video content creators who do videos from home. Whether it’s for fun, or for a living. There plenty of green screen kits with all the necessary equipment to set it up properly, with prices varying from 15$ to approximately 200$.

webaround green screen
"Webaround"

If you don’t want to spend money on a green screen, you can even use green bed sheets that you can buy at IKEA ,as long as it’s thick enough and lit properly. Try it out and see what works for your videos.

 

How to Change Your Background? (With BIGVU)

The process of changing your video’s background with BIGVU is simplified as much as possible, to encourage every video content creator to use a green screen for their videos, if they want to.

Right before you upload a video to BIGVU’s app, you’ll be asked whether you have been using a green screen. Then Inside BIGVU’s video editing platform, you can easily choose an image or video from our homemade images to replace your background with. That’s it. That’s how easy it is and how it should be. Like we mentioned, you can use your own images or videos which you can easily upload, and even download them straight from Pixabay through BIGVU.

 

Then you can go on and add a logo, a lower third, captions and music. Just make sure you don’t add anything to the video before you have changed the background using chroma keying, as it might harm the background change process.

How ‘Zoom’ Lets You Change Your Background Without Green Screen?

In contrast to traditional chroma key technology, what Zoom are doing is different, and relatively new. 

Zoom's background changing capability is based on an artificial intelligence algorithm that tries to predict which pixel in the video frame is a human being, and which pixel is the background. This prediction succeeds in high percentages, therefore the background replacement on zoom without using a green screen is impressive. That’s how Zoom enables its users to change their background without requiring them to use a green screen, yet it is easy to notice that the background change won’t work 100% and get blurry at times, especially in the areas closest to the person or where there is movement.

For this reason, green screens are still important for video content creators who want their videos to look professional, and want to change their background perfectly, without any buggy blurs.

Lighting Is Crucial for Chroma Key

To make sure the chroma keying works smoothly, we need to light our green screen properly. If you don’t light your green screen right it may be may be partially shadowed. This can can also happen if the main lighting is directed straight at the green screen. those shadows causes darker variants of green, and the green pixels won't be consistent. If that darker green won’t be in the spectrum that the chroma key is looking for, it won’t be overlaid.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need any professional lighting equipment. Make sure you have proper lighting above you, and between you and the green screen. So, if you are doing a video indoors, set up your green screen just beneath the main lighting of the room, and stand a few steps ahead of the light. Your green screen should be just a few steps behind you.  

Tip: Long hair can cause some problems, as the gaps between the hairlines won’t be recognized by the chroma key as the green screen, so the gaps will be blurry. If you notice this happens in your video,make sure you set up your hair in a way it won’t affect the chroma keying process.  

There are video editing platforms that allow you to play around with parameters of the chroma key, so you can increase the spectrum of the chroma key color and overcome shadow issues. But if you don’t want to deal with this, just make sure your green screen is lightened properly, and you can easily change your video’s background using BIGVU’s editing platform.

Summary

We know some of our users are wondering why we are not providing the option to change their video's background without having to use a greenscreen, like 'Zoom'. Here is why: If you are attending a live concert, and one of the trumpeters, or violinists mess up, nobody would really care. They will keep on playing and the audience will still have a good concert. But we envision BIGVU more as a music studio. If a mistake occurs during a studio session, we will fix it or do it again until it works out.

Zoom is a live Show, and we are a studio.

Zoom will eventually be advanced enough to provide 100% background change without the need for a green screen. But as long as that technology won’t advance that far, green screens will still be necessary for content creators who want to produce high quality videos, which would include replacing your video’s background in the best way possible. 

With BIGVU that process is the easiest it can be. Register and try us out for free!

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