When they say “Let’s make magic!” on a video shoot, the green screen is one of the first things that comes to mind. With the green screen you can be anywhere in the world and beyond, from Buckingham Palace to the star ship Enterprise. Best of all, with the green screen you don’t have to go the expense of finding a location or having a elaborate set built.
What Is A Green Screen, Exactly?
The green screen is exactly what it sounds like: A piece of fabric in a particular shade of green that’s stretched behind people. In the past, it was a special shade of blue, but that’s more rare nowadays.
Through the marvels of technology (that’s our way of avoiding a long boring discussion about bayer patterns and image layering) the green screen is replaced with a picture showing a particular setting, so the people in the shot appear to be standing in a specific location. It’s possible to do this in post production as well as during the actual video shoot. Of course you can also combine the green screen with actual scenery pieces if the people in your video need to interact with a portion of the set in a physical way, such as pushing buttons.
The most common example of green screen technology is used every day on television stations around the world. When the weather forecaster stands in front of the map, the map is not really there. If you were in the studio, you would see her standing in front of a green or blue wall. The map is layered in by the control room. The forecaster usually looks at a monitor so she knows where to point, although now it’s possible to project a faint image of the map on the screen. In the old days this technology was prohibitively expensive for most television stations, so forecasters used real map. But it was available as far back as the 1930s for movie studios, which had substantial budgets. It’s first significant use was in the 1940 movie Thief of Baghdad starring Bob Hope. The movie won an Oscar for best visual effects.
While the green or blue screen is relatively simple, there are still considerations to take into account. For example, you can’t wear anything in a comparable shade of green or blue when standing in front of it, or that part of your body will disappear when the scenery image is overlaid. One of the reasons the colors green and blue are used for this technology is because they’re not naturally found in human skin to any great degree, so there’s no chance that part of a person’s face, hair or hands will disappear. This is one reason it pays to use a professional company like Hencar, since we provide wardrobe consulting as part of our services.
Green screen technology can be one of the most cost-effective ways to give your video added appeal. While we don’t want to be too modest about what we do, you probably know that you can buy basic green screen kits online for your own use. There are a number of relatively affordable software suites that allow you to manipulate the image as you’re editing the video on your own computer.
However, as with any technology, you get what you pay for. Sure, you could do your own green screen video and have your teenager edit it. But that’s exactly what it’s going to look like you did. The overall quality of final product will not be very high. When you trust professionals like Hencar, you can be assured that you will get exceptional quality in all aspects of the video. So save the home green screen kits for your children’s middle school video projects, and invest your money wisely with the seamless production Hencar has to offer.
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