Green Screens: Properly Lighting & Keying - Includes Bonus Update! | Chris Florence | Skillshare

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Green Screens: Properly Lighting & Keying - Includes Bonus Update!

teacher avatar Chris Florence, Never Stop Learning

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (36m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Equipment Needed

    • 3. Proper Lighting

    • 4. Camera Settings Do's & Don'ts

    • 5. Post Editing Process

    • 6. Lighting & Environment Observations

    • 7. Project


    • 9. Congrats on Finishing!

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About This Class

So the battle for getting a great key happens before you even turn on your camera! Get that and let it soak a warm bath. It's super important to understand. I've had to learn this info the hard way because so many people focus on the software. Software can only do so much and the hours spent working on terrible video is a nightmare believe me.

We will also be talking about software so don't worry. The good news is all editing software both expensive and cheap offer this functionality although not all software is equal. Join me as we walk you through this process step by step and start wowing your friends and/or clients with your new skilz.

Meet Your Teacher

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Chris Florence

Never Stop Learning


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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is Chris Florence, and I am here to teach you about green screens. There's a lot of misconceptions about green screens that all you have to do is get somebody in front of a green wall or fabric or whatever in. It's easy. Actually, If you've ever struggled with green screens before, you know that it's not as easy as it sounds. And so we're gonna focus mainly on where you get it, right. We're gonna talk about tools, different equipment that you can you can use for your green screen projects. Skies really the limit once you actually figure this part out. So I want to show you the secrets of Of Lighting. Um, a, uh, lighting these things correctly because that's where you kind of fail and succeed is in the lighting, making sure that there's no spill on your subject's shoulders. And there's halos. So I'm gonna teach you the secrets of getting set up properly and getting set up right the first time, because software is not gonna be able to solve these problems. In most cases, they're gonna end up having to sri shoot, or you're gonna have to scrap um, certain projects altogether or not. Be able to even use them and hours of hard work. You're talking difference between minutes and post and hours in post, and I'm gonna focus. We're gonna focus on again. We'll get you to a point where you can, um Onley focused minutes imposed so that you can focus on the creativity side of things once you've actually gotten the key polls and everything is looking good. So hopefully you guys will get something out of it. I know I'm excited. Teach you guys some of things that I've had to learn over the years, So we'll see you inside the classroom. 2. Equipment Needed: Hi. Welcome to the course. We are going to start out by talking about some equipment that you're going to need. I can show you a little bit of what I use, um, for mine. I typically use the like. One is green sheets. I bought mine on eBay originally, Um, and the only challenge that you kind of deal with with the green screen the green sheets is there's wrinkles, all in it. And at first I thought, Well, I'll just iron them out. Well, as soon as you put it up again, it's gonna get wrinkled again. So the best thing to do is to buy a bunch of these clips. You can buy these at walmart. Um, and they don't cost a lot. You need a whole bag of them for, like, eight bucks or something. Um, this one is actually kind of cracked here, but I've got a lot of good use out of, and they last a long time. There's other, like, different sizes of these things. And so if you're hanging this thing on, you can hang them up however you want. But I bought mine with some polls that kind of had like, a T bar across the top, and what I did was I just clip them on to the polls with these things, and I try to stretch it tight along each side of it. I don't want to probably secure each of the stands with sandbags or something like that, because they're going to kind of pull against each other. And we're gonna talk a little bit later about camera settings because you'll be able to kind of blur out a little of those with some depth of field that will really help you in post I mean, really help you. Another way you could do it is you can buy big rolls of paper on Amazon that our backgrounds and you can buy them in 12 foot lengths. And there are no, it's just a big roll of paper and you just roll it down, actually, have that come in different colors, like gray. They come in blue. They come in green, so you can use this for a green screen. I have a white role that I use for ah, like kind of studio kind of looking real clean backgrounds and stuff like that. So thes thes these things you have to buy separately and these attached to the polls and and then you the tube slides over this, and then you kind of expand this thing out, and it holds the two together. So that's number two. And the number three is if you have a area where you can dedicate this kind of work to which not everybody has, you can actually paint a wall Goring. So it's important to make sure that whatever you're using, just to be aware of wrinkles any kind of like variances in the coloration and easy to be a solid as it possibly can be so. But there's a ton of choices for you, and they're not that expensive. You know, you could probably pick something up for like, 25 bucks, probably for this set up alone. Um, I think I spent maybe 100 $50 for the role of paper and thing already had the stands that wasn't included, but I bought these things along with it for about 100 $50. It's not that expensive. If you really are working on a tight budget, just paint paint a wall 3. Proper Lighting: So now we're gonna talk about lighting. Now, this is where things can get. Really Little maker break what you're doing. Um, good lighting can ever come wrinkles on your background or anything in the shadows. You have to make sure that, uh, you're lighting their subject far enough away from the background that they're not casting a shadow. So if you have a key light in the very front, um, sometimes it will cast a shadow on wherever you're recording. So make sure you have enough room to back the camera on the lighting up and the subject up away from the green screen. Um, whether be just a wall or hanging sheet or whatever. If you do a three point lighting set up for the for the subject, that's really preferable. Where you have a hair like like I have on this right here, and I have a key light in front of me. Um, and then if you had, if you were casting shadows, you could have two key light kind of things where you got one in about 10 o'clock and wanted about two o'clock. This subject and it will kind of the light will converge and you won't have issues with shadows because the lights will be kind of getting out of the shadows behind subjects typically with stops. The if you're familiar was stopped. You know if you've been doing this for a little while. Um, basically, the stops is the amount of basically the size of the aperture of your camera in the amount of light that it's letting in. And so if you take lighting meter, um, and you light your subject, you put the lighting unit in front your subject, and then you take the light meter and you take it to the background. What you would like to see is a couple of stops difference between your subject in the background, and so you want a light the background a little less than your subjects because you want your subject to really stand out because, you know, like I said, that separation is extremely important when you're when you're shooting this for post A lot of times, if you're using like a green screen and you are kind of fighting with green screen spill, basically meaning that the light behind the subject is it's basically reflecting the green screen onto the shoulders of the subject. Um, you're gonna have a hard time with green screen spill and thats going, you're not gonna get a clean key. You're gonna have a lot of issues with the outline of the subjects being well defined. And so a lot of times, what you can do to combat that is to use, like some blue plastic. Or if you've got L E D s to switch it to a blue setting and you're gonna shine like a blue light like a hairline or something that will help Teoh cast basically this blue hue around the edge of the subject. So when the software is trying to determine between the colors that you're using for the background in the foreground, the subject, um, it will get you a lot better key if two to combat that green screen spill. So those are a few things about lighting that you need to pay attention to 4. Camera Settings Do's & Don'ts: Okay, Now I want to talk about your camera settings because that will a lot of times play a factor as well. What you want to make sure is that you don't have your f stop like I've got several. My cameras all go down to, like, 1.2 f stop. And so let's a lot of light in. And, um, the problem with that is everything. It's super shallow on your depth of field. And if you don't know what definite feel is basically the distance of focal like the focal length of like my nose being in focus in like my ear being out of focus, that would be a very shallow depth of field. But if you're set on like 32.2 point five or higher, I've found is a very safe place to be when it comes to filming just in general, as a general rule, especially if you're shooting someone in the background, you don't want the subject shoulders to be too fuzzy, because what will happen is between the background and this subject. You will get like this fuzzy like, because it's out of focus and there won't be like this definitive. Okay, this is where the subject shoulder starts or ends, and the background begins. You can actually blur the subject's shoulders to make them look like they're in the scene. So what you're gonna want to make sure is that you stay above 2.5 or higher. I would try to stay closer to 33 f stop. So make sure that you know when you're using a DSLR, you're keeping that in mind. And if you need Teoh, increase brightness, use your I s o or make sure that your shutter speed, of course, is is good. If you're shooting 23 French second, then you're gonna want to make sure you're you're 50 on your shutter speed. So keep that in mind that your settings on your camera extremely important. Make sure that as much of the thes subject is in focus is possible. And and lights, it's all about lights. We talked about lights earlier, so if you've let your subject properly, this won't This will be a non issue. You'll be able to stop it to wherever you need it to be on your shutter, and you should your aperture and you should be fine. 5. Post Editing Process: gonna take a look at actual footage in software. In this particular case, of course, we're using Final Cut Pro. I've got some footage here askew Comptel vendors and they kind of wrapped this whole area in green screen. Now we got the clip already in here. We're going to, um, keying effects on top of this this shot here and that The difficulty about the shot is the fact that it moves. It's a handheld shot, so we're not going to go through the whole, like, tracking and all those kinds of things. But as you can see, right away, this looks fantastic. Um, it's king. Really? Well, I mean, there's a little bit of a halo around the subject. Um, and we'll take a look at it here, kind around the arrows. Part of that is because of the clarity of this footage. Inside. Pull it off a YouTube. It's a little bit of 7 20 p. If I twirl down the Keir here, there's all these different settings. What we're doing is we're really focusing on the edge of the key right here. These kind of gray tones you can see like whenever I push that up it starts really kind of going the wrong direction. So if you push these levels back the other direction, you'll see that we're bringing more blacks into these fuzzy areas. And if I turn on the, um you see here, one turn on this layer here, what we're gonna do is we're gonna drop a Goshen Blur effect on top of that building. And once we've done that, we can see right away that that blurriness of the subject isn't that noticeable. Um, So I tracked this in stabilize that shot, and it kind of helped a lot. So if I play this, you can see that it still zooms in. So you have this subject matter appear of the vehicles and then him sitting there, squatting down. And so what you want to do is try to match the color tones of what's happening appear with Cullerton's back there. So I dropped in, um, basically a general color correction layer. And as you can see, I'm matched some of those. It's more blue. It's kind of got a blue tone to it. And this front area there's a lot of yellow. You got the yellow the cab you got the yellow and his his skin. So what I did was I went into color correction, and I boosted the yellows in the colors of the mid tones, the darker tones. I pulled that down so that some of these windows and stuff would kind of be a little brownish. So if you know, a shot is actually moving and you've got a green screen, then you know, make sure that the background is kind of moving in perspective as it would in real life and what people are used to seeing, and that will really help to go a long way for it to be to feel natural in the new right click on that hit compound clip. Now, we've got both of the background layer the layers together. Okay, So what we could do if we want to take a step further as we could go over and actually apply a lot of some sort to both layers so that now they kind of belong together 6. Lighting & Environment Observations: my buddy shove above. So right away keys out pretty good. You'll notice that the background, um, is well lit and I think he's really well, you can see all this extra like, um, above lights, hair lights, shoulder lights. And it's really helping to separate his body from the green screen. You really? I mean, even with this, it looks pretty decent. Um, you really don't have to do a ton of work, but you can see when I move it, you can see the buildings kind of going through him. Well, forgot to the Keir. There's this thing that says fill holes and literally I just do that that much just a little bit. Just 2.6. It'll very based on your footage. But now you can tell like now it's totally fine. He's not transparent anymore. Um, usually if you have ah, like, glow around, it's going to end up being the levels you'll be crushing the blacks more are the lights. Rather, um, see, here you can actually shrinking expand. But as you can see, it gets really dodgy. You get you really start losing like hair. Give you if you have, like hairs kind of coming off. You would lose those if you try to shrink, so I usually don't do that. A lot of things to think about is softening the edges. Um, if you soften the edges, it really helps your eye notices. If it's too sharp around the edges, it will notice that something just doesn't seem quite right. And then a road is kind of a nice, nice tool as well. Settle kind of erode those edges tour. It's not so perfect. I don't want too much softening. Just do like 0.3 and in the erosion really helps to kind of combat that white halo. And there's a spill suppressor. You just got to come play around with it until you feel like you've got something that looks believable. So he's not really move around. So this would be a locked off shot that would be really easy to key, and I would recommend that's why I'm using. I would. I'm telling you, guys use. This is a project because it's a really easy one. You don't have to worry about movement and those kinds of things. So you could see is he's doing It was like this motion blur as he's like moving his hands very quickly. So if we go down to like this, uh, slight rap says, you can see you see how that like, is glowing on the inside behind this again. So if I toggle on and off, you'll see that you don't really see the light rap whenever the black is on. But then whenever it's off, whenever he actually show a background, you see this glow that happens. And sometimes that can really help to convince the viewer that they're in the environment. And there's like light reflecting off of various surfaces within the environment itself. You can change the actual modes based on the actual subject, so that's kind of interesting there. Line relay, kind of hard line. That kind. I like kind of like that look, because you have kind of, um, light up here. But it's not so much on the on the arms down here, so it looks almost like he is kind of in this environment. So this big So what? Your dreams Confer, guys, see if he goes in front of the sky over there. It's kind of a blue bluish right there, so it really kind of helps to sell the effect that he's in that environment right now. I know I could keep saying that, but I just want you to get it. See, here you can see a little bit of spill on his face. Green screens bill on his face. You can ingest those those levels as well. Um, there's even more controls if you're using after effects, um, tonic controls. When it comes to this, you get lost in just all the different my new sha adjusting these kinds of things, I would recommend starting small with something this simple, like Final cut pro, Sometimes less is more. I mean, I know it's a lot of guys out there, um, and I use after effects certain projects. But, um, some guys, ah, they just take place. So much faith in trusting in certain software is, But if you just kind of get creative with with what you have, then, um, it's just it's amazing what you can you can accomplish with Simpler, um was simpler software So final cut pro is definitely it's more of a pro Sumer product. So just just know that if you go into jump straight into after effects, you might get a little bit discouraged because it will. You'll struggle with trying to understand exactly what he's setting is. But whatever you have, just take some of these tips that we taught. You kind of go through them and, um, just play around, have fun with it. You know, these are just the things that we have learned, but doesn't that so? I mean, that that that that that's, you know, hard, fast rules. Just use some of that, modify it. Just do whatever you can to make it yours, the process. Yours. And once you've done that, you really start to understand and grasp everything that you need to do when it comes toe setting up your video, shooting your video in front of a green screen and and then taking it in the post and making it look like something that that is very convincing and not something that looks cheesy. So I hope you guys got a lot out of this. I know that I had a lot of fun showing you guys this the different things that I've learned over the years and in many ways, I wish I had somebody that could have told me some of the things that I'm kind of relating to you guys. So hopefully you guys walk away with a better knowledge and make some great some great movies out there, so All right, see you. 7. Project: my buddy shove above, and I'm sure you guys are seeing this, but I've just been floating around the Internet for a while. Um, it's not. I don't see it as much anymore, but so what I want you guys to do as your project is, I want you to download the shot child buff footage. And then I want you to, um, to put a background in and do your own like version of whatever he's doing. I know that you probably have seen the ones that was like. One I saw was Star Wars, where he was like Put in his Star Wars and he's training with Yoda. There's, I mean, there's a ton of different movies that they've put shall buff and he did belong in, and they made him responding to characters within the movie, just doing a lot of creative things. So I want you guys to post um, your versions of Shiloh Buff. Whenever you get a chance in the class area so everybody else can kind of critique it and let you know, said things that maybe you could improve on are we could maybe pick the best one that we like from everybody's 8. IMPORTANT UPDATE!!: So if you want, you can kind of do this here and you can see that you want this to remain solid. It I'm seeing. I'm affecting the screen here. Too much of the laptop that he's holding. And you could see if I move it one way or the other. It starts kind of show me which direction I need to go, so I'm just gonna leave that there. What you can do is you can grab other colors. In addition, Teoh average out the green color that we have. So we have a lighter green here in a darker green here. So I hit this plus button, and I select that it adds some of that to the overall key color that I'm trying to get with this, um, adjustment here. And it's just kind of, ah, just playing around with it. This actually changes the hue itself, and then these kind of refined that you kind of what we're gonna do is we're gonna go down here to de noise and you're gonna bump that up a little bit and you can see some of its disappearing there, and then you're gonna blur it slightly. And then the color wheel down here you're gonna want to collect. Select the color that you wanted the green screen to show up. As which is this really bright color? Here, push this color wheel way over here to the far left, and then you're gonna drop this tent down here. The great thing about all of this is that fun? Check this. You see that I'm not affecting any of the of my subject here on Lee the background. Okay, that looks pretty good. Sometimes if you can't get the colors, you could do a real quick mask with a pin tool and you can just kind of mask out this certain area, especially if you're subject, isn't moving around a time like he moves around a little bit. If I scrubbed through this, see how he's kind of moving over to this corner? I could easily mess this corner out. It wouldn't be an issue in this corner. Thies to lower corners might be an issue. See how it kind of rocks forward a little bit, but I could still looks like this is about where he stops and you can if I scrub through, you can see sort of the noise right here in this corner, you can see animating it looks like Well, it's noise, then. What you can do is you can start with your ultra key saga head and do that and you can see that if you're If you're not sure where to go to get ultra key, just goto effects and type in ultra key there is when you first drop in ultra key, let me do it quick. You'll see that the key color is just black. So you're gonna need to take the eyedropper and come over here and select your color. Um, then you've got your mat generation. You're Matt cleanup, spill suppression. And then you have a color correction, which we already did the color correction up front. So we don't really need to fool with that too much. But if you mess around with the pencil is referring to shadows. So if you have a subject staining on a green screen and you want to preserve the shadow underneath that subject, standing on their than the pedestal will help you to preserve that with still getting rid of the green color. But as you can see, when I dialed it up. You could see this gray and look in this corner right here. See how that just gray kind of goes away. If you do it too harsh, sometimes it'll mess with your overall key. Let's just gonna scrub through. It's looking pretty good. So it looks like, uh, everything is looking pretty good. For the most part, I still see the edge of the for each one of those little for pieces because if I start doing the choke right here and I start choking the edge, you'll see what happens. It really can screw up your see how the for is just looks like garbage now the for like you've lost all that for detail. It looks like it's all kind of like just chunks of for, so be real sparingly and the choke the choke is basically edges. So if you have ah lot of green spill because your subject was sustaining far enough away from the green screen, which that's something we go over in earlier in the lesson, and, um, that could be a real problem, and it could be a nightmare to work. It's not impossible to to get rid of, but it. It can be a nightmare. So I'm gonna turn. I don't need to use the choke if I can get the secondary color green and he's standing far enough away. He was probably about 8 to 10 feet away from the green screen. Um, from this green screen back here. And, um so that helps with no reflection of green bouncing from the lights, that sort of thing. Um, and they did have some issues with shiny stuff like this is like a shiny plastic. Sometimes, if he turned the wrong way, you would see suddenly he reflected the green behind him. But it didn't happen on all the takes, just a couple. But he was still standing pretty far away, but he just twisted his body just a little too far. You have tolerance? Yes. If I turn up the shadow too much, it brings those shadows back in. So and then if I turn it down really low, then it Yeah. So it looks like a 50 50 which is good. That's was defaulted to. It looks like the highlights. Fine. Good there. And you can soften the edges, but you can see I'm starting to see the background. These little Emojis. I can see a shape right here through his through him, his body getting real careful. Yeah, we turned up the contrast. Contrast helps with see how it's kind of light right in here. It bumps up all of these areas to preserve some details. Someone bump up the contrast ing. See, It filled in a lot of that laptop in the screen here, and technically, this screen was reflecting the green. So you see, a little bit You see these emojis through the screen because it was kind of greenish in color. Um, but these shots are pretty fast. They don't really happen now. Spill suppression would be. You got green on their shoulders on this hat. Then you can suppress that by de saturating that color. It'll make it black and white. Um, if I turned all the way up, I d saturate his entire. So if you wanted him to be black and white with a color background, I could be a cool look. I don't need that. And then with the d saturate, it will do a range of color. So it's basically going through the color wheel trying to help you identify what that spill is. So if it was a blue screen, you could find it. And you can see I used a blue light on him like I talk about. I didn't have to. I could have done this and it would have worked fine without it. But I thought it looked cool, and it also helped to match a lot of the other. The other other footage that we had, which was this right here, which there was a lot of a lot of blues in the background with ladies know that kind of stuff. So and then there was this one. This was a key right here of a different one of the different characters in the the video. And of course, he was just standing. I'm asked out part of him because I was having issues with, um, different areas of the the Mask. But he didn't move a ton. He just stood in one place for the most part. Inside made my job a lot easier whenever I started actually doing this. So I just created junk mask basically lazy here. Here's the mask right here, and you can see the areas that were a problem. I got some of the clip that was holding the green screen taught and so I just basically went in a year and I clicked on the pin tool and then I just drew a road quick shape around him. And then from there, I didn't worry about trying to fight with these areas using the technique that I just showed you. I just focused on the area that was the low hanging fruit, so to speak. So made it a lot easier for me to be ableto get him a nice and I had to deal with these glasses. So you see his glasses right here. It made it really tough to be able Teoh key out the green screen part without eroding his glasses. If you start using that choke, you'll start eroding this area a lot more. These little finer details kind of like that for, and we want to preserve that. So if you go to ultra key and you see it, you can see that there's no green. But I can still see the frame of his glasses without a problem. So that was a little bit worrisome as well, and I'm working with a black magic shooting in four K on all of this. And so you know, a better sensor also helps a lot when it comes to getting a nice clean key. But it's not 100% necessary, as you can see if you got Premiere Pro or Final Cut pro. There are ways around these issues if you didn't get a good key. But I I say do as much of the prep up front to make sure you're lighting your green screen separate to your to your actor that's in front of the green screen. Make sure they get far enough away from the green screen. Make sure you're lighting them. The actor, um, separate from the green screen, and you should be setting yourself up for success at that point. If you can try toe, wash that tire green screen with light, making sure you don't have any hot spots, that sort of thing, you'll be fine. And even if you do have hot spots, I just showed you away in a tool here and Premiere Pro that you can overcome that where you can Grady int the color of green and then, um, boost the vibrance of that green and pull a clean key. So anyway, hope this was helpful. You guys, thanks 9. Congrats on Finishing!: and that's pretty much it's really simple as long as you kind of know what things look out for, what things to avoid. Just keep taking these principles and practice practice. You'll get better as time goes on. But hopefully you got something out of this. If you did share with your friends and thanks for watching.