Green/Blue Screens for Teachers! // Online Teaching | Sam McGuire | Skillshare

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Green/Blue Screens for Teachers! // Online Teaching

teacher avatar Sam McGuire, Professor

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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

5 Lessons (26m)
    • 1. Introduction to Using a Green/Blue Screen

    • 2. Equipment

    • 3. Filming

    • 4. Editing

    • 5. Conclusions

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About This Class

In this course you'll learn how to film yourself with a green/blue screen and composite it with slides from Keynote. This is a powerful way to create media-rich online teaching content. This isn't out of reach for educators and can be accomplished with simple guiding principles. 

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Sam McGuire



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1. Introduction to Using a Green/Blue Screen: everybody. Welcome to this module using a green screen or blue screen in your presentation software while you're teaching. My name is Sam Weir. I've been using this technology and teaching now for many years. I do a lot of online teaching right now. I just wanted to share some of things I've learned and some of the tools that I've upgraded to to make this even better. So when I first started doing this, I was using a sheet. I bought it. I Kia a green sheet that I would safety pen to the wall essentially, and I was using my iPhone camera, and the two seemed to work actually pretty well. It's a basic lighting, just like lamps and things. And now I've upgraded to a little bit nicer lighting. I have a little bit better camera, and I use an actual microphone to do this. And I bought this blue screen green screen combo that I'm using behind me just on Amazon, so don't have to invest too much money in this. I think altogether everything that I have to do really nice quality stuff is under $1000 for sure. Probably closer to $500. If you take out the camera and just use your iPhone camera, which you may already have, you could get the screen and the lights for under $100 for sure. So what's the big deal with this? Why do we do this? Well, when you're doing online teaching, there's something that makes it more personal to have that human interaction as much as possible. Now there's not a lot of actual interaction. When you use a set up like this, there can be. But for the most part, we're just making it feel living more comfortable for the students who may or may not really like online learning who may or may not be used to it. And so, by putting ourselves in our media a little bit more, we're able to make a better connection. So that's the overall goal of this is to help make a better connection with our students when we're doing presentations that they're going to be watching either on a small phone screen or a computer screen doesn't really matter where, but it's gonna put ourselves a little bit more into that, So that's our overall goal. Let's look now a little bit the technology we're using, then we're going to actually film a little bit. Then I'm gonna show you how to edit and put it together. And then we'll do the final composite of everything as it all looks OK. So let's dive in and let's just figure out how this stuff all works. 2. Equipment: so just simply put, I've got the screen behind me, which is right now. Just lean against the wall I do have, and a couple of my spaces little screws on there that we can has hang it from. I've got a vertical right now, although sometimes I do like to go horizontal. That way, when I'm using my hands, I can go wider. Right now, it's pretty narrows right to stay within them. I've got a microphone. That's a special zoom microphone. I've got two lights in a camera, so that's all I really have right now. I do have additional lights for this set of sometimes, so I'll put two lights in the front on me. So I'm well lit. And then I'll light the screen behind me as well. But I'm doing more of a simple set up to show you. Maybe you don't want to buy six or seven lights, right? The beginning. Maybe. Just want to get a couple of more affordable lights. Well, this is that set up. This is a little more affordable set up. In some ways, the microphone I'm using is a special microphone as well, which may be a little bit more than you need to do, but I'm gonna show it to you is one option. But Zoom, the company that makes this microphone, makes a bunch of other portable microphones. It's just on a little stand right outside the picture here. That way, it's close to me is getting my voice and nice, clear really present sound. If I just use the camera microphone, which I'll switch to right now for a seconds, you can hear what it sounds like to use that one. You'll hear a big difference. I'm gonna very carefully pick this one up so you can see what it looks like. This is what's called an Amber Sonics microphone. So it captures everything in 3 60 I use it because I can this place in one place and then really easily just single out where my voice is coming from. So it gives it a nice present sound, but any zoom microphone just have to aim it up your your voice so that you capture that and a really nice laser like fashion is gonna work. The lights there led lights means they're low power. They last a long time there really durable thes ones come with little boxes on them. Let me panned my camera over. You can see it right there. There's the light. Then there's one on this side too. There you go. So you learn something about my camera just now to it can swivel around a move. We'll talk about that in a second. But these lights are actually really nice. They have a variety of different settings. So this is a little remote control for them. For instance, I can do more natural light. I could do really warm light, or I could do the white light. I like the white light with the blue screen. So that's gonna stay with We can also make one of them less bright, so you get a little bit more shadow on your faith. I also don't do this for this type of presentation because I wanted to have a nice even lighting across the whole thing because we're pretending we're in a keynote presentation. Drop this remote and there there isn't gonna be a lot of dramatic lighting in that it's gonna be typically speaking. You just wanna have your whole self pretty well lit. Now, the camera I'm using is the pocket Osmo from D. J. I. It's a nice little cameras handout, and it's on a little swivel, which means that there's a little gimbal on the tops. You move it around, it stays really smooth. The one nice thing about this that I really like, I'm gonna show you some other footage here for a second is that it can connect to my phone . So my phone becomes my viewfinder and I can see what's happening exactly on the camera by holding my phone. So, for instance, there you go. You can see what the camera seeing here right on the phone makes a super handy to be able to set this up in a certain place. And then I can sit wherever and walk around or do whatever I need to without having to worry about what, the camera singing this whole deaf. You find it right there 3. Filming: it's now we're entering the filming stage of this project. I've got my lights set up. I got the blue screen behind me and again, just a reminder. I chose a blue screen because I wanted to wear this particular tie, which has green in it, and there are ways to do it with the green screen. But I wanted to make it as easy as possible, so I flipped my green screen over and now blue Super easy. Now I have additional lights we could be using, but I wanted to show more of a streamlined approach because Final cut pro, which I'm using the edit. This can handle having a little bit not as well lit green or blue screen. So that's what we're doing with this. Have my microphone running down here, and so that's gonna be capturing all of my dialogue. It. The camera also captures this, but it's a further distance, and so it's not going to sound as good. And the microphone I'm using, which already showed you is a very flexible and potentially directional microphone, which means it's going to sound better. Not only is it closer, but it also has the ability to pick out my voice and a much more laser like way. So what we're going to do after this is take this footage and we're gonna put it inside our video editor, And that's separate from what we do with our keynote presentation. There are a few additional considerations when filming that you should really think about. For instance, where I'm feeling right now is in the basement of my house. And when the air conditioners on, it would flood this whole room and pretty much the whole house with the sound of air conditioning. It's soft, but it's still everywhere. And so either turn off the air. Or, as I did just now. I know about how long it runs for this time of day, and I waited for it to finish its cycle, and I started recording right after it, and I'll be done before it actually kicks back up. So be wary of that. Also, if you're gonna film in a place like your kitchen or near the kitchen, there's a lot of noises that come from there, which are hard to actually turn off the refrigerator that's hard to actually turn off. Say somebody is running dishwasher. Or perhaps someone in a different part of the house is washing their hands or flushing a toilet. You have to kind of get into a pattern. So people who are around you understand that you're filming and no to wait until there's a break and you can actually come up with a system. So you could say, Hey, everybody, I'm recording. Give me 10 minutes before you do anything noisy and then after you're done, you say OK, done filming and everyone can go do their stuff like a commercial break. So keep the communication open. If you're in a small place and you're all by yourself, it makes it easier for this. But if you're in ah house and there's other people living there, we have small Children. You might have to wait a film at night when they're asleep, or right now I'm filming. When my kids were away with their grandma and grandpa and so they didn't take them so I could film, but I knew they were going to, and so I waited until they were gone, and so I could feel so use the opportunities that are there for you. 4. Editing: Okay, so we're gonna start by looking at how to do this inside I movie, and then we're gonna transition over to the computer and look at it in final cut. So this is on my actual phone itself, and I'm most interested to see how well it actually does with the blue screen, because that's an important part of this. So I'm gonna import this in create a movie just from that one clip. We'll just take a look at this isn't how we actually do this part of it. So, for instance, that's looking pretty good. Let's delete that for now. We're gonna add a photo. We'll do this from the zoo. So now we've got a photo here. This is our backdrop. I'm gonna add the video now and the reason why we have to do it this way Quincy Back video There we go s so I can click on these three little dots and we're gonna choose the option that says green slash blue screen You see right now that the blue was all removed click on the video one more time. This time I'm gonna hit the little box in the top corner. There and this lets me do a crop to get rid of everything outside of the blue area. No, some just looking down, apparently in that video clip moving over to the side. There. Now you can see where the blue isn't being fully removed. We can actually do. We can move that INM or or with our settings. We get up the strength like that. Now it looks pretty good on a small screen length that I'm looking at it right now. But there are a few things about this that I'm making a little bit hard. One of them is I don't get to move my face, my body. I don't get to move that part on the screen. He works, which just stays right in the center. That's not as ideals it could be. So I'm going to actually want to take this and move it into the other system. But just so you could see it is possible to do this on the phone, Okay, so let's move over now to the computer and actually look at some more advanced features. You saw all the features here. It's actually really straightforward and super easy to do and it looks pretty good. So let's move on now and look at what this looks like in final cut. Okay, so let's take a look in final cut. This is gonna be a little more advanced. But again, I want to show you some of the possibilities here for what we've got going on. And I think I'm going to start by just creating a new event. And we'll call this blue test since we're doing the blue screen. Great new project. Perfect. And there's a few things that are gonna go into this because we also simultaneously need to bring in our video from our presentation. So what we have and we could open up any of our different presentations here. So let's just pull up in this one here. This is one of my in person class lectures and actually, let's say Don't say that. Delete. It's OK, Cool. So this is something I would do in person just have a bunch of information on the screen, but say I wanted to convert this over to an online thing that be fine. We could do is a couple different ways. One of them is to first export this to a movie. We can bring that movie into final cut or what I'm leaning to on this one just because I want to keep it simple. It would be something along the lines of images to pay high quality. And I was gonna do 1 to 1 just to show really a demonstration of this. But you could do it is a movie and put it into final Cut as a movie. A swell. I just want to keep this really simple for the moment. Yeah, so we're gonna hide that down. So now what? We do a couple different things. One of them is I want to go to where I just put that real quick. We're gonna drag that in a swell. So now I've got that as a part of this. The other thing I'm going to do his dragon. The video that I'm gonna be doing this with make these little bit smaller, more manageable. And I need to bring in the audio from this is Well, so I did that on a separate recorder, and I just have that gave it a name and I'm gonna bring it in. I'll show you what to do with that. So first things first, Um, let's do they? Well, we could do that separate. So let's bring in the movie. And we didn't talk too much yet about the actual quality of this particular video file, So I want to do that now. One thing to note is that this video file is at the highest resolution that my camera conduce. It's at a four case signal, which is pretty good resolution, and it's at 59 94 frames per second, or 60 frames per second. Both of these things help immensely with the ability of the software to make a good key or to remove the color. But you can do this with lesser quality. It's just going to give you lesser results. Now. The downside to this is that doing something in a four K resolution at a high frame rate also means that your computer has to be pretty tough, and you're gonna have to be ready to let things render a little bit slower, so to trade off. And I don't know if it's a trade off that I would make if I was doing lectures every single day. But I don't do content like this day in and day out basis. I usually do a little bit more sporadically. And so I do go the higher quality. I do think it makes a difference. So next I'm gonna do my settings here. Down here are my different effects. And one of them is called the keying category. Some was gonna drag this out and you can see right away how good that did. Now it's pretty easy to tell. Let me see if I can change this really quickly with a white background but with a black backgrounds A little harder to tell. Um, so let's go white even that I can't. I see a little bit of fuzz down in there. So what I'm gonna do is come to my actual video effect some place here. I'm gonna do a sample color option, and I just get to drag that over to make it a race more. Now, there's one thing that I always forget about. What I'm doing. This I do a blue screen when I have something green on me that I wanna Teoh actually wear. But I always forget that I have blue eyes and so you see, it's actually going to remove some of my eyes, my eye color when I do this kind of interesting letter does that. Now I'm gonna pull this slide and I can put the slides and whatever or I want to. I'm gonna put the slide over here drug away too far. Just delete all this stuff. And now you can see the background with slide. You're gonna be able to go down and use whatever tools and a quick I will see the eye color for a second. Yeah, definitely changed my eye color. It's interesting. Okay, cool. I don't have the whole slide here is you can see it's just where the blue screen was. So now do the same thing we did and I movie. I'm gonna make a mask, drag this over and I could just simply go around the edges of this. I closed that point and it removes everything outside of it. Now, I can get a little bit better sense of this. So you know how to create great content. And then the last thing I'm gonna do for the actual image If I wanted to put in transform mode and I can drag it down. This is the one thing we're missing in the high movie. So we can drag this down to the side a little bit and get it out of the center and I can move it around on any my slides. I want so there we have a little bit better placement, perhaps for a lecture. Another thing we need to dio his drag our audio that we recorded from our good sounding microphone down here. And I'm just gonna eyeball this cause it's I have audio, both places. I can really easily just move this until it pretty much lines up visually. But the main goal is always the main goal for this is to have it. So it sounds like one voice. I'm gonna pull down the volume on the top one always to use this technology with purpose, so use it for a very specific reason. Don't. And there you have it last step. Once I have this now, I can I can go through and do a lot of stuff. I had titles. I can add all kinds of things trim the beginning. In the end, I'm not really gonna explain how to use final cut, but this allows me to make it exactly how I want it. Then I share this to one of my formats over here. Apple devices. 10 eighties. A good one. If I'm going to YouTube or someplace like that, save it uploaded. And then I can share with students. Okay, so that's the process now of editing it inside the computer. 5. Conclusions: Well, that's all we're gonna cover today. Hope this all made sense for you. And I hope it's all useful. Keep in mind that one of the reasons were showing you a little more complex processes. So you know what that bar is? So you know how to create great content and then you're gonna be able to go down and use whatever tools and equipment that you have. For instance, you might not go out and buy a deejay I camera and a fancy lighting kit and an audio recorder, but you might still want to do this. And so you're going to think, How do I do this with, ah, bed sheet that I have? How do I put this on the wall in line at my camera and then go in and use something like I movie, which has, on iPhone the ability to pull out the green color from the sheet. So it is possible to do this. It's possible to do this probably for many of you, for a very small investment. But the main goal is always to use this technology with purpose, so use it for a very specific reason. Don't just use it so you can be gimmicky or be trendy, or do something that's kind of cool but doesn't have a point. Do this so you can become closer to your students so that they can feel like there's a more personal learning experience happening, or so that if you're explaining something that they can relate to the medium in which they're hearing it so they see your face. They can see your facial expressions. They can tell when there's something that maybe a little harder to understand because maybe you cock your head a little bit and your eyebrows for you say this is a little harder to understand. So then they're getting all of these other reinforcements not only of how they're feeling, so that they know that they're feeling the right things at the right time, but also as you relax and calm down and explain it to them, that they also can mirror a lot of those same feelings. Okay, hopefully, this is again, like I said, helpful. Obviously, if you have questions, you can get to me through the skill share website, but please experiment, use this technology for good and keep up all the good work you're doing. His teachers