Whats the best way to create a chroma screen effect?

5 replies
Hi All
I'm planning on setting up a membership site to teach an online course. I want my students to see me in much the same way as students attending a lecture would - in front of a screen & pointing out stuff out while explaining it. I see three possible ways of doing this but am not sure of the likely success of each...

1. Buy a greenscreen kit off ebay for ~$350 & then key in a camtasia video using Vegas. My worry here is that the muslin in these kits is not dense enough & keying will be difficult

2. Paint my backdrop wall green using special chroamkey paint & then key in a camtasia video using Vegas. Problem is that there is a door in the middle of the wall & I'm worried about shadows from the door cavity.

3. Buy a computer projector and project my lesson material onto a white screen & then video myself explaining things. This is my preference because it will mean less editing. However I'm worried that the projected image will video OK, but that the camera will have problems picking me up on the side.

Be grateful for some feedback.

#chroma #chroma screen #create #effect #greenscreen #screen #video
  • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
    Fabric greenscreen works great. You might need to either pull the fabric tight or do some ironing, though, depending on your lighting. Wrinkles/folds can sometimes show.

    I bought some cheap bright green fabric from a local surplus store, and it works fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Allard
    Personally I would go with #3. I've tried making my own green screen out of fabric and it didn't work as well as I needed it to. It was very fuzzy around myself, and I had plenty of backlights. For a green screen to work right you need everything to be perfect- the backdrop, front and back lighting, camera quality, and editing software quality.

    But if you're up for a challenge go for it. I won't be trying again until I can invest at least $500 into a decent set up.

    P.S. save your receipts for whatever you purchase. That way if it doesn't work out you can just return and try out another option.

    Facebook page for inspiration & JV opportunities-


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    • Profile picture of the author Ian Allan
      Thanks Dan

      Any thoughts on how to make me look acceptable next to the computer-projected image? Would a spotlight on me wash out the projection?
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  • Profile picture of the author spearce000
    Whichever way you do it, the lighting is going to be difficult. You have to keep it even for chromakey to work. You also have to make sure you're sitting far enough away from the background so the spotlight on you doesn't reflect onto it.

    If you can get a chromakey drape from a professional supply shop (rather than a cheapo one off eBay) then option 1 would be my choice. You'll have to practice the lighting, though, until you get it right.

    You're right to be concerned about option 3. A reflected image is very hard to capture on video, in my experience, and it's going to be hard to to stop it looking washed out or your image being overexposed.

    Have you not thought about going down the picture-in-picture route? You could do that in Camtasia, no problem.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Every TV studio I've ever seen uses method #2. For one thing, it cuts your lighting requirements in half as you only have to worry about lighting in front of the screen.

      Play with your lighting and camera placements to get things set up right, then mark those settings and document what you used where so you can duplicate it.

      Watch the news when they cut to commercial by panning back for a candid shot of the news team at the desk. The background is almost always either chromakey green or blue.
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