How Green Screens Work

Cam view of green screen

Cam view of green screen

Anyone who has ever watched the weatherman on television has seen green screens in action; however, most people have no idea how they work or how effective they can be for making a quality video that captures an audience’s interest. Although the results of green screens look as though they require large sets for shooting and some serious technological skill, the science behind the green screen technology is surprisingly simple. Here is a general overview of how green screens work along with a few ways they can help make any video better by including a few special effects.

The Science of Chroma Key Filming

When a Videographer uses a green screen while filming, they are using Chroma key technology. This technology consists of making a specific color in an image transparent so that other colors can be layered into the image. During the video-making process, this is used to add in backdrops that can range from something as simple as a static background to more complicated special effects such as computer-animated footage. When done correctly, Chroma key filming can make challenging stunts and other special effects appear effortless.

Significance of Blue and Green

Although shades of green are used most often, many Videographers also use blue screens. According to Discovery, any color can be used for Chroma key filming as long as the background is monochromatic; however, green tends to be used the most often because it lies furthest on the color spectrum of human skin tones. This helps to create a clearer image while giving the Videographer more lighting options.

Green screen studio

Green screen studio

Types of Special Effects Created

Weather forecasters are not the only people who rely on green screens for creating special effects. With the increasing use of different video software applications, green screens can be used for everything from creating video games to corporate presentations. Depending upon the background that is inserted, using a green screen can allow a presentation to play in the background or it can be used to cut production costs by adding computer-generated imagery.

Understanding how green screens work can add more options to the video-making process. When shooting a film with a green screen, it is important to avoid wearing green, unless one wants to fade into the background. Then, a person can add any background into their footage to enhance their video with special effects that will keep an audience enthralled.