My green screen equipment had been collecting dust in a box for two months, but this past weekend I was finally able to setup everything and record my first chroma-key video!
Green screens are primarily used in the movie industry and by meteorologists (weather people) to put a subject in front of a background that isn’t really there, but a lot of internet marketers have also used the technology to enhance their videos when teaching or promoting something. Because I have a number of products coming out in the future and I love to record videos, I thought it would be a wise investment to buy a green screen for my business.
Another way to stand out from the crowd.
I setup my green screen in my home office, as you can see below:
The most important aspect of green screening is the lighting. I can’t emphasize this enough. The lighting in the background needs to be as even as possible or else you’re going to have a hard time replacing your background with any chroma-key software.
Typically, a setup will have a three point lighting system: 2 on the side to evenly light the backdrop and 1 in the front to light the subject.
Unfortunately, I did not have a front light setup yet (actually it’s being shipped right now), and you’ll be able to tell in the video I share with you below. Still, I thought it came out great!
For those of you interested, here’s a list of everything I purchased (amazon affiliate links – I earn a commission if you purchase):
- ePhoto 2000 WATT Digital Photography Lighting Studio Portrait Video Continuous Softbox Lighting Kit Light Set + Carrying Case – 2 Light stands, 2 Softboxes, 2 light heads (5bulbs each), 10 Photo Bulbs by ePhoto INC ($199.00)
- Support System Compact with 9′ Crossbar by PBL ($64.99)
- Photography Backdrop Chromakey 6’x9′ background ($22.48)
- 3.75″ Muslin Clamps, Bag of 6 ($8.73)
Total price: $295.20
Definitely not a bad price, especially when you consider that studio space with a professional green screen setup could potentially cost several hundred dollars an hour to use. You could also save even more money if you decided to tack the backdrop on a wall instead of use a support system and clamps like I did. Green spray paint might work too, although I’d make sure to go with a flat sheen (as opposed to something glossy) if that’s something you plan on doing.
To shoot the video, I used my Kodak Zi8 pocket cam (affiliate link – I earn a commission if you buy), and to edit and chroma-key I used iMovie on my iMac. I was really surprised at how simple the chroma-key process was – it literally took just a few seconds to put in a new background, but I think it helped that I had a nice evenly lit backdrop.
I’m sure there is chroma-key software available for PC, I just don’t know any off the top of my head. Anyone care to share?
My First Green Screen Video
Well here it is – my very first video (2 minutes) using green screen technology. Enjoy!
(Watch Green Screen Setup for Smart Passive Income on YouTube)
Now that everything is setup, I’m really excited to start shooting some more videos like this for you. Stay tuned, and thanks for all of your support!
And thanks to Perry Lawrence, Jaime Tardy and everyone who commented in my gizmos and gadgets post who helped me figure out how to make this work. Cheers!