A green screen is a green background that you place behind the subject of your video, usually one or several people.

In post-production, a technique called “chroma keying” is then used to remove the green entirely from the resulting video footage. This means that video editors are able to replace the green with transparency, which then allows any video or image placed behind the original footage to filter through the parts of the footage which previously bore green.

In other words, it’s easy to place subjects in virtual background seamlessly, whether in fiction film or corporate video productions. This is particularly useful when having to broadcast an event without having a physical venue. Your talent can be located in Switzerland, but with a green screen, we can embed them elsewhere, like we recently did for UEFA in our studio near Lausanne, Switzerland.

How real does it look?

You’ve probably experimented with virtual backgrounds and in-real-time chroma keying during Zoom meetings…to various degrees of failure: “Whoops, there goes my arm.” You know the type of thing we’re talking about. Well rest assured, with a green screen, we can reach perfection down to making tufts of hair straying from your head detach from the backdrop. Here’s how we do it at SmartCuts:

1. Choose the background:

We take a high-quality picture of the place that we want to use as a background – always keeping in mind camera angles and light. We can later even blur the image a bit to create a nice, artificial bokeh.

2. Set the right light:

Once in the green screen studio, we replicate the type of lighting that we had during the photo session to capture the backdrop. For instance, if we want to make it seem that we are inside a hospital, we might have to use white lights instead.

3. Set the camera angle and focus.

Angle and focus the camera in a way that matches the picture in the background.

4. Create shadows.

This is an element that editors often overlook, but that, if not done, will give away that the background is not real. It’s important to create shadows of the subjects’ feet at least. If you want to save time and avoid this, you can also simply use a dark carpet in the green screen studio, to go under the subjects’ feet.
That way they cast real shadows as the carpet will not disappear when the green is keyed out.

5. Voila! The magic is done.

The lighting, the camera angle, and professional chroma keying (the art of replacing the green with the virtual background), will make the result so real, that it will be tough to tell it’s not.

Using a green screen is the most effective way to go when you want to film in areas that are hard to access – either because they are too far to get to, have disruptive noises, get easily crowded, or are simply too expensive to rent out.

Here are some of the biggest advantages of shooting inside a green screen studio:

1. The light will always be consistent.

Shooting video in open spaces are tricky, especially if we are talking about an interview or an event where the cameras need to shoot for an hour or more. The weather and sun placement will always be a determining factor for how good the subjects in your video will look.

Inside any studio, it won’t matter if it’s day or night, the lighting set by professionals won’t change during the shoot.

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