You may be familiar with the term green screen or even more so acquainted with the blue screens used for the daily weather updates on news channels. Digital technology has allowed creators to use these backgrounds to their advantage for years and yet the seemingly dated technology is far from obsolete. Today filmmakers on all budgets can take advantage of a green screen and chroma key in order to enhance their production. You don’t even have to but fancy materials for your backdrop, many DIY users have made it work with a decent coloured bedsheet or strip of fabric from a textile outlet. If you aren’t familiar with the uses of green screening here are a few ways internet content creators are using it today.
A popular and ever-growing niche on the internet today, streaming is huge in the game industry and now makes millions of dollars a year. Top streamers however can easily be separated from those just starting out, through one simple addition – a green screen. By keying out the background (which is often an uninspiring bedroom) top streamers get to super impose video of themselves over the top of the game they are playing or film they are watching. This allows better use of the screen and looks more professional overall.
If you are learning online, you may have notices that many lecturers are fond of the green screen. In what is now a much more visually pleasing version of the PowerPoint presentation, youtubers and educators have themselves a digital and versatile blackboard beside them that can show everything from key points to video footage. Using a green screen this way makes learning much easier also delivers a more palatable presentation than a string of word art, white backgrounds and having to alternate between the information and the presenter.
Maybe you have a news show and want to spice up the way your newsroom looks, or perhaps you want to show the view of your local area despite filming from a basement, this is where chroma key can help. It is not uncommon for newsrooms to now simply consist of just a desk thanks to green screens being so effective at delivering the tried and tested news format. Show helpful pictures, video clips, live presentations and more all without having to leave the room. News channels have been utilising this technology for decades so why shouldn’t you?
If for some reason you have been living under a rock since the 1980s, it may come as a surprise to you that most big budget films and TV shows film many scenes with just a green screen. From The Matrix to Game of Thrones, making the incredible landscapes and impossible views happen is in a large part thanks to the green screen (and the hundreds of digital artists). Though many of us don’t have the resources to create such extravagant productions, the same idea can be used to cater to your own budget. Comedy acts like Limmy and chat shows like the almost forgotten Gonzo, use green screens to add something special to their show without having to get on the phone to Howard, your imagination (and drawing/digital art capabilities) is your only limit here.