Green screen or blue screens chroma key backdrops are sometimes used during filming in order to remove the colors when chroma keying in post production and superimpose the subject onto a different background or scene.  On this week’s Reel Rebel Stephen Schweickart discusses the basics as to when and why you might choose to use one vs the other.

3 Tips/Considerations for Choosing Green Screen vs Blue Screen:

There are a variety of things to take into consideration when deciding on what color chroma key backdrop to use.  Here are just a few basic considerations to follow when deciding which to go with.

1. Do not use the same color screen as your talent is wearing.  If your talent is wearing green with a green screen or blue with a blue screen, when you remove the color you will also remove the clothing of your talent and will instead get the effect of a floating head and arms.

2. Consider the time of day.  You should most always shoot in green if you are placing your subject in a daytime shot and blue for a night shot.  Any leftover green that you are not able to remove will blend better into day shots, whereas leftover green screen will stand out against the blue hue that night time shots often have.

3. Be aware of how much space you are going to have behind your talent.  Green is very bright and therefore has a tendency to "spill" onto your subjects.  If there is not enough space between your talent and the green screen the result will be the edges of your talent being removed, especially around the hair.

There are more advanced things to consider when deciding on whether to use a blue or green screen, but following these few basic tips will at least get you started in the right direction.

Question: What additional tips do you have that may help those that are new to video production?  AND, when do you think using Chroma key is appropriate?

  • cpc_chris

    Definitely going to try the blue out since I use a light blue/dark blue gradient background.

    Also, nooby quesiton, but what is the format to record for a bluescreen?

  • CAL_Living

    I was told, that film picked up the Blue Screen better and Digital Sensors picked up the Green Screen better. Which allows for a better key.

    • Stephen Schweickart

       @CAL_Living There are actually several factors involved (digital channels, digital signal processing, etc.) in regards to the question you're asking.  However, to minimize the complication, I would stick to what you have been told and add in the tips mentioned in the article and video above as needed.  We will cover more of what you mentioned in future videos for all the advanced videographers. 

  • videoleadsonline

    Nice tips... thanks!

  • DavidCounsell

    Thanks - liked the reference to time of day.