After some delays in opening, one of the spaces that we are really excited to make available to the UMW community is the Advanced Media Production Studio. The main feature that this studio offers is a 180 degree green screen cyclorama. The green screen will enable an easy way to create a virtual background behind the “talent” on the set. Backgrounds can include photographic images, motion video, and even virtual studio “sets”.
The technology known as “Chromakey” is what enables the virtual background, basically taking any part of the video that is bright green, removing it, and replacing it with the image or video. Anything green will be replaced so don’t wear that bright green jacket, or shirt, or tie on the set, unless you want a virtual image to appear on your clothing in the resulting video.
There are two ways that we will produce green screen videos. One will be using software such as iMovie or Final Cut Pro X and using the built-in Keying features. These programs do an amazing job at chromakey, even if your green screen is not perfect. The other way we will do green screen is in a live production environment, enabling live keying – an example being a live weather report.
If all of this green screen/chromakey talk is a bit unclear, hopefully this Green Screen Tips video will help.
In the video we explain how to use some basic equipment such as an inexpensive Canon Vixia camcorder and a basic tripod. We take advantage of the studio lighting, but chromakey can also be accomplished with something as simple as green poster board and a couple of hardware store work lights.
Once you have shot your video footage, the magic begins by using something like Adobe Premiere, iMovie, or Final Cut Pro X. Each program has built-in keying abilities. Here’s a playlist of some videos demonstrating how to apply the chromakey effect in iMovie and Final Cut Pro X.