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Best Lighting Tips For Chroma Key Video Production

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Video Production Chicago

Chroma Keying is a widely used post-production video editing technique. Even though you may not notice it Chroma Keying is often used in most movies, television series, commercials and almost anywhere which requires video production and editing to be performed in film. Chroma Keying is synonymous with the term green screen and is used to remove a specific color (Normally green) from a video scene thus allowing it to be replaced by any image imaginable. We take pride in informing and giving back to the community, as such we will be sharing the best lighting tips for Chroma Key video production.

Lighting Tips For Pulling Off A Perfect Chroma Key

The Michael Group is well known for being one of the best video production services in Chicago and as such we know that lighting is an important feature when dealing with Chroma Key video production. Lighting is often an overlooked aspect by many people when performing Chroma Keying, yet it is one of the most important aspects to be considered. Owning the best post-production editing software or an expensive camera can’t fix bad lighting

Lighting assists in providing realism to your scenes, poor lighting will leave your scene with visual cues which are able to ruin your shot. Poor lighting thus allows the audience to clearly notice the scene was filmed behind a green screen. When filming Chroma Key scenes there are two aspects with regards to lighting which need to be considered when pulling off the perfect scene. The first is the lighting of the background and the second is the lighting of the foreground.

Chroma Key Background Lighting

With regards to background lighting the key to success is having no shadows on your background which can be achieved by having even lighting across the backdrop. The best method to achieve this is by the use of bounce cards which help eliminate any glare from the screen by spreading the light evenly across it. However, no shadows aren’t the only thing you have to watch out for. When setting up your background lighting you need to keep in mind how reflective your green or blue backdrop is. Should too much blue light be reflected from the screen this can cause the color to bleed onto your subject, which appears as a visible outline around your subject.

Keep in mind should the surface of your backdrop be too reflective or there is a large amount of glare from over-lapping light sources you need to diffuse the amount of light on your screen by making use of either bounce cards, light diffusing gels, or by using less lights. Another option is to fix the reflective bleeding later on in post-production. However, this can be very time consuming and is easily avoided by mastering your background lighting.

Chroma Key Foreground Lighting

The next step in lighting is your foreground, the two biggest problems to look out for when lighting your foreground is the use of reflective objects and the casting of shadows. Objects with shiny surfaces end up reflecting the color of your back-drop which leads to the entire object vanishing during the Chroma Keying process. So always try to use objects with a matt finish so as to not have them disappear from your scene.

When performing your foreground lighting you need to make sure that your subject’s shadow (As well as shadows from props) doesn’t fall across your backdrop as this will cause uneven lighting on the backdrop thus rending your background lighting ineffective. There are 2 ways to remedy shadows cast by your subject when dealing with Chroma Keying.

Firstly, you should aim to position your subject a few feet away from the back-drop as this helps prevent color bleed as well as allows for easier lighting when dealing with shadows. Secondly, make sure the lights you are using to illuminate your subject are shining on them from either side of your set and not directly in front of them. Shining lights directly on them from where the camera is filming will create a shadow behind them which causes uneven lighting in your backdrop. By shining lights from either side of the set their shadows will be cast on the far edges of your backdrop which should fall outside of the camera frame.

When dealing with Chroma Keying video production there is a lot to watch out for. Remember that lighting is one of the most important factors in pulling off the perfect shot. However, if you keep these tips in mind you should be able to pull it off. Make sure the backdrop is evenly lit with no glare, avoid using reflective surfaces in your scenes, keep your subject a few feet away from the backdrop and ensure that the lighting used for your subject doesn’t cast a shadow on your backdrop.

The Michael Group