Make the background your own vision

What is a green screen?

Green screens have been a common part of movie and show sets for a long time, with their origins dating all the way back to the 19th century. More recently, these canvases have been used to overlay a different background onto a live recorded scene. This could be as varied as a Hollywood movie set to a standard Zoom call on a computer.

The reason for the colour green is because it’s rarely worn by anyone standing in front of the screen. It doesn’t match skin tones or colours, nor hair, nails, or eyes, in most cases. The whole effect of placing a foreground subject in front of a green screen is known in the industry as chroma key (or chroma keying) or colour key (or colour keying).

The ability to separate the foreground from background, and to do it non-destructively, is what makes green screens so integral in a lot of visual content. Rather than trying to recreate a certain background with physical props, software can step in to fill that space and seamlessly blend it in with the foreground subject.

A green screen for video and photography

With video, the advantage of a green screen is to produce footage that presents however you envision it. If that’s having a talking head with footage of a particular scene behind them, a green screen makes that much easier to do. It is important to take lighting into account when using one for any footage because it the screen works best when properly lit.

That may often require lighting up the screen independently of the subject, so that you can better separate the two in post-production afterward. Ensuring there’s a decent amount of space between the subject and screen also helps simplify that process.

These same principles generally apply to still photography as well. With photos, you’re better able to set up the shot you want to take, and with the composition you prefer on top of that. You can adjust lighting as you shoot to make sure you get the right look and set up an easier workflow when editing in software later on.

Made for anyone

Green screens are different from backdrops, even though they look similar. Backdrops never come in the same green colour because they’re purpose isn’t to remove and replace them, they’re made to actually be the background. Backdrops can come in plain colours, or as visual designs, like decorations, paintings, photos, and more.

Using a green screen doesn’t require a high level of camera or photography expertise beyond learning the fundamentals. Once you acquire the right level of experience with one, it inevitably opens the door to further creativity. Even if you’re new to imaging and want a green screen for vlogging, video presentations or online streaming, it is certainly possible to make that happen.

Green screens also often come with their own rolling cases for cleaner storage which also makes them easier to transport for shoots away from a home or studio. For any content creator, a green screen can do wonders to transform a scene.

Learn more in our Vlogging Buying Guide and how the right accessories will set you up for success. More of a gaming streamer? We have all the essentials to get you dialed in on your gaming stream setup