This is a little tip that’s been hiding in plain sight for years. You’re going to have so much fun with this. I showed it to some folks in Inner Circle and one said “well, that’s not green screen is it?”

If you could benefit from a more reliable, less obvious use of background, this tip is for you. In a nutshell, the best background for a green screen video…is another video.

Admittedly this is an intermediate tip, my friends. You need some basic knowledge of how to do green screen. Fortunately you can easily pick that up here.

But if you have even a basic knowledge, this will change the way you do green screen in many cases, and right away.

Have fun with this!

    21 replies to "The Simplest Way to Get Higher Quality Green Screen Video"

    • A.K.Venkatachalam

      Great idea Steve.
      I like the way in which you present your ideas in a calm manner.

      • Steven Washer

        Thank you, sir. It helps when you’ve got a lot to remember. 🙂

    • Mark Harmer

      Even better to check the audio matches too – for a more convincing “outdoor” effect, cut a bit of the bass, as that’s the effect you get when you really record outdoors. If it sounds right, it will add one more layer of realism to the visuals.

      • Steven Washer

        Good point, Mark! If it sounds right.

      • Willie Edwards

        Perhaps you can record the ambient sounds of your background and mix the audio tracks to be natural and unobtrusive. That would seem to make the presentation even more lifelike.

        • Steven Washer

          For sure. And the key is still to get the right shot in the first place.

    • Jeremy Latham

      Thanks for such an eye-opener Steve. The moving background is very compelling when done properly. Shooting at eye level is a great tip. North by Northwest and You Only Live Twice are two of my all-time favourite movies. Do you remember the parody of green screen technique that was used in Airplane when Captain Rex Kramer was called in to help?

      • Steven Washer

        Yes, the cowboys and Indians sequence is a deadpan masterpiece.

    • Howard

      Very good information. Will get myself some background to use in my next short video. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

      • Steven Washer

        Send us a link!

    • Mike Steele

      Great video Steve, thank you for the help as always.

      • Steven Washer

        Happy you were helped!

    • Paul

      all good content but I think you need to focus more on the lighting, you appeared to use the same lighting setup as normal rather than making one side brighter and introducing some negative fill on the other to match the outdoor setting. Another problem to be aware of is changes in the background lighting that aren’t recreated in the foreground (changing cloud cover etc) I recall seeing a greenscreen example some years ago where they introduced a fan to more the hair around in order to match the breeze in the background.

      • Steven Washer

        Your point is well-taken, Paul. I might have chosen to do all those things and more, some that were mentioned on YouTube earlier.

        Thought about it….

        But in the end, I decided to make a video about one topic, not 4 or 5. It needs to be useful…but it also needs to be do-able in a reasonable amount of time. This will get someone started and they will be able to create a delightful result. Could it better? It can always be better.

        And it will. Tomorrow’s another day…

    • TerryLee WHETSTONe

      Great content as always. I built a folder a long time ago it seems to put your videos into. They all have been a great help to me. I am still on a extremely tight budget but can take what you have shown and spoken about and still been able to tape, patch, etc. with my filming to pull it off. I thank you TerryLee,

      • Steven Washer

        I’m very glad you’re able to use this work because that’s exactly what it’s for!
        Thank you for letting me know, TerryLee.

    • Keith

      This is perfect. I kept looking for a live background and like you said, not much out there of any value. Now, I have to figure out the best place to do this. Thanks so much.

      • Steven Washer

        You betcha. Enjoy your shoot. Send us a link!

    • cj

      Yes, you’ve almost made me feel I could do this.
      I’m left with 2 questions:
      ??? “light at your back”: but in filming me, my light isn’t behind me
      ??? how long should background video be? I’ve found it very distracting when I see the ‘hitch’ as someone’s animated background repeats.

      • Steven Washer

        The light should be at your back when you are shooting your background plate.

        The clip should be as long as your script requires it to be. Easy enough to do when you are shooting yourself! I usually try to pick up at least 5 minutes worth. That usually covers any reasonable amount of time. You should never be on screen that long in one uninterrupted clip anyway.

    • […] the way, here’s part 1 if you’re still looking for […]

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