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  1. #1

    Green screen shadows

    hello everyone, its been a very long time since i wrote something here, and ive been thinking of my next movie, and ive been thinking of some interesting stuff that i can try... something i havent done b4, but has been done by alot of pple...

    its gonna be my first time using green screens (hopefully)... i know how to use green screen in vegas, and ive been thinking i wana shoot a scene where someone is thrown from the roof of a building... now i know this requires alot of work, and the way i thought of doing it is shooting the actor lying on his back on a stool or something, with a green screen behind him, on the ground, a few feet away, and the camera would then be directly on top... i would then get some footage for the green screen, either move the camera from the roof of the building to the ground, pointed at the ground, moving downwards fast, so when the final shot would be put together, the camera would be moving with the actor, falling all the way to the ground... (if anyone has any better way of doing this plz advise me, this is my first time with green screens)...

    now, i thought of shooting this green screen scene up on a rooftop, where i can get plenty of space, and plenty of sunlight, but then i thought that if the time of day is between like 10 am to like 4 pm then there would be a very visible shadow of both the actor and probably the camera crane on the green screen, which would ruin the shot when i come to add the footage for the green screen... does anyone have any way i can do this in an easier way? and this is just my way of shooting a thrown-off-the-top-of-a-building scene, im sure someone has something easier, plz help if u can and thank you...

  2. #2
    Lighting and space are key for this to work really well.

    If it is possible, keep the background far away from the subject than a stool's height. This also allows 1. separate lighting on both background and subject and 2. possible reflection of green onto your subject.

    You also need lighting. When your lighting is even and good, it makes keying out a breeze. Sunlight alone is NOT good enough. My suggestion: Use lights (if you have video lights, set them to flood not spot) to even the background. Light the subject separately. Just remember the direction of shoot as you would want to keep the direction of your highlights and shadows similar as the foreground (the actor) and the background to be keyed in (the building to the ground). Also keep your camera further still from the talent if possible.

    Side note: You may want to reconsider shooting in the noon as it produces rather harsh lightings (esp when you have nothing to 'soften' your key light, the sun). Also have you considered pull-zoom in doing this shot?

    Another way is doing the falling upright, but you'll need to suspend your actor, which may not be so easy a set-up.

    Trust this suggestion helps.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  3. #3
    this is what i teach the students that roll through here

    http://www.bluesky-web.com/broadcast...eenscreen.html
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!

  4. #4
    thanx nagar, ur tips really help, but there are a few things i dont understand:

    the flood lights sound like a good idea, i can light the green screen separately by placing the lights near the floor where the green screen is going to be, and if the actor is higher up i can also place flood lights to light him, but wouldnt that cast shadows on the green screen? and u said i shoudl reconsider shooting at noon, do u mean i should shoot some other time? what time of day would be good?

    you said that i should keep the camera as far away from the actor as possible, why is that better?

    and you also mentioned pull-zoom, i think i know what ur talking about but can u please explain what that is?

    thanx

  5. #5
    Quote
    Quote: kawsakimx6
    View Post
    this is what i teach the students that roll through here

    http://www.bluesky-web.com/broadcast...eenscreen.html
    thanx man, ill check it out

  6. #6
    Quote
    Quote: Ma7amee7o
    View Post
    ...and if the actor is higher up i can also place flood lights to light him, but wouldnt that cast shadows on the green screen? and u said i shoudl reconsider shooting at noon, do u mean i should shoot some other time? what time of day would be good?

    you said that i should keep the camera as far away from the actor as possible, why is that better?
    Good point. You're thinking along with me. When I mentioned flood, it is meant for the background, reason being we want to achieve an even lighting for better key-out. As for the subject/actor, if you are able to focus your lights (eg having lights with snoots/barn doors/spot) it will help tremendously. Having the distance will help.

    If not, remember light weakens as it travels. So the lighting on the actor will be weaker when it hits the green screen. Just make sure your floods on the background kills the shadows (from the actor) and keep it flat. Also I don't think you are pointing the lights directly down on the actor, so the shadows will be at the side more than behind. If possible keep it out of frame?

    This set-up requires a lot of planning and preparation. If possible do a quickshoot and check the key-out straightaway in Vegas so you know you're on the right track.

    When you mentioned about shadows, noonday sun WILL cast shadows (esp the subject's) onto the green screen, so it will be the same question you've asked me earlier. I'll avoid this where possible. Of course the other is a matter of aesthetics. Your actor might have difficulty acting with all the glare as he has to face the sun! Terrible directors that'll make us, don't you think so?

    Having the camera further helps with the depth of field. It will blur out the background. This adds to making a more even background, thus, easier and more natural key-out. With that said, I'd like to add that this applies best when you're using at least prosumer cameras to do this. You'll have difficulty with consumer cameras, that's for sure.

    Quote
    Quote: Ma7amee7o
    View Post
    and you also mentioned pull-zoom, i think i know what ur talking about but can u please explain what that is?
    Wow, this is rather hard to explain... haha... it's lunch break now... I'll mull over it and come back soon...
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  7. #7
    thank you very much nagar, this will be of very big help when i actually shoot the scene (hopefully) but ill be waiting on the pull-zoom thing lol, hope it isnt to hard to explain... thanx very much

  8. #8
    Quote
    Quote: nagar
    View Post
    Good point. You're thinking along with me. When I mentioned flood, it is meant for the background, reason being we want to achieve an even lighting for better key-out. As for the subject/actor, if you are able to focus your lights (eg having lights with snoots/barn doors/spot) it will help tremendously. Having the distance will help.


    there is a better way to light the wall. i would line it with florescent lights on the sides and top. Put a ballast with two 4 foot lights in each in all 3 sides, then the green wall is lit, and there is nothing in the way of the lighting to cast a shadow. This is the way that we light ours here at the studio, and you can get the person closer to the wall witch means more camera movement is possible
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!

  9. #9
    That's good Kaw, provided Ma7's prepared for a few factors.
    1. Shoot upright. That isn't much of a problem, in fact it makes things easier. It will mean that Ma7's gonna shoot partial body (after all you don't want to see a fellow falling with his feet/foot firmly planted on the floor no?). If not, rig the guy! Whoo...
    2. Get enough lights (if Ma7 has it, that'll be fantastic!)

    But yes, lighting on all sides will definitely make it a beauty.

    As for pull-zoom, I've promised to explain.. and I'll try. Kaw can explain further or direct us another website if possible. That'll be great.

    Now... when you do a pull-zoom, you are effectively doing the following:

    1.
    C camera


    O<-< subject

    __________ background

    2.
    (physically) move backwards but maintaining a steady zoom-in (and focus, for that, pre-focus and keep camera on manual) on subject. The angle of coverage for the background will narrow and blur out.

    C camera
    ^
    ^


    O<-< subject (stay where he/she is)

    _____ background

    Like I've mentioned, earlier, it's for consideration. I was thinking what might happen if I were to employ this technique for this type of shoot (as in falling) while you were sharing. (I have not attempted suicide scenes haha) So I've not tried it yet.

    Well all the best for preparing this, and do keep us in the loop of your progress and what you'll learn from this. Questions are welcomed too.
    There's no bad camera, just a bad user
    Loong . Singapore

  10. #10
    Nager nailed the explanation of a pull zoom. I use it often with Green Screen. Moving the camera instead of the lens is usually a better shot with all shooting if you are able to do so.



    as nager also said, If you can rig your subject up that would be great, because then you can see his legs kicking as well as arms moving. If you do go for this technique make sure as to color the rig with the subjects clothing, or the color of the green screen so the key will be easier in the end
    Manoni Productions
    Pass me another beer...You are still ugly!

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