Green screen video production can be tricky but in this post I'm going to show you how to create your own green screen videos quickly, easily, and more importantly on a budget. You don't need thousands of dollars of equipment to create your own green screen videos but you do need some basic equipment like a basic green screen, a decent video camera / webcam , some basic audio equipment, and of course some lights.
The Green Screen Itself
In order to shoot green screen videos you will need a green screen. You have a few different options
- A Reversible Pop Out Background Green Screen Panel Link Here >>
- A Muslin BackDrop System Link Here >>
I grabbed the reversible pop out background panel and stand on Amazon (pic below)
Here is a better view of what the video looks like when shooting. Don't worry the wrinkles in the screen don't show in the final video when you have proper lighting.
Essential Video Equipment
In order to shoot green screen videos, you should at least have a 1080p HD camera. A great beginner webcam is the Logitech C920 Webcam -> Grab the C920 on Amazon.
Another higher end option for serious video entrepreneurs is DSLR cameras. Yes, they are primarily used for photos but they have such great image quality that people use for videos that look crystal clear as well. You'd probably be surprised to learn that many Youtube stars use DSLR cameras due to their crystal clear quality. A great entry level DSLR camera is the Canon Rebel t3i or Canon Rebel t5i. Personally, I have the Canon Rebel T6i but it’s about $800 so you want to make sure you want to create videos before you jump into a serious purchase like that.
Professional Audio on a Budget
Unfortunately, 99% of camera’s built in microphones stink (even on DSLR cameras) . Using a built in microphone will make you sound like a real amateur. You don’t want to be an amateur because people will bounce from your videos and watch your competitor’s videos! Here’s what you need to know about audio and in case you were wondering Hollywood’s standard practice for recording audio is hiring a person to hold a microphone right over the subject’s head like this
For most people it's very unpractical to hire someone to hold a mic above their head for every video so what’s the best way to achieve great sounds audio? The answer is using a lav mic like Jimmy Fallon on the tonight show. Notice how the big mic is just for show and is completely FAKE.
When it comes to mic’s whatever you do – don’t cheap out! Quality isn’t cheap. I have bought tons of cheap mics and always regretted it soon after. The mic I use now is over $400+ and it’s worth every penny! Here are some good mic and recorder options to get you started.
Some great Lav Mics (A Lavalier Mic is a mic that you wear on your person)
- Audio-Technica PRO 70 Cardioid Condenser Lavalier/Instrument Microphone
- Sony ECM-44 Omni-Directional Electret Condenser Wired Lavalier Microphone
Shotgun Mics (Mic that mounts on Camera)
- Rode VMGO Video Mic GO Lightweight On-Camera Microphone Super-Cardio
- Sennheiser ME66/K6P Shotgun Microphone (My Personal Favorite)
Great Mic recorders (Record Audio from the Mic)
Like I said earlier camera's built in microphones are a joke so get yourself a professional audio recording device. In the picture above the Zoom H4N is being used to connect a couple XLR microphones to the Canon DSLR camera so that video and audio can be recorded simultaneously. The video would be from the camera but the audio would be from the Zoom's XLR attached microphones. This eliminates the need to sync up externally recorded audio to the video in post production editing. Here are some good audio recording devices to get you started
- Zoom H4N Digital Multitrack Recorder – 2015 Version (My Personal Favorite)
- Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder (Pro Level Recorder)
Green Screen Lighting
Green screen lighting is the most important thing when it comes to producing a professional green screen videos. Most people have horrible lighting on their subject and background which makes their video look like crap. They think it’s their camera or backdrop setup but it’s their bad lighting… For a good lighting setup you need some decent lights but more importantly you need to light the subject and background independently which is accomplished with a 4 light setup but I will show you how you can get by with 2 lights if you have to. Here are some diagrams of what it looks like.
The reason lighting is so important is because of post production editing that you need to do with producing a green screen video. All that’s really happening is you pull a “key” from the video which is the green color of the background and take it out of the video. If you don’t light the background properly then you have different shades of green which are different colors which causes disastrous effects on your video. It can make you have a fuzzy green edge or it can cause parts of the green background to appear in spots during your video.
Green Screen Editing Software
Once you shoot video you have to edit your video to “remove the green screen” and put in whatever background you want. I added in a studio picture to the background to make it look like I was in a studio but really I was in-front of my green screen. There are a million options you can use for the software but since I use a Mac I use and recommend Screenflow but if you are on a PC I would recommend Camtasia Studio. Both of these software programs work pretty much the same as far as functionality.
Green Screen Key Takeaways
- Get Yourself A Green Screen
- Get Some Decent Video Equipment
- Grab The C920 Webcam for 1080P Video
- Make Sure You Have Professional Audio
- Get An Audio Recorder
- Get a Good Microphone
- Green Screen Lighting
- Get A Lighting Kit
- Light The Screen & Yourself Separately
- Green Screen Editing Software
- Grab some software like Camtasia or Screenflow to edit your green screen videos