Getting Better Results from a Green Screen
Green screens can offer a lot of versatility and open new doors of opportunity to create more content in your studio or gain more experience with your production skills. So, let’s take a look at some of the challenges and benefits of working with a green screen in your space! We recently were able to install a green screen for a corporate studio. Their needs presented a unique set of challenges and benefits to having a green screen in their studio.

So, let’s set the stage: The corporation had set aside a space for a video studio and had the goal to create quality video content to present to the rest of their organization and their network. What they didn’t have was a very large space and being a corporation, they also knew they needed to be able to produce content quickly for more immediate use. Knowing this, using a green screen sounded like a desirable way to get what they needed out of their studio!

Everyone knows that time is your most valuable commodity when filming. The setup and constant changing of a set, no matter how simple, can eat into your limited filming time, causing delays and compounding problems. Using a green screen can help give you the ability to shoot a variety of settings in one place without having to make time-consuming adjustments to your background. 

Another benefit of a green screen is that it can help overcome space limitations. This benefit was crucial for this studio design. Not only was space limited, but to meet the criteria of the business, they needed to have two sets in the same space.

Now, along with the benefits of using a green screen, there are always challenges as well. We have all seen horrendous green-screen keys, and while that can make us all pause and question whether green screens are the right way to go, correctly lighting both the talent and green screen will take care of those issues. This was especially true for a small studio.

We used a combination of Hive and Quasar Science lighting for our set and created a lighting grid design for the studio! (More on that next week!)
When lighting a green screen, here are few tips to keep in mind:

1 have as much separation as possible between the green screen and your talent. This separation eliminates the light bouncing back off the green screen and hitting the back of our talent. The light that bounces off the green screen will be green and will contaminate our Key if it hits our talent. 

2 the green screen should be lit as evenly as possible. When you use a chroma Keyer to cut out the green, you select a small part of your image to tell the Keyer what color to remove. If your green screen is unevenly lit, there will be a wider range of luminance and color making it hard for the Key to correctly eliminate what it needs to.

3 create a luminance exposure separation between your green screen and your talent. This will also help your Keyer to better distinguish which luminance needs to be removed, creating a more seamless look between your talent and your GFX background. 

These few things will significantly improve your Key and make your life much easier during a live event or even in post-production.
Improvements in software have also made green screens much more usable and accessible. The ATEM switcher series has a fantastic built-in green screen Keyer. This Keyer comes standard with all black magic switchers, even their ATEM MINI series, which is a switcher we highly recommend for multiple levels of video production studios!

Designing a green screen into your studio can be tricky. By letting Lambda create the studio design for the corporation, we were able to create an exact CAD with the best possible placement of green screens, cameras, lighting, and talent for the best possible outcome. Overall, greens screens can be a great option to overcome space limitations, help with time constraints, or if you are just looking to bring more flexibility into your studio.  

Atem Mini Extreme
A great option for any streaming setup is the small, but powerful Atem Mini Extreme!
The Atem Mini from Blackmagic has been a groundbreaking little switcher for getting organizations and people streaming cheaply and efficiently. The Extreme version really takes it to a new level. Hardware-wise the extreme offers a multitude of buttons, but the most useful parts come in the offered ports. The extreme has 2 USB C ports allowing you to stream with one port via computer and record to a drive on the other port. The extreme also has 2 HDMI ports so one can be used for Multiview and the other can be used for output to a projector or another system.  
The Extreme also includes lots of options for doing Picture in Picture for podcasts as well as a great Chroma Keyer for getting professional-looking keys with simple lighting and a green screen to create virtual sets and environments. 
If you are interested in checking out the Extreme let us know! We have an in-shop demo unit we love to send out to anyone who might want to test it out! Along with that, we also have a printable guide to make learning the Extreme easy.