Have you ever wondered how some musicians get cool special effects in their videos? Maybe they've inserted a background to make it look like they're in space, or maybe they have text flying past them with a plain but strong colored background.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about:
The above effects and more are achievable by recording your music video with a green screen backdrop.
Today I'll let you know a bit more about this process, so you can apply it to your music videos if you see fit. So, let's get on with it.
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How This Green Screen Works
So, how does all this work? How do you get the special effects in there? Well, the simple explanation is this:
You record your music video as normal, but instead of using the background you want to be in the final video, you record it against a green screen.
Before recording, you'll want to have an idea of how you want the final video to come out. This is so you can do the necessary movements during the recording phase.
Once all the video footage has been captured, you hand it over to your video editor to add in the special effects. If you're editing the video yourself, this will be your job.
During the editing stage, the green background is cut out so only you and anything else in the scene is left. Most professional level editing software has a option to do this.
Now that the background it cut out, you're free to add a new one of your choice. This can either be additional footage that you've recorded, backgrounds and effects that are already on your editing software, or stock video files that you find or buy.
And that's pretty much how it works. So as long as you've got a camcorder, a green screen and a video editor who knows how to work with editing green screen, you can include absolutely anything you want in your videos!
An Important Note About Recording With A Green Screen – When To Use A Blue Screen
As I mentioned above, during the editing stage of making a green screen video, all green colors will be cut out and removed. It's because of this that you can't wear anything green during the shooting process. If you do, chances are that will be cut out to during the edit.
If you must wear green clothes or have another green object that needs to be included, you may instead want to record in front of a blue screen. A blue screen is practically the same thing as a green screen, although it is useful if you want to record with green colors. If you're using blue clothes however (a lot more common), stick to a green screen.
Ok, so now let's look at where you can get your own green screen kit, as well as some things you'll need to avoid when making these videos.
Where Can You Buy Your Own Green Screen
If you want to apply this kind of effect to your own video, you'll want to get a green screen kit. These are relatively inexpensive to buy when you think about what you can do with them, as if your editing skills are really good (or you can get a editor who knows how to add cool special effects) you can make really good quality videos. Most likely a lot of other musicians around your level aren't making these videos, so by you doing so, you'll help your music stand out from the crowd.
While the big budget film makers often paint whole rooms green to do these kind of shots, a green screen kit should be fine for most small budget music videos. Getting the editing process right is what will make your video stand out.
A Word Of Warning; Don't Go Overboard With Green Screen Effects
Just a quick bit of advice here, although of course it's up to you how you do your videos. While cutting out background and using special effects can look really cool when done right, it can also look cheap and tacky when done wrong. Things that can make it go wrong include:
- Not editing the green out properly. There's a art to doing this, so be sure your video editor has experience with it. If you wear clothes that are too close to green or the editor simply does a sloppy job with their cut out, you'll end up with one of two things. Either a green glow around the subject if the cut can't get close enough, or some of their hair and clothes cut out if the cut is made too far in. Neither look very professional, so be sure to avoid.
- Too many effects. Sometimes, simple is best. It's easy to get carried away and add a load of effects, but sometimes it just makes it look tacky. So be sure to get a video concept, and stick with a consistent theme.
Here's a video showcasing some poorly used green screen effects and why they're not good:
And that's how to get your videos looking out of this world with green and blue screens. With these tools, you can literally have anything in your videos.
So, have you used this feature in your videos before? If so, how did it come out? Let me know in the comments section!