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If you are ready to get some creative green screen ideas then you are in the right place! Video sharing is one of the most popular hobbies and professions today. Whether for pleasure or as a job, people share videos on a daily basis. Some go the distance to make their videos look as impressive as possible, using various editing techniques and Adobe After Effects. 

There is only so much you could do without using amazing digital art, animation, or having an elaborate setup. This is where green screens help to enable the ability to produce an amazing background for your videos. Green screens are essential in any serious video production studio. Green screens are also often used by casual streamers to YouTube professionals.

What is a Green Screen and Why You Might Need One

A green screen is a green wall or screen that is used for chroma keying or chroma key compositing. This is a process where two images are composited by removing one of them – in this case, the color green.

This is an example of a green screen set up.

Green screens can be anything from a painted green wall, usually with special, non-reflective paint, to screens made out of non-reflective fabric. Some screens are blue, depending on the subject’s clothes or colors. No part of the subject can be the same hue as the screen as those parts will be removed in post-processing.

Why You Might Need a Green Screen

Green screens are useful if you have a specific use for them in mind. Purchasing one without having any green screen ideas could be a mistake. If you have a studio and regularly create video content or publish photos that require a significant amount of post-processing, a green screen might be a great addition.

This is what a typical YouTube video set up might look like - this picture features a DSLR, a light and a microphone.

Here are a couple of reasons and occasions when a green screen should be purchased:

  • When publishing YouTube videos regularly
  • Regular streaming on any platform
  • Having an amateur video production
  • Being a videographer hobbyist
  • Having a photo or video studio
  • Doing professional post-processing editing
  • Making tutorials on various subjects
  • Having frequent video calls and conferences

Why You Might Not Need a Green Screen

People tend to purchase various products on a whim, and sometimes due to a poor recommendation. Having a green screen without any green screen ideas or ideas in general as to how to use a green screen is already a poor purchase. Below are a few additional cases where you should avoid purchasing a green screen:

  • When working outdoors or using lots of mobile equipment
  • When working in volatile environments where spills and creases can happen
  • If good and even lighting is unavailable
  • If one is a hobbyist or does not record video content often
  • In serious virtual calls with improper setup

Green screen ideas are necessary to make use of a green screen, but having one without any use for it is a mistake, not to mention the necessary setup and knowledge. Kits themselves do not cut it, so having the necessary knowledge is mandatory.

20 Great Green Screen Ideas for Your Next Video

Using chroma keying without green screen ideas can be difficult. It is always a good idea to gather a few ideas around how you would like to use your green screen before creating your next video. Following are some ideas to help you speed up the process and point you in the right direction:

Indoor-based Green Screen Ideas

Video calls: Video call backgrounds are one of the most common use cases for green screens. 

Theater: When putting on a show, an actual stage might be one of the best backdrop green screen ideas.

Online classrooms: Students have short attention spans as it is, so using a different backdrop to entertain them every single time can be very good.

News videos: If you deliver news on topics, you can make a news set similar to what is used on national television.

Green gloves: When making videos with smaller subjects, using green gloves can make the subjects float.

Video podcasts: A green screen background can also enhance the video recording of your next podcast episode.

Doppelgangers: Subjects can be doubled against a green screen, making it appear as if we are having a conversation with ourselves.

Adventure Green Screen Ideas

Gulliver’s travels: Having characters of different sizes can make an interesting video even more interesting.

Maps: Maps are always interesting to use, especially when referring to different locations.

Tunnels: Nothing beats having a metaphor come to life such as a light at the end of a tunnel, except it takes less effort than actually going to a tunnel to film.

Driving a car: One way to use your green screen is to simulate the driving of a car with the car’s window views changing in the background. This is a fun idea because you get the illusion that the car is traveling the world. 

Superhero action: When in doubt, one can replay some famous scenes from movies, like The Avengers or Superman (as long as the clip abides by the rule of the platform where it is being posted).

In space: Going to space has never been easier than with a green screen. 

Stunts: Stunts are dangerous and require a significant amount of skill and training. Using a green screen can make things easier.

Movie locations: Iconic locations from movies, like the Titanic or Middle Earth, can result in some interesting video backgrounds.

Outdoor Green Screen Ideas

A forest: A forest background is a fun green screen idea. If you use this type of background, a blue screen would be necessary as a green forest is likely to blend into the green screen.

Underwater: When talking about oceans or underwater life, one can easily go underwater with the appropriate green screen.

A different skyline: Going to space is interesting, but why not another planet, maybe some popular planets from Star Wars or Mass Effect?

Mount Everest: Climb the world’s tallest peak with a green screen.

The Antarctic: When talking about cold weather, one could easily mention some of the coldest places on the planet, or actually take their viewers there.

Cityscape: Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, choose the city that best meets the requirements of the topic.

Other Useful Green Screen and Chroma Key Products

Having a green screen can be a solution, but without the other necessary equipment, you will be unable to execute your vision. Here are a couple of useful items to have when doing using a green screen concept. Lighting is perhaps the most important factor when doing chroma keying, as well as having a straight and even green screen. Your green screen ideas might go to waste without the following essentials.

Lighting:

Having even lighting is very important for green screen effects. Elgato is a great manufacturer of lights of all kinds, but they are on the pricey side. On the other hand, using a set like this one from Emart gives a bit more value at the cost of perhaps some of the quality. 

Be sure to do extensive research or get professional assistance when it comes to setting up your lighting.

This photo features a video lighting set up and serves as an example when it comes to properly lighting your video.

Chroma Key Paint:

Doing chroma keying is great when one has a green screen. In some cases, painting a wall, which is an even surface, with the correct paint, can be the best solution for an indoor studio. Walls are even and will not crease and move. Rosco makes different hues of chroma key paint to meet everyone’s needs. This is a permanent solution, which is worth the initial investment.

Green Screen Stand:

A green screen is useless if it creases and becomes uneven. This is where the green screen stands and clamps come in handy. These should be used to ensure that your green screen is even and does not crease.

Most sets come with a stand and clamps, all necessary to make the most out of a fabric green screen. The Linco Photo Backdrop stand is one of the best budget-friendly solutions.

If you need more ideas for gear, check out this roundup post with my favorite video equipment.

The Best Green Screen Practices and What to Avoid

Green screen ideas can really enhance the overall quality of your videos. What you do behind the scenes is extremely important to bring your complete green screen vision to life. Here are the dos and don’ts of using green screens.

Do’s

  • Use proper lighting. Evenly lighting the subject will make it so that there are no shadows on the screen. Shadows can ruin a good shot when chroma keying.
  • Keep the background straight. Creases in the screen will immediately be visible when a background is pressed against it. Creases also mean uneven lighting, no matter how you set up your lights. The screen must be straight.
  • Use low ISO. High ISO numbers can produce bad photos. The same goes for videography. Using the best settings can make a better video.
  • Use an aperture of f4 to f6. This will give a very nice depth of field effect, depending on the lens, of course. This aperture range will make the green screen appear a bit blurred, which could be the look that you are going for to make the scene look more realistic.

Don’ts

  • Overlight the background. Color spill is a common mistake in chroma-keying, where the screen is far too lit. The correct balance of light is important.
  • Use the same hue as the screen. Green doesn’t mix with other shades of green, which is also true for other colors such as blue or purple.
  • Simply upload a video once it is created. Rewatch the footage to see whether there are any mistakes, particularly with shadows and lighting.
  • Use motion blur. Blurred videos especially make it difficult for post-production because the subject is mixed with the screen.

From lighting to using the right camera settings, not to mention keeping the screen straight and without creases, the behind-the-scenes work is as important as the green screen ideas themselves. 

Summary and Conclusion

Chroma keying or chroma key compositing is often referred to as green screening. This process uses green screens, blue screens, or screens of any color to make composite images with a subject and a backdrop that can be added later in post-production.

Green screens can be made out of many materials, from walls to soft fabrics. As long as the screen is wrinkle and crease-free, it will suffice. 

Lighting is the next important factor in making good green screen videos. Even lighting is important but too much light and color spill can take place.

The final element of good chroma keying is using great ideas with great photography and videography and editing those ideas into the final product – an amazing and entertaining video for your followers.

If you need some help when it comes to editing your videos, check out this comprehensive guide around how to edit with Premiere Pro.