I Screen, You Screen, We All Screen for Green Screen: Part II
Welcome back green screeners! As you may recall, last week I explained how green screens help filmmakers to composite (combine) multiple layers of imagery. Don’t remember that? Here’s a 13 word reminder (not including “presto”): Shoot actor against green screen, remove green in post, add a new background — Presto! While the green screen process sounds simple enough, there are a few technical hurdles you’ll need to jump, and thanks to some brilliant app developers, your iThings will help you jump higher.
Last week I proclaimed my love for an awesome app called Green Screener, a tool designed to measure and clearly display luminance values in order to help you light your green screen evenly (and achieve beautiful composites). Now let’s look at another problem that needs solving: shot alignment. To understand the problem, let’s revisit at last week’s example (with a twist):
On day one, you decide to use an elevated camera to shoot the side of a cliff with a distant army marching in the valley bellow. On day two, you position a camera low to the ground to film a nervous looking actor in front of a green screen. Then, in post-production, you composite the two together. You had HOPED to create a shot in which the nervous actor is now seen standing on the cliff, observing the approaching army. However, because your camera positions don’t align (one was elevated, and the other was near the ground), the composite doesn’t work at all! It’s awful! Thank goodness this was only an example…otherwise I’d have to call your mom and explain this horrible composite.
In order for this shot to have worked, you would have needed to capture both shots from a similar angle. This is shot alignment. The more aligned your shots, the better the composite will look. So, how can you ensure good shot alignment while shooting your actors against a green screen? After all, you can’t see the intended background — it’s just green. Lots of green. Greeny green green.
iDevices to the rescue! I’m happy to report that there are several tools in the App Store that will perform LIVE green screen composites right on your mobile device. How does that help? Imagine being able to load your background imagery into your iPhone or iPad, pointing your device’s camera at your actor and green screen, and then seeing your actor composited into the background — LIVE. Now, simply by moving your iDevice around your set, you can find the best angle for shooting your actor, one that perfectly matches the background. Once you’ve found the right angle, move your video camera into place, and start shooting! Awesome-sauce!
Here are two apps that can composite live green screen video (there are more in the App Store, but these are my faves):
Green Screen Movie FX ($1.99) is simple to use with only a few controls. After launching the app, just point your device at your actor and tap the green screen background. The app instantly removes the green, replacing it with a default background. Naturally, you can load your photo or video backgrounds from your iPhone’s photo library (which is the whole point). If you have color or luminance variations in your green screen (there shouldn’t be — didn’t you read last weeks article?), you can continue to tap areas of your green screen that will be removed by the app (you can remove up to four colors). A slider controls the strength of the green screen removal. Higher settings work better on poorly lit green screens, but can eat into non-green portions of your image, such as your actor’s face. The app also offers settings to change the video quality, frame rate, focus mode, and more. Green Screen Movie FX is a solid app I rely on quite frequently, but there’s more fish in the sea…
Veescope Live Full ($2.99) provides far more control for fine tuning your composite, including the ability to reposition the background (a feature that has come in handy more than once). The app also lets you lock exposure, focus, and white balance. While writing this article, I discovered an exciting feature within Veescope Live Full I had never seen before. It’s called Light Guide, and it’s a light meter that displays luminance values as bands of gray and green. Sound familiar? It should. That’s the same function Green Screener (the app I covered last week) performs. I haven’t used Light Guide on set yet, so I can’t vouch for its accuracy, but I’m excited to give it a try. If you’re feeling frugal, look for a free version of this app called Veescope Live (no “Full”). It performs the same functions as the paid version, but watermarks your recorded videos. Wait… RECORDED VIDEOS? What chu talkin bout, Taz?
I’m recommending these apps as shot alignment tools, however, both apps can RECORD videos. That means you can actually shoot live green screen composites directly to your device, then share or edit them right away. I didn’t mention this at first because the quality of the composites isn’t anywhere close to professional. That said, if you’re just looking to have a quick bit of fun, and you don’t need top-quality results, recording with these apps may be all you need! No harm in trying, right?!
There’s always more to learn about creating great green screen composites (i.e., lens choices, matching lighting, compositing plugins, color correction, etc.), but I’m hoping the apps I’ve shared will help get you going (or improve your existing workflow).
And remember, shoot carefully because “it’s not easy being green screen.” Yes, I waited a week to type that. You’re welcome, universe.
Green Screen Movie FX
by EPOCFIELD LTD
Green Screen Movie FX
--As featured in new and noteworthy in the UK iTunes entertainment section--
Now you have the power of a Hollywood special effects studio in your pocket (well, almost!).
The app gives you the ability to use an special effect known as Chroma Key or Green Screen in a simple, fun and quick way. Simply select multiple colors in the viewfinder by tapping the screen and instantly replace it with a video or picture of your choice.
Imagine replacing the sky with a scene from space showing a planet spinning or changing the view out of your window into Niagara Falls.
Green Screen lets you create special movie effects and instantly share and show off your video creations on Facebook, Dropbox, Twitter, email and others.
The app comes with the following videos built in:
o Group of hot air balloons in flight
o Spectacular water fountain display from Las Vegas
o Tranquil beach with palm tree rustling in the breeze
o Flying through clouds especially for super hero movies!
o View of the earth rotating through space
o Slow motion fire explosion
o Amazing firework show
o Cloudy mountain - amaze your friends with your climbing prowess
o Niagara Falls
o Paris with the Eiffel tower in the background
o A plane taking off from an airport
o Forest Mountain scene
o South Beach Los Angeles with life guard hut
As well as built in videos, you can also import videos & pictures of your own. Amaze your friends by appearing in a starring role alongside your favorite movie or pop star. Or show them your holiday to the seven wonders of the world without actually having been there.
o Real time compositing of videos / images with iPhone video camera.
o Use rear or front camera.
o 13 in-built effects videos
o Use you own videos / photos from the iPhone camera roll.
o Import movie clips from iTunes.
o Change the amount of background color replaced live with tolerance slider
o Choose up to 3 different colors to replace with green screen fx.
o Fine turn the chroma key’s red, green, blue values
o Record videos and share them straight to Facebook, Dropbox, email, iPhone gallery
o Highly customizable options including capture resolution, chroma match quality, camera focus mode
o Choose from Best Quality (multiple chroma key points) or Best FPS (one chroma key point) in Settings
Praise for Green Screen:
"You know those big, blockbuster Hollywood movies that use “green screens” to make actors look like they’re somewhere they aren’t? Now, for $1.99 Apple fans can take advantage of a similar feature..."-appadvice.com
"Does Green Screen Movie FX offer enough quality to warrant the two dollar price-tag? And the answer is—certainly! The app offers the best chroma keying I’ve seen on a mobile device..."-theiphoneappreview.com/
"Once you've finished your composite, you can easily share it in a number of ways. Good stuff!"-handheldhollywood.com
Enjoy and amaze your friend and family.
To see it in action and more detail watch this video:
Works great on the iPad2!
Any problems just mail support (below) and I'll get back to you.
Please rate the app to ensure future update and new features!
TopTip! if you have a newer more powerful device go to settings and make the block size smaller and resolution higher for better quality!
--Important please note that this app is only support on currently released versions of iOS--
Veescope Green Screen Full
by Phone Sweets
Veescope Green Screen Full
With over two million downloads on the iTunes app store, our green screen app makes it easy to create amazing photos and movies. Take green screen photos at up to 12 megapixel and video at UHD 4K resolution. Our light guide software makes it easy to adjust your lights to shoot the perfect green screen every time. Don't have a green screen or blue screen? Veescope live will work with a standard white wall, as well. Switch backgrounds and start and stop recording by using a second iPad with Veescope Live's remote mode. Got questions or need help? Simply press the help button on the main screen and send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always looking for ways to make our product better, so feel free to contact us at any time.
Green Screen/Blue Screen Chroma Keying or Blank wall Keying to your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.
New backgrounds for creating weather forecasts. (Requires A6 CPU or higher)
Create a 5 day forecast for anywhere in the world.
Create weather map for anywhere on the globe.
*Shoot high-res 4k Green Screen Video on iPhone 6s & 6s+
*Green Screen Photos at up to 12 megapixel
*Live green screen preview with Airplay
*Works on any color background green, blue, etc
*Switch backgrounds while recording movies
*Add Photos or Movies from your camera roll to use as backgrounds
*Include 20 background movie and photos
*Record in real-time to a Quicktime movie
*Stop motion animation
*Works with iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.