3 Green Screen Tips for Filming Outdoors

There are several green screen tips when filming. Lighting a green screen can be a challenging task when done indoors. The difficulty lies with illuminating the screen evenly enough so that the surface looks flat. Shot outdoors, illuminating the screen evenly becomes easier and cheaper with using the sun as the light source. However, shooting outdoors has its own set of challenges. Here are few tips for using the green screen outdoors.

Tip 1 - Select a Suitable Material

Authentic green or blue screens are expensive and only used in larger production houses. For filmmakers with a smaller budget, there are cheaper alternatives. Paper is the cheapest and the lightest material but also the most delicate. It can easily wrinkle or tear depending on the weather conditions. Fabric is a popular option, allowing filmmakers to choose from a variety of types based on budget and preference. Another alternative is wood. The flat surface makes it a suitable material for a screen but can be difficult to move around. Painting a wall can also achieve the same effect. The challenge is to find a suitable wall that receives enough sunlight or may require additional lighting.

Tip 2 - Create a Sturdy Frame

In a studio or indoor setting, the setup is controlled in terms of the light, weather, noise and so on. With using the green screen outdoors, these factors need to be considered and dealt with. The wind is of a major consideration. If the wind is strong enough, it can easily topple the screen over. Create a frame that is sturdy enough to withstand wind and one that can provide a suitable surface for the fabric to be attached on. There are a number of options with regards to frames. C-stands are common and can be used for this purpose. Another option is by making one by means of PVC pipes or wood. A cheaper alternative is by sticking the screen to a wall, which also eliminates the need to worry about wind. With creating a makeshift frame, it is important that the frame is sturdy enough to withstand the wind and support the weight of green screen. Use weights whenever necessary.

Tip 3 - Determining Distance and Additional Lighting

The sun can provide an adequate amount of light. As long as the surface is not reflective then the light can be spread evenly across the screen. Another consideration is the light on the subjects. Make sure that the shadows from lighting the subjects will not touch the screen. Tweaking the distance and the light is needed to achieve the best effect. It is also important to consider the position of the sun or any additional light sources. Filmmakers will have no control on the amount of sunlight as well as how long the light will last. The scenes need to be setup and shot quickly in order to take advantage of the natural light available. Before the actual film day, filmmakers are advised to test several shots and consider all possibilities. Experimenting days prior to the shoot is necessary to ensure that the shoot on the actual day of filming goes as smoothly and quickly as possible.