Horror Movies: Keying Out Limbs Using Green Screen

While many people only view green screens as a way to change the background, using a green screen can enhance the effects of horror movies. With a combination of both a green screen and a chroma key green screen suit, limbs can be removed for maximum horror effect.

Step 1: Using the Chroma Key Green Screen Suit

The chroma key green screen suits are tight fitting suits that can cover a person from head to toe. These suits basically make a person invisible since they match the green screen that they are up against. These suits are usually wrinkle-free to eliminate shadows.

These green screen suits will zip up the back so that the zipper does not show up in the frame. Further, the mouth area will be made of thinner material, allowing the person wearing it to see and easily breathe through the mask. Besides full suits, individual pieces can also be used to cover up certain sections of a person. For example, arm pieces can be used to make it seem as if a limb is missing.

Step 2: Removing a Limb

The chroma key green screen suit can make removing a limb for horror movies extremely easy. To create this effect, set up a green screen behind the area where the filming will take place. Next, cut the arm piece of the green screen suit so that it fits the area where the limb should be missing.

If the limb appears as if it was ripped off, cut the green screen suit piece so that it’s ragged on the ends. Make sure that the costume reflects this as well. For example, if a foot was bitten off, the clothing at the end of the leg should be torn and ripped.

This effect can also be used for mass shots involving many people. If it is a zombie attack, then create a number of jagged green screen suits, and use them on arms, legs, heads and the like. Pieces can also be placed on sections of the torso and head to appear as if sections were forcibly removed from the person.

Step 3: Filming the Scene

Once the green screen suit pieces have been added, film the scene as normal. Just be sure that it is being filmed against the actual green screen. If not, the suit piece will show up in the frame.

Step 4: Post Production

Once the film goes to post production, certain things can be edited out of or added to the scene. Sometimes when green screen suits are used, ghost-like images or shadows from the suit may still show up. The video editor can completely isolate the image and effectively remove any lingering shadows.

Also, in post production, the editor can add in special effects like blood and torn flesh to the missing limb. Or, spewing blood, puss and the like can be added so that it looks like it is coming out of the missing limb. This will also make the effect look more real.