"Going Green": Using Your Chroma Key Screen Suit

Chroma key screen suits allow a person to be practically invisible when up against a green screen. These suits are usually close fitting to eliminate wrinkles and shadows. These suits are especially useful for filming special effects or puppet shows. All someone needs is a little imagination to use these suits.

Step 1: Understanding the Chroma Key Screen Suit

These suits cover a person from head to toe, and they generally come in a variety of sizes. Generally, these suits are completely green to match green screens, but there are some available in blue to match blue screens.

Since these suit match the background, the person becomes virtually invisible when filmed. These means that whatever they are holding or manipulating appears as if it is by itself. If a person is slightly visible, this can be eliminated in post-production. All the editor has to do is isolate the object that was being manipulated and move it to another background.

These suits are very flexible for full movement, but the head of the suit will be of a thinner material. This allows users to breathe easily and see what is going on. It is recommended that several breathing breaks are taken while filming to ensure that someone does not get overheated.

Step 2: Using the Suit

The chroma key screen suit is often seen when manipulating puppets. The person can pull all the strings, or they can have their hands manipulating the mouths and hands of the puppet. But, it appears as if the puppet is moving by itself since the person is invisible.

These suits can also be used for special effects. For example, if a filmmaker is making a movie about paranormal activities, an object can be manipulated as if it is being moved by an unseen force.

These suits can also be used for "invisible man" effects. This type of effect can be used for comedies, mysteries or even suspense genre films. Generally, a glow or outline will still remain even with the suit on. This outline can be left on the screen and just cleaned up a bit via a video editor.

Step 3: Other Uses

Another way to use the green suits is to only use pieces of the green suit. For example, if a person is supposed to have a flaming hand, the person can wear a sleeve section. This will make the actual hand invisible. Then in post production, a flame can be added to that part via special effects or animation.

Sections of the suit can also be used to make certain parts of a person invisible, as if they are losing composition in front of the audience. Or, just expose the head, and transpose the head onto a different body. For example, somebody's head could be placed on the body of a muscle man or even a comic book hero.

Step 4: Imagination

The most important part of using the chroma key screen suit is imagination. These suits can be used for so many purposes besides effects, animation and object manipulation.