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MakerspaceMHC: Green Screen

A collection of tutorials, tips and tricks to get you started.

Green Screen


Always wanted to to take pictures in the amazon? On the moon? Or  with a T-Rex? Well now you can!


The library has two green screens available. A portable version which can be signed out at the library counter and a permanent one set up in MakerspaceMHC.

Once you're done using the green screen just turn around and use our Makerspace computers and a variety of editing software to complete your project.

The tutorial below is geared towards using the large green screen which is set up in MakerspaceMHC however, the ideas presented below will also be useful when using the portable version.


Tips & Tricks

Setting up the Green Screen

Step 1

When using the green screen it is important to set it up correctly. You will want to make sure the green screen is smooth, flat and brightly lit. Within MakerspaceMHC the green screen is usually brightly lit from the large window however, the other side can be quite shadowy, keep this in mind when setting up your lights.

Watch the video below for information in regards to setting up the green screen. We do not have clamps at the library to borrow, please use green painters tape for this step. You are responsible for providing your own.

Post Production

Post Production - Removing the Green Screen

Step 3

Now that you have a finished product you will need to remove the green screen from your videos and add in your backgrounds. For this we recommend two programs either Adobe After Effects or Adobe Premiere Pro. Watch the tutorial below to understand how to remove green screen from your videos. In order to follow this step you should have a basic understanding of Video Production and Video Editing, if you do not, check out the applicable guides for those subjects.

Filming Live

Filming Live with a Green Screen

Step 1

Now you may be wondering if it's possible to film live with a green screen, much like what the weather channel does, well it is but there's a few caveats. First there is more set up required, you will need to use a Cam Link (available from the library) or a Web Cam in order to record directly to a computer or laptop. The Cam Link allows you to record using any video camera that has an HDMI output however, the computer does require a 3.0 USB (the library laptops do not have this). You can also use a Web Cam but the quality may not be as good as a video camera. After you have hooked up a camera to a computer you require certain software.

Step 2

If you haven't already downloaded and installed software that will let you remove the green screen then you will need to do this. In the makerspace we use a program called Open Broadcast System (OBS) which is free to use. This program is not available on the library laptop's, you will need to use your own computer. Watch the video below on how to install and set up OBS.

Tips & Tricks

Lighting and Model Positioning

Step 2

Watch the video below in order to get an idea of how you should set up the lights provided to you in MakerspaceMHC. Keep in mind that MakerspaceMHC has only two light's available so set up for the space will be different. You will need to borrow an extension cord from the library counter to use the lights.

We have had success using both lights to light up our subject. So using one light as the Key Light and the other as the Fill Light however, you might have success using one as a Backlight and another as a Key Light considering that the large window does offer quite a bit of light. Move the lights around and find what works best for you. 

Important! Using the lights is recommended as the space is quite shadowed. By using the lights your post production work will be made easier!


Removing Green Screen from a Still Image

Step 4

Even if you are wanting to use the green screen for still photography instead of video you should still follow Steps 1 & 2. You will still have to use another piece of software for Post Production work but removing the green screen from a still image is much easier than video. For this process use the makerspace computers and a program called PhotoKey 6 Lite.

Watch the video below for a demo on how to use PhotoKey 6 Lite.

Live Filming

Filming Live

Step 3

Once you have set up OBS and you understand how it works you are ready for the next step. Watch the video below which will explain how to remove green screen from your live camera view. Note: This video already assumes that you have your sources set up. In this video there is two primary sources 1) the web cam & 2) the desktop of the computer. Depending on your project you might not want your desktop, you instead might want a different video or an image, set up your sources appropriately. Also, make sure to make any adjustments before you start recording! What you see on your screen is what you will record!

Important! Allow time to adjust the Chroma settings appropriately, this will take time and patience to get right.

Step 4

I've filmed it live but it's still not quite right... No, you won't be able to get it right off the bat. For starters you will probably want to crop pieces out of your video, such as the end or the beginning, or add other video components that didn't revolve around the green screen. Even if you record the green screen live you will still need to do some post production work. Check out the Video Editing guide for more information. If you have any questions feel free to ask library staff.