How to Avoid Common Green Screen Mistakes

3. Motion blur in front of Green Screen

The Problem

If you shoot at a slow shutter angle, you may end up with motion blur in front of the green screen.

motion blur in front of green screen

This is something that is really hard to fix in post production since the areas where the motion blur occurred will be blended together with the green screen. It can be hard or even impossible to set up a clean chroma key without losing parts of your subject.

motion blur in front of green screen - blended together with background

The Solution

Try to have your subject move slowly to avoid motion blur to begin with.

If you need fast movement, use a higher shutter speed (a smaller shutter angle) to avoid motion blur. Because this will impose a certain hypersensitive onto your footage, you can add the motion blur back in post production - AFTER you applied the green screen

4. Clipping out of the Green Screen

The Problem

You shot in front of your green screen and the subject was out of the screen for just a short moment. Not a problem, right? Fix it in post?

clipping out of green screen

This can be very annoying to fix as you will have to manually rotoscope out all the elements that left the green screen.

clipping out of green screen - rotoscoping

The Solution

While the rotobrush tool in After Effects may help make the job easier, I strongly recommend reshooting the footage if you can

5. No backlight

The Problem

This is not really a problem, more a tip on how to make your subject stand out a little cleaner against the green screen. This will make application of the chroma key a lot easier and it will help give the actor or object a bit more shape by lighting them smartly

If you just shoot your subject against a green screen with light from the front, the outline of the subject is not very well defined.

green screen - no backlighting

The Solution

Add a light between the green screen and your subject but aim it towards the camera at the back of your subject. This will create a nice highlight outline around your subject and give it shape and make it stand out nicely against the background

green screen - with backlighting

I hope these tips will be helpful when you're doing your next green screen shoot! I certainly learnt them the hard way hehe
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15 Comments

User avatar
monjurul haque
7 Years Ago
July 13, 2012 @ 2:32 pm
its very helfull to make me skill in the field of green sceen makin. thanks a lot
User avatar
7 Years Ago
October 26, 2012 @ 3:49 am
I really loved this information, it was clever, funny, and very helpful. You def helped me on my first attempt when I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out what was wrong. Thanks for helping me to make a video cooler than it was. I am indebted to you. Have a great day sir.
User avatar
7 Years Ago
October 26, 2012 @ 1:19 pm
No need to thank me Chris I've done so many stupid things with green screens that I figured others should not have make the same stupid mistakes to learn how 'not' to do it - that's why I ended up doing the video. I'm always glad to hear that it's helpful to other people out there, it's one of the things that keeps me motivated to make newer (and hopefully better) videos! Hope you have an awesome day!
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6 Years Ago
August 10, 2013 @ 4:15 pm
can u make 1 tutorial for green screen u make for this tutorial ...i love your tutorials thanx
and how to set light for green screen tutorial
User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ Manjeet joshi
6 Years Ago
August 11, 2013 @ 0:51 am
Sorry, what do you want me to make a tutorial for? Also, lighting for green screening is very easy - just make sure your green screen is evenly lit and there's no shadows on it If you have a person in front of the green screen, you usually have: 1 light on the person from the front (key light), 1 light on the person from the back (rim light) and 1 light on the green screen to make sure there's no shadows on it
User avatar
manjeet joshi
6 Years Ago
August 26, 2013 @ 4:12 pm
dear tobias,

is this possible to make 3 point light at home ? if yes which watt bulb i can use or buy please inform me this ll be very helpfull....

and please make one tutorial how to setup light for green screen if possible thanx....
User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ manjeet joshi
6 Years Ago
August 27, 2013 @ 8:38 am
Sure you can make it at home. The main thing you want to make sure of is that all the lights you use use the exact SAME TYPE of lightbulb or you will have problems with the white balance of the video. How strong you want them is really up to you, though you'd probably want something that has 500W+ so you can properly light your scene. It depends on the size of your space though and the setup you are going for.
As for the lighting, the main thing you want to make sure is that your green screen is EVENLY lit otherwise you will have issues keying it out afterwards. Other than that of course you want to illuminate your subject as best as you can and you might also find a rim light (behind subject, aimed at subject) useful.
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6 Years Ago
August 26, 2013 @ 4:13 pm
sry for my bad english i hope you understand
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Amadeus Jones
6 Years Ago
August 29, 2013 @ 5:22 am
Help please. Whenever I apply the chroma I end up with a slight green tinge around the person's face or hairline or body. Barely noticeable but still there. What am I doing wrong? Or rather, what can I do to keep this from happening?
User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ Amadeus Jones
6 Years Ago
August 29, 2013 @ 1:18 pm
Sounds like you have some green spill from the green screen. You could try moving the person a bit more forward to avoid reflections from spilling green light onto them. Alternatively, if you're using the Keylight effect there are options to remove spill from your shot, though it doesn't always work perfectly.
User avatar
6 Years Ago
May 11, 2014 @ 3:03 pm
Tobias, is there any alternative to the proper green screen lighting? a DIY, maybe?
User avatar
Surfaced Studio@ Arihan Krishna
6 Years Ago
May 11, 2014 @ 3:31 pm
I'm not sure what you mean with 'proper green screen lighting'. As long as you have enough lights and avoid the issues I've pointed out in my 'Common Green Screen Problems' video, you can use any lights you want
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Nicholas Hicks
5 Years Ago
November 10, 2014 @ 10:38 pm
AWEsome website guys!
User avatar
2 Years Ago
March 28, 2018 @ 9:33 pm
Thanks so much for sharing this informative post with nice explanation. I will certainly dig it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.
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Surfaced Studio@ Georgia Brooks
2 Years Ago
May 18, 2018 @ 0:56 pm
Awesome to hear, thank you

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I am passionate about providing high quality VFX & Film Making Edutainment online. Check out my training courses on Udemy
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