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Noobie needs expert opinion on green screen build cost...


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Hi guys,

I don't know whether I have posted this in the appropriate forum so apologize if it is misplaced...

I am a complete noob with digital video but essentially am interested in learning the bare minimum and acquiring the necessary equipment to create a green screen video of a certain standard and style...

Specifically, I would be most grateful if someone with expertise could comment on what sort of budget and equipment I would need to create a video, very similar in content/style (I.e. range/extent of movement of subjects) and video quality standard to what these guys produce:

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EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I don't think they're using a green screen.  


If you go on amazon you'll find fairly inexpensive portable green screens.  You can get draped material but I would suggest one of the flexible kind instead because you'll still have something portable and easily stored but the flexi versions won't give you problems with wrinkles.


Virtually any decent DSLR will let you do green screen keys good enough for web content.  What will make a bigger difference will be the keying software.  Primatte from Red Giant is a good option here.

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First, I would strongly urge any self professed "noob" to stay away from shooting raw video, which it appears you're alluding to with your use of "hack" for the 50D.  The high bitrate you're describing isn't from slightly increased AVCHD performance.  So, shooting AVCHD, you could pretty much, if you wanted Canon, get by with a T3i or second hand 7D, or second hand 5D, etc.  Then, later, when you're more comfortable, you could consider a hacked camera.


In the example above your shadow observation isn't so much an indicator of having a screen backing not too far behind the actors as much as their harsh, unflattering, front light (which also likely accounts for their feeling so artificially distinct from the background).  See the very large bright blob on the fridge?  It's not from a light anywhere near the fridge, meaning it's from a light on the opposite side of the room, like maybe just to the left of camera.  That may be a reflection off their key light which could very well throw a shadow from the actors all the way back there were it to be mounted just a bit higher than the lens and to camera left.  That's what I'm seeing.


If you want to learn more about doing this sort of stuff I recommend checking out the Film Riot channel:



...that's one of their GS tips videos from a few years ago but they cover the gamut of similar effects techniques, usually with a fairly DIY attitude, great humor and tailor their show to their mostly "noob" audience.  It's often hosted in front of a GS and makes heavy use of GS and as the years have passed and they have gained more experience their tutorials have stepped it up a little but they still keep everything very basic.  Once you're comfortable working at that level you could move on to more sophisticated techniques like the Video Copilot tutorials.


Anyway, all of the Film Riot stuff tends to utilize un-hacked (or at least not raw) Canon footage.  As I said, the camera is less of a factor at the level you're working.  Your results are going to be more influenced by the software you use to key.  And your ability to color correct and light your foreground subject.

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