5 Common Green Screen Mistakes

5 Common Green Screen Mistakes for Video and Photo Production

Bravo Studios, New York City’s leading green screen stage rental, has been in the green screen and video production sphere for decades. They’ve seen it all. Bravo has compiled 5 top common mistakes or challenges in a typical green screen video or photo production. Find them below!

1. Shadows on the Green Screen

Shadows may be detrimental to your green screen production because it may make your chroma key process difficult in post-production. Shadows make the chroma key process difficult because the dark areas that the shadow cast on the green screen are too similar to the dark areas that the shadow cast on your subject making it difficult to key them out perfectly. Shadows often happen when your subject is too close to the green screen or due to very strong lighting, especially strong frontal lighting. This will cause a shadow to cast on your green screen.

To fix this. Move your subject away from the green screen background a bit to reduce the shadows. Also avoid using just a single light or very harsh frontal lighting. You can also think about adding lights behind your subject aimed at the green screen to brighten up the dark areas.

Rob Thomas at Bravo Studios - New York Green Screen

2. Unevenly Lit Green Screen

Now that you’ve removed the shadow, you may have another problem — an unevenly lit green screen. Again, this will make the chroma key process difficult. This is because there are still dark and light areas in the background. 

Try adding lights aimed at the green screen to even everything out. This is why a Gaffer — a person who is in charge of the design and execution of the lighting plan on set — is so important. Consider hiring or consulting with a knowledgable gaffer for your production. Bravo Studios has a roster of talented crew suggestions for your next production. Feel free to contact us to inquire.

3. Green Screen Color Spill

Now that you’ve evened out all the lighting, the opposite effect can also happen — too much light on the green screen. When there is too much light on the green screen, green fuzzy edges can be seen around your subject. If your subject is an actor, it may look like there is a “green halo” or a green reflection on their skin. NOT something you want because, again, it will make the keying out process very difficult in post production. Plus, it doesn’t look very natural for any human to have a green tint to their skin.

5 Common Green Screen Mistakes - motion Blur

4. Motion Blur 

Motion blur is a huge problem in green screen productions. Blurs are really hard to fix in post production because the areas surrounding the motion blur have blended with the green screen. This will make it very difficult to key without losing portions of your subject. 

To avoid this, have your subject move slowly. But if you require fast movement, use a higher shutter speed to avoid blur. 

5. Whoops, Disappearing Green Screen Subject

This seems like an obvious one — don’t have green things things on the subject or have green things on your set that you want to be in the final product. Why? Well, when you key in post production, all green things will removed once keyed out. For instance , that means no plaid green tops or plants can be in the shot. If green MUST be in your shoot, then consider using a blue screen instead of a green screen.