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This content is taken from the Norwich University of the Arts (NUA), HitFilm & MPC's online course, Visual Effects for Guerrilla Filmmakers. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 4 secondsHello, my name's Saint John Walker. I'm the course leader for VFX here at Norwich University of the Arts. No prize for guessing what this is behind me. It's a green screen, and green screen is the subject of this week's episode. Now there's a lot of mythology about green screen. People believe if you put an actor in front of it, press a button, and hey presto, they're transported to outer space or the Bahamas or wherever. But green screen's an art and a craft as much as a technology. We'll be showing you how to set up a green screen, how to light it, and how to make some great keys from it, with of course HitFilm and our friend Simon Jones.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsWe hope you create lots of great work this week. Look forward to seeing them. Bye.

Welcome to the world of Green Screen keying

Hello! Welcome to week 2! No prizes for guessing what’s behind me in the video above - even people who have no knowledge of filmmaking have seen images of figures acting in front of green screens. Of all the areas of VFX, it’s the most recognisable but also the most misunderstood.

Yes, of course green screen magically allows you to transport your foreground figure into another world, but whilst it’s easy to get a result, it’s often hard to get a convincing result, and as we’ll show, Green is not always the answer, and no matter how good your software expertise, if you can’t shoot your background correctly, you’re entering into a world of pain…

But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through what’s called ‘Keying’ and all that entails. We’ll come across different ways to ‘key’ your subject and discover guerrilla filmmaker tips and techniques to help you get to grips with mattes, masks and keys. Green screen and blue screen keying are as much art and craft as technology, as you’ll see.

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Visual Effects for Guerrilla Filmmakers

Norwich University of the Arts (NUA)

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