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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsSo today, what we're doing is we're setting up a green screen shoot. Now this shoot involves an actor in a vehicle, and what we're doing is we're putting a green screen behind the driver's window so that we can comp in any given background which we choose. We're also going to shoot those back plates later on today. So we're going to do a variety of different shots. We're lighting the actor separate to the green screen. So we're making sure that we've got a nice, flat, even green key. And then we're lighting the actor for whatever scene they're going to be put in. In this case, we're going to shoot a day scene and a night scene.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 secondsIn the shot, which we're going to eventually comp into our night scene, we're going to flash some lights over the bonnet, and over the actor to simulate street lamps and cars passing by. Using those kinds of practical lighting techniques will hopefully make it easier in post. One of the things we can do on set as well, is because we've got a car window open we're simulating the wind coming in through the window. So by having elements of the actor's hair move to the wind, and their clothing, will also help to create a realistic scene.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 secondsOne of the things we can do on set to make it easier for the guys in post, is to bring the shots which we've just filmed here in the studio into the iMac. There, we can check that we can key the scene correctly. That the lighting is correct for the space or the environment which we're eventually going to create around the subject. And to overall check the image, because, essentially, anything which we want to tweak within that shot, we can do it because we're already set up in the studio. Moving of the wheels. Move the wheel, and then we'll cut while we're moving the wheels. That's good. Good. Good. OK, cut.

Guerrilla Diary: shooting green screen

It’s time to look at our Guerrilla Diary again. This week Justin Hunt of Ember films runs us through how he shot the elements you’ll be using next to create your own green screen shot. As always, there’s an emphasis on using lights (and even wind!) to make the shot look as natural as possible, rather than relying on it all to be created in the software later.

Also note Justin’s caution- he always tries to check the shot is working in the software. Sometimes a green screen can look fine to the eye, but only later you find out you were fooled when you try to key it at home. So, checking the key in software on the shoot might disrupt your flow and cause a bit of anxiety if you are pushed for time, but in the end it will save you both time and money!

Now, shooting a car green screen is a very useful skill, but can you think of a more imaginative use of green screen in a studio, using lights to suggest a particular scene? Maybe you could add a green screen to the ideas you had in Week 1. Tell us what you’d like to shoot and how you might do it, in the Comments below.

Once you’ve seen the video, it’s time to dive in to this week’s HitFilm tutorial with Simon Jones- coming up next!

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This video is from the free online course:

Visual Effects for Guerrilla Filmmakers

Norwich University of the Arts (NUA)

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

  • Storyboards are only one way to communicate. Lets look at some VFX definitions.
    Visual effects or special effects?

    Like any creative subject it helps to share definitions about what things mean -this can be confusing for newcomers; it'll help us communicate better.

  • Tracking and layers: a gentle start
    Tracking and layers: a gentle start

    HitFilm guru Simon Jones shows us how to build a dramatic shot in HitFilm using layers of stock footage we provide on the course. Enjoy your 'comping'

  • The Blaine Brothers guide to using VFX
    The Blaine Brothers guide to using VFX

    The Blaine Brothers have a positive can-do attitude to VFX, and see it as a tool that should be used in the service of a story, not as decoration.

  • Still from Georges Méliès' "India Rubber Head" (1901)
    A short history of keying

    Keying isnt just a digital invention. From the early days of cinema in the 19th century film makers had used 'mattes' to amaze their audiences.

  • Insider tips on shooting green screen
    Insider tips on shooting green screen

    Justin Hunt, our long suffering director of photography for our HitFilm footage has years of experience of green screen to share with you here.

  • Cab Calloway (1932) Minnie the Moocher
    What is Rotoscoping?

    Rotoscoping is probably the most time-consuming of VFX techniques. It's often a last resort when you can't pull a key. Let's find out more about it.

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