CRG’s Green Screen FAQ

A green screen. What is it? And why is it green?

After catching a glimpse of CRG’s onsite green screen studio, these are visitors’ two most commonly asked questions. A green screen is better known in the industry as a Chroma Key wall or background. When a subject is filmed against a green screen, the green can be removed, or “keyed out” using professional editing software. This allows the editor to put the subject on a different background.

Here is a still frame from a CRG shoot featuring Denise Bruno, owner of Route 44 Toyota and Route 44 Hyundai. She is standing against the green screen.

Here is the same still frame in the finished commercial. All trace of the green is gone. Denise now appears against an animated background featuring the Route 44 Hyundai logo. She has been re-sized and left justified to allow room for text on the right side of the screen.

With a green screen, an editor has the freedom to put a subject absolutely anywhere! Below, you see that Denise is now at the beach… all without ever leaving CRG’s studio! Sure, we could all hop on a plane and shoot Denise on location in Maui – but the green screen gives us the same effect without the cost.

The green screen also allows an editor to layer separate elements on top of one another. Without backgrounds, the elements can be easily moved, re-sized, duplicated, and even animated!

Now Denise is in Maui AND on a television.

Now Denise is reporting Live from the White House! And her identical twin sister is hanging out up on the White House roof. And it’s all thanks to the magic of the green screen!

So why is it green? In truth, with today’s sophisticated software, an editor can key out any color. Green and blue screens are  traditional. But, there is one thing you always need to take into consideration when shooting Chroma Key:

You cannot shoot a green subject on a green screen. The editing software does not know the difference between a green table and a green background. It only knows to remove all green. The table, therefore, will disappear. Likewise, a person cannot wear a green jogging suit on the green screen. The suit will disappear and you’ll be left with a floating head and hands. (Weird!)

So now, think about which color you’d choose for your Chroma Key wall. Blue is very common – blue eyes, blue ties, blue striped shirts, jeans, etc. Bright lime green… not as common. Green is the safer bet.

CRG’s onsite studio is currently painted in the industry standard Chroma Key paint, Rosco Green. However, we can customize to suit your needs. For field shoots and corporate events, CRG also employs a portable green screen!