Greenscreen is tricky

Andy001z Posts: 3,407 Ambassador


so I needed to do something I thought would be pretty simple. I wanted a playmobil figure shot against a greenscreen that I could key in Hitfilm.

I placed my green screen down, lit the green screen, then lit the subject. Took my picture (yes not movie just picture)

Brought into Hitfilm Pro and used the Chroma Key.

My results where not great. I found that my result was rather washed out, if my figure had any colour that was even close to green (yellow) it would wash out.

Original image

Chroma Key applied

Result using Retain Mask method (basically I feel I ended up rotoscoping the image.

Looking at the first image I can see now, it is not looking very green, maybe my lights are affecting it?

Ideas, tips, great vids (I have watched the FXhome ones), HELP!!! I want to suss this. I thought there was some method to enhance the green?

Thanks community.


Best Answer


  • TheBenNorris
    TheBenNorris Posts: 2,042 Staff

    Hi @Andy001z, the first thing I noticed was that I didn't even realise the background was a green screen, it looks very yellow/beige to me. Are the lights you're using warm coloured or white? This could have an impact.

    Also, I notice the subject has a green torso, which could potentially cause problems unless you mask it out I think.

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,407 Ambassador

    Yeah I know, I think it must be the lights Im going to run some tests. You are right about the torso, it is why I played around with the mask option to try and iqnore that area.

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,181 Expert

    @Andy001z The one time I tried lego stop motion, I had a similar issue, and finally decided that I had lit as if it was a full scale scene not a miniature. I never tried again, but thought if I did, I would pull the lights back a good ways and maybe use less wattage. Totally anecdotal but maybe of some use.

  • DafterThings
    DafterThings Posts: 989 Enthusiast

    I made the same mistake with my figures.

    Spill is a nightmare on the plastic so you do need to leave some room between the screen and the figures. A lot of figures (inc Lego) come with greeny, yellowy pieces hidden so have a good look all over.

    The shadow from the figure in your image is falling on the screen. I suspect your figure light is overpowering your backdrop lights.

    I only ever use my lights on white or cold settings. If I use the warm setting it plays havoc with the colouring. Maybe, for a desert scene you need to bring the warm colour in post if you're using a green screen? Like the other comments if you did get your green screen lit to show the green that torso is likely to cause problems.

    Finally, I use the green screen effect rather than chroma key (I know, I know) and there is a setting under spill removal for 'extended' or 'standard'. Sometimes this changes the colour so I have to check which one gives the better results. Not sure if there is n equivalent in chroma key?

  • DafterThings
    DafterThings Posts: 989 Enthusiast

    I'd recommend that app too. Worth the £5 I think I paid for it a couple of years ago.

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,407 Ambassador

    Some great help people.

  • JBaymore
    JBaymore Posts: 372 Enthusiast
    edited November 2020

    I have that app also on my Ipad. Well worth the small price. It is amazing what it "sees" about the screen lighting that your eye will miss. Really basic greenscreening of simple shots is pretty easy....if you are not looking very closely. GOOD greenscreening really requires attention to the details. After a couple years...... I'm still in the "fair" greenscreening category.


    ................. john

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Posts: 3,407 Ambassador

    Little update,

    so I brought the app, very nice and handy thank you (added to my VFXLists site)

    My results are much better, it was helped by me moving to a better lit location and having to back lights. I also found that the Hue RGB effect worked far better.

    I'll Keep learning