So I finally created my first MS video with a full green screen kit: http://www.moviestor...w&vid_id=111104
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I thought I would share a few tips that I learned, and maybe we can chat about some more ideas. You can also use these same ideas to Green Screen with MS puppets.
1) If you can, get a full green screen kit and lighting kit
Seriously will make a big BIG difference if you can work with a professional kit. Mine came with three pro quality camera lights, tripods, huge room-sized green screen, extra green screen, and cables. This will be necessary if you are shooting people into a scene. You can use blue, but green works much better.
2) If you can't, a large bright green sheet and bright lighting will do
This is good for just shooting a miniature scene (ex. you make a weird monster in claymation and then add it in post). Lighting needs to be stellar, like super amazing, otherwise you will end up with artifacts in your shot (look at my legs in the video, lots of artifacts because I didn't have the right lighting on my legs)
IMPORTANT: Make sure that nothing in your shot is green, greenish, green-like, or it will DISAPPEAR in post. If that doesn't work, opt for BLUE screen, shooting against black (And applying a matte in post instead of chroma key), or finding another workaround (cover the green).
3) Eliminate shadows!
Once again, everything needs to be uniform. I messed up when shooting and didn't light my legs and skirt the same as my upper body, so it ended up with a weird cloud like thing when I composited. You might notice the first time, but now that I point it out..its obvious, right?
4) Choose an external editor
I've been using Final Cut for years and years, but you can pretty much use any type of editor that does chroma key
5) Chroma Key/green/blue screen
This function essentially allows you to decide which colors to eliminate in a shot. For example, you might have an actor against a black background. You can eliminate the darkness and composite the actor into another scene. You can select the green screen option and usually the green will DISAPPEAR. Whoohoo! You might want to sharpen the edges or soften them. There are also options to cover the "bleed" (that annoying green line that shows on your actor and any old 80s music videos).
If you are happy with your shot, you can now composite your actor onto your scene. Be sure to watch for consistency in lighting, size, angle, proportions. Watch for weird things like your character unnaturally standing on or near an object or passing over an object that is unnatural.
REGARDING MULTIPLE TAKES
Ok, so I am the queen of multiple takes, and often only use the first three. But if you are shooting, always get pick-up shots, multiple angles, random shots of seemingly unimportant objects, close-ups, extreme close-ups, extreme wide angles, etc. Even abstract shots that make you scratch your head or shots with different lighting. The more options you have the better chance you have of making a good shot (And hiding mistakes...because to be honest, when you are director/DP/actor/composer, there is a lot, like a LOT, of room for error!)
Ok, hope this was helpful!