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Why use a green screen??
Old 04-01-2006, 06:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello G1 family,

Ok, so there have been some posts showing photos created using green screens. Can someone explain to me the reason it's a "green" screen and not a "white" or "red" or "insert color" screen? I know the same effect is used in movies, news, etc., but I've never understood the reasoning.

Thanks for your help!

Good day!

Mike
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Re: Why use a green screen??
Old 04-01-2006, 06:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Typically you want to use a shade that isn't going to appear on the model or his/her clothing. The colors used are usually bright, fluorescent versions of blue or green. Between those two you should have something that isn't on your model.

You are right though, you could certainly use any color if you are using photoshop to do your color keying. A lot of video gear, especially older stuff, only works with "chroma key" blue or green.

At least, thats how I understand it

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Re: Why use a green screen??
Old 04-02-2006, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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OK, it's been a while but I'll try to remember. Your television has 3 color guns in it red,green and blue. In a television studio there is a device "switcher" that can eliminate one of the colors and replace it with something else. In TV it's called chroma-keying. In other words if I was standing in front of a green screen the switcher would eliminate the color green and replace it with another video source. That is how you see your local weather man standing in front of a moving map. When I was in college studios used blue to elimanate the background. I think they started using green because they could get a cleaner edge. Less green clothes. Now, why is it used photography. Probably because it's just simplier to be consistent.
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Re: Why use a green screen??
Old 04-02-2006, 12:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Blue screen technology has been around almost since the advent of color film.
It was easier to pull mattes* (using high contrast film and a red filter) for special
effects purposes. Since motion pictures tend to use alot of blue in their work, there
was always a problem with "blue spill" and when normal skies were needed,
expensive "rotoscope" ** work was needed to compensate.

Some effects houses switched to green because it was easier to filter out green
on more shots than not. Another reason is that green tends to be easier to light.
I have fewer problems lighting people when using green.

That doesn't mean it's better- just different.

You can really use any color for creating mattes. Print shops tend to use red
(back in the kodalith days) which is why you see the first color of choice for a
mask in photoshop is red.

========================notes===================== ============
* area of film that prevents exposure on raw negatives when run in bipak
(together). The matte prevents exposure on the portion of film and it's
reverse allows exposure of what ever scene or object you wish to insert.
sort of a fance alpha channel.

** the tedious task of hand drawing mattes. great mattes make special effects
look seemless. Most times you would not know a scene was a special effect
unless someone tells you. Most special effect shots are rather ordinary, but
you wouldn't know that because most scenes are taken for granted.
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