How to Use a Green Screen Background In Your Next Video Production

Virtual studios are useful in a wide range of situations . By utilizing a virtual studio for your video production, you have the ability to place your talent in any type of backdrop and to update your background with ease. Whether you are using your video for a tradeshow, podcast, product demonstration or news, a virtual set will allow you to create an easy and inexpensive video production.

Today, I will show you how to use a virtual studio with Adobe After Effects. The techniques we examine in this tutorial can also be applied to a number of other non-linear editors that allow you to remove green screen from video footage (many do allow this). Everything about this tutorial should be the same in various other editors. The only difference is the sequence to apply the green/chroma key effect to remove green screen from your video footage.


The first step is open after effects and import your video files. You should have a video file that contains your talent shot on a green screen, the virtual set layer (this can be a still or animation), and a layer of video footage or animation to place in the virtual studio monitor (if your virtual studio has a spot for additional footage).


Now, create a composition (go to composition, new in the top menu) and drag the three files into your composition. Make sure your files are in the following order from the top. The first layer contains your talent footage shot on green screen. The next layer is your virtual set layer. The bottom layer will be the footage you would like displayed in the virtual studio.


Select the top layer with your talent shot on a green screen. Next, click effect in the toolbar, scroll down to keying, and select keylight. If you do not have keylight, you can select color key or color range to remove the green screen from your shot. Now, within the effect controls for keylight, select the eyedropper next to “screen color” and choose the green color behind your talent. This should remove the green color in the background of your video footage. If needed, you can adjust the settings in keylight to remove any color spill or rough edges from your subject.


Next, let’s remove the green from the news studio monitor  (only needed if your studio has a monitor in it) .  Select your studio layer, and click effect, keying, keylight again to create another color key on the virtual studio layer. Now, select the eyedropper next to “screen color” (in the keylight effect controls window) and chooses the green color in the monitor on your virtual set layer.  This will knock out the green in the monitor allowing you to see the footage on the bottom layer.

Now, you can adjust the layer below the studio layer to scale it into place. You can also edit the footage on the last layer to change what appears on the screen.

The last step is to render your video to combine all the elements into a final video.

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