Easy and Perfect Green Screen removal for still photography. Easy green screen


The Easy Green Screen 4.0 Plugin for Photoshop

EZ Green Screen Free version

The Easy Green Screen 4x plugin is finally out and I am in love with it! Damon did an outstanding job with the new “One Click Extraction”, which is available in the Pro version only. Blue chromakey backdrops are also supported along with batch processes within the Pro version, which I highly recommend!  You may demo this plugin at no cost from: http://ezgreenscreen.com/

I have been using the Easy Green Screen plugin sense version 2.x He only had the free version in the beginning, but only green chromakey backdrops were supported. Hey, free is always nice but my time is worth so much more to me then the price difference, by using an inferior product. I have tried them all and in my opinion Easy Green Screen is the only solution worth your efforts, versus the dollar value.

To the best of my knowledge all versions have worked the same, running algorithms as Photoshop scripts. This is not always the case with some of the more expensive competitors. So you ask; why does this matter? Easy Green Screen, is far less processor/RAM intensive, thus leaving more of your system resources available to Photoshop, which always seems to be starving for more power.

I have mentioned throughout this and other reviews and tutorials on Easy Green Screen versions CS or later. I should point out before we go any further, while this is true Damon, that’s advantage of several built in features of Photoshop CS5 and later. For the purpose of this article, I am using Photoshop CS6. We are going to run through some of the new features available in Easy Green Screen 4 and then we will get into the initial setup and production usage.

The first thing you will want to do after installing the Easy Green Screen plugin is to open an image and click on Filters> Easy Green Screen Pro 4. Next click on Adjust Image, which will open the dialog box to left of this illustration. With a properly exposed image we’ll just accept the defaults and continue on. However, with obvious issues we will need to tweak the settings and fine tune the plugin interface. Once finished fine tuning your settings you will want to save your setting. In the example above I am using the models name Kelly, so that I will quickly find the perfect settings for the images I am about to edit. By doing this first we have loaded the controls with the algorithms needed to enable us to use the One Click execration for any additional chromakey extractions.

 

If after adjusting these 3 sliders you still have problems, you should go into the next button down Adjust Spill.

Adjusting the Spill, can be painstakingly slow, but your time spent making these critical fine adjustments will really pay off in the long run. The bulk of you adjustments will be on the top section Correct Color Spill, the Edge Color Blending should be adjusted once you’re happy with the fine tuning to the majority of the image itself. Working with a blonde makes it quick and easy to spot your troubled areas. Her hair will be too green or too red. Simply move the slider until your image looks as even as possible. I’m not sure if it’s a requirement or even needed, but I will save my preset Kelly, once again.

For all intensive purposes we are finished and ready for some serious production.

 

Fine Tuning & Tweaking If we have perfect light on our chromakey backdrop we would be able to skip this section. If however you do not have “perfect” lighting we will fix those imperfections within our masks in Photoshop.

My backdrop is obviously far from perfectly lit. I have hot spots near the top corners and deep shadows towards the floor on both right and left bottom regions of the backdrop. Because of this I need to tweak the mask. This is why I stress taking your time when lighting the backdrop.

 

There is a zillion ways to do anything in Photoshop. Use whatever you’re more comfortable and accurate with. In this case I will use the magic wand tool, with the foreground layer selected, not the mask, make the selection in the foreground area that needs our attention. If your selection did not come right up to the edge of the image you wish to keep; use Select, Modify, Expand. In my particular case, I will use somewhere around three pixels.

Now select your foreground layer mask. Simply paint out the trouble spots with your black paintbrush. This will clean up the unmask area, effetely fixing our image for final usage. Where now ready to apply a background, kicked the curves around a bit, etc.

 

Tweaking Hair

Back in the old days of version 2.x we had to make all of our hair fine tuning and adjustments by hand. It is not that big a deal once you understand the process. I’ve gone ahead and included some of my old tutorials it in this section, although it’s really not needed now because of the quality attributes built into version 4.0 of Easy Green Screen. Again all we are doing here is working with Masks. Because we are only working with masks we will not be affecting the original image. This is called non-destructive editing, through the use of adjustment layers. Typically this is how quality edits are done in Photoshop today. There will be other cases where you do need to work on the image directly, such as the healing brush and so on.

As you can see in the example right, I do have a slight green cast reflecting back into Kelly’s blonde hair. I will need to go around the edges and make a color adjustment to 4 or 5 small spots. There are several ways to do this. You can use the lasso tool, I like to make them all at one time, so I will use Quick Masks, then Select/Inverse.

After resolving the green cast in the hair, I will go ahead and touch-up the image as I would normally; adjust the curves, brightness & contrast, color, skin touch-ups as needed, etc. Whatever is the norm for you and your style.

You should really take your time here haste makes waste and patients pays off in the final outcome of a successful image.

Applying a Background

Damon has done a wonderful job with the insert background utility. His background utility uses algorithms and does the math for us, when configuring the background size. This can be quite time-consuming if left on our own and will get more in two image resizing later in this issue. But for now we will use the background utility built-in to Easy Green screen 4.0.

The top slider will resize our image proportionate to the background. The middle slider will move our image left to right and bottom slider will move our image up-and-down. Once you are happy with the image placement, click Close and Apply from the Easy Green Screen main menu. We can still move and tweak the background placement from within image after exiting the Easy Green Screen 4.0 menu, should we find the need too.

Finding Backgrounds

Backgrounds are available virtually any place today. You can buy stock photos individually you can buy collections on DVD from eBay or other sites around the Internet. I like to take my own pictures and use them as backgrounds. I sometimes make my own from composites of several images. I have on occasion used images photographed by friends, with their permission, of course. Images found on the Internet are generally copy-written and illegal to use for our purposes.

Licensing Agreements on Digital Background images are another thing you need to pay attention too! Usually – the best, allow full commercial and privet usage rights once you apply your new top image. Not all licensing agreements are the same, know what you are buying! I would not recommend taking images off the Internet for several reasons. First the resolution is too low, we only want High Resolutions images for our purposes. Next it’s my understanding the photographer always retains the copyright (in America) until s/he sells or leases the image rights to you. For additional details on this, consult a competent Copyright Attorney in your area.

Selecting the proper background image is an art form in itself!! All of the tutorials I have read usually suggest you compose your image so that the feet are not in the final image. This certainly helps and may be something you would wish to follow in the beginning..   For additional information please see their website at: http://ezgreenscreen.com/

glammodelz.com

Easy and Perfect Green Screen removal for still photography.

September 19, 2010 Photography Tutorials

This is a step by step instruction tutorial for green screen removal for still photography using Adobe After Effects.   
Blogged By:Team Louish

Setting up the green screen

When setting up your green screen, try to light the background separately from your subject. I used three 300 watt variable studio lights purchasing from eBay in an entire kit for only a couple hundred dollars. These eBay lights are lightweight, cheap, and they work great. I will probably one day buy some Alien Bee studio lights, only because I use RadioPopper JrX's and with the JrX transmitter, I can control the strobe power output directly from the camera if I had Alien Bees. I already have the ability to control the light group output with my Canon Speedlites, but when I'm doing things indoors, I prefer to use the studio lights so I don't have to keep switching out the batteries. I used two studio lights for the background with umbrellas that have black covers on the back to prevent overspill from your lights.

Make sure the lights are evenly spaced both on the left and right of the background so your background is as evenly lit at possible. Put your camera at your desired ISO (I usually keep it between 100 - 400 ISO). Set the shutter speed to your fastest synch speed (My camera is about 1/200 sec when I'm not using High Speed Sync). Set your background strobes at half power and take a test shot.

If it's too bright, close your aperture to let in less light. (closing the aperture would be the same as making the F-stop a larger number, for example, going from f/5.6 to f11). If your background is too dark, open your aperture to let in more light. If you're already at your cameras aperture limit (open all the way or closed all the way), then you can adjust your lights up or down to fix the light. You can also increase your ISO between 400-800, that will defiantly make your picture brighter. I like to keep my ISO as low as my camera can handle for higher quality. But I'm sure you won't notice a difference going from 100 to 400) I usually tell people to try adjusting their camera since some people don't have variable lights. Sometimes, lights purchased on eBay has only 1 power setting. In this case, your only option would be to adjust camera settings.

Taking the photo

Once your background is properly exposed, go ahead and take a photo of someone standing in front of your background lights. They should be dark since we haven't setup their lights yet. (figure 2)

Now, turn on your foreground / subject lights and adjust using the power on the light and/or moving the lights closer / farther from your subject. Take some test shots in between each adjustment so you can see the changes. When your lights are correct, it should look like figure 3. If your new background has special lighting in it, try to match the lights in your new background image so it looks more real.

Removing the Green Screen in Adobe After Effects

Once you have your photo, it's time to bring it into Adobe After Effects. When you create your new project, a composition settings window will appear. (figure 4) Make sure the checkbox next to "Lock Aspect Ratio" is unchecked. Then set your width and height to the same width and height of your photo. Make sure "Square Pixels" is selected. Choose 1 Frame per second. Choose a duration of 1:00 second.

Drag (or import) your photo into the Project Window on the top left. Then drag the photo from the project window to the composition window. In the Effects & Presets window (usually on the right), search for the effect called Keylight 1.2 (it comes with Adobe After Effects). Drag Keylight on top of your photo. The keylight settings will appear on the left. Choose the Eye Dropper next to Screen Colour. Click the color on your photo that you want to remove. Choose a color close to the subjects body. In After Effects CS4, you can export your transparent png by choosing File / Export / Image Sequence, choose PNG, specify 1 frame a second. (Make sure your work area is only 1 second). In After Effects CS5, its totally different now. They made a Render Queue. Click Composition at the top, choose "Add to Render Queue". At the bottom where the composition timeline was, it will now show render settings. Where it says "Output Module", click the Orange link that says "Lossless". In the new Window, choose Format "PNG Sequence". In the Video Output section, under Channels, choose RGB + Alpha. (Figure 5)

You might need to specify the "Output To" setting as well. Just specify the file location where you want the PNG to be saved. Click the "Render" button on the top right of this Render Queue panel. It should take anywhere from 5 seconds to 45 seconds depending on your computer speed and image size.

Adding the new background

Once you have your photo with a transparent background, open your new background and transparent image in your favorite photo editing program. I use Paint Shop Pro for all my web development work since its light weight, doesn't use many resources (so you can install it on old slow computers too), and it does all the essential tasks. The only time I really use Photoshop is for their advanced skin touchup tools and the Liquify feature. Other than that, I use Paint Shop Pro (7.04) for everything. Grab the lasso tool and trace closely around your subject. Since we already removed the green, you don't have to trace perfectly. This set is only to remove the items that didn't get removed by the green screen. Make sure not to select your background items like the edge of the green screen or light stands, etc. I usually feather my selection about 40 - 200 pixels, depending on how large my photo is. If your background has wrinkles in it, those wrinkles will still appear. So this lasso step would be more important for you cause you will be lassoing your subject as close as possible without selecting the wrinkles in your background. If you have a lot of wrinkles, make sure you use a decent size feather size so it's not as obvious. Copy your new selection as a new layer on your new background image. You might need to resize the layer so the image looks proportionate. That's it. Save the image and you're done. In some cases, your lights may be a different color temperature than your background image. In this case, I would bring my original photo (before I removed the green screen) into a program like Adobe Lightroom and I would do all my color adjustments there first (White balance, etc).

More photos from this shoot

Other Tutorial Photos

Other Behind The Scenes Photos

Related Articles

 

Easy and Perfect Green Screen removal for still photography. This is a step by step instruction tutorial for green screen removal for still photography using Adobe After Effects.  

COMMENTS

19 September 2010 - 19:41:10 - Assassinator

Awesome walk through, thanks! I loved your Water Drop Splash photography tutorial too.

20 September 2010 - 8:56:50 - jano23

Just watched your Green Screen removal video and was wondering if you could supply a little more detail on the Ebay lights you purchased. Thanks for a great tutorial. After Effects ... who would have thunk it!

31 October 2010 - 18:51:47 - Team Louish

Jano23,

If you search on ebay for "strobe studio" you will find a bunch of kits.

I HIGHLY recommend you only look for strobes/lights that are variable (meaning, you can increase and decrease the brightness of the light with a dial on the back of the strobe). Don't get the ones that look like lightbulbs plugged into a socket. Get the ones that look bigger and have controls on the back of it (modeling light, removable plug, variable dial, etc). Get something where the lights are about 250w - 300w each. I feel the 180w lights are not powerful enough. Keep in mind, when they post an ebay listing, they usually put in the title the total watts. So make sure each light is at least 250w or 300w. I have the 300w ones.

Some auctions have backgrounds and background stands included with them, some don't. I prefer umbrellas over softboxes. I have 4 lights cause I often do green screen or seemless white and need 2 lights for the background and 2 more for the subject. If you aren't doing either of those, then 3 lights is enough. If the kit only contains 3 lights, you can always purchase 1 more light by itself in another auction. Thats what I did. I bought an entire kit, but I usually don't use the items that came in the kit. So it might of been cheaper to just buy everything separate. If you search for "strobe studio 300w", you'll find the lights by themselves are $89. If you get 4 of those, it only comes out to $236. Umbrellas are cheap, you can get them as cheap as $10 ea from BHphoto.com, and lightstands are only $20 each from bhphoto.com as well (Impact Light Stand - Black, 6' ). The lights from ebay usually include shipping. The umbrellas and lightstands from BHphoto.com will cost extra. Just make sure you price everything out, including shipping, to see whats your best bet.

12 February 2011 - 8:46:02 - Benny

Great info.

I agree 300w no less.

10 March 2011 - 10:57:21 - Sarah

Hi - great tutorial and great outcome is there any other programmes you can get this effect with... Photoshop for example? I don't own After Effects!

10 March 2011 - 12:58:27 - Team Louish

@Sarah - Photoshop does not have a green screen removal technique like shown in this example. There are other methods, such as cutting the person out with the lasso, but they aren't as clean and easy as this method. There are also third party companies that make plugins that work with photoshop. I use AfterEffects cause I already have it. I have seen another company called Topaz that makes a product called ReMask that seemed like it had some nice results, but the tutorials I've seen of their software did not seem as easy as 1 click.
You can leave comments on Flickr

www.louish.com

Free Chroma-Key Green Screen Photo Editing

Green Screen / Blue Screen - Chroma Key Photo Editing Tutorial

 

When you take a picture with a green screen or a blue screen background, some photo editors have a feature called "chroma key" to allow you to replace the green or blue color with any background picture of your choice.

 

The photo editor used here is Paint.NET with a free plugin enabling the chroma key / green screen - blue screen cabability.

 

 

 

The chroma key feature has adjustable sliders to fine tune the amount of blue or green that is keyed out.

 

To use this in a computer lab or a technology class, install and test the photo editing program and chroma key plugin in advance.

 

Have a good green screen background setup with good lighting, a selection of background pictures, and a camera ready to go.

 

 

 

Example: The "Before" pictures shows some people in front of a green screen background. The "After" pictures shows the results of using the chroma-key feature to remove the green background and put a vacation picture in it's place.

 

Things you will need:

1. Picture of yourself in front of a green screen background.

2. Paint.NET (A Free Windows application) (Download)

 

3. Free Green Screen / Chromakey plugin for Paint.net (Download)

 

 

Install Paint.NET.

Read the requirements, you may need to download an additional supporting program from Microsoft called the .Net Framework 3.5 SP1 (Free). 

 

 

 

Install the Green Screen- Blue Screen / ChromaKey Plugin

Once you download the ChromaKey plugin, unzip the file and copy the ChromaKeyPlugin.dll file  to the Effects folder of your Paint.NET program folder.

Here I've copied the plugin to the default Paint.NET program installation at  C:\Program Files\Paint.Net\Effects. If you had Paint.Net open, close it and restart it so it can find the plugin.

 

 

Place the following two pictures on your desktop:

Picture with a green screen background and a picture of your dream vacation location.Open Paint.NET.

 

 

Drag and drop the VACATION picture onto the PAINT.NET canvas.

In the Drag and Drop dialog box choose "Add into layer(s)". Alternately, you add the picture from the menu bar: File > Open.

 

Here is the result. If needed, adjust the size of the vacation picture or the canvas size from "Image" on the toolbar.

 

 

Drag and drop your green screen picture onto Paint.NET canvas

Choose "Add into layer(s)" in the Drag and Drop dialog box. Alternately, you can add the picture from the menu bar: Layers > Import From File. On the menu bar choose Effects > Photo > Chroma Key.

 

Use the Chroma Key Slider to Remove the Green Screen Background Color

The ChromaKey dialog box offers sliders to adjust the amount of green color being keyed out. Adjust to suit your needs. Notice that there is an option to key out a blue background (blue screen).

Final result:

 

Green Screen - DONE.

 

 

 

oakdome.com

Top 5 Free Green Screen Software

Nowadays various professional video editing tools which provide amazing effects and abilities like green screen are available on the market. But these video editing tools can be too expensive and not very user-friendly. If you just want to edit some home movies, those programs will not very helpful for you. In fact, we can choose the free and simple video editing software which can also do some advanced editing like chroma keying.

Recommended Green Screen Video Editor - Wondershare Filmora

If you are looking for a more powerful green screen video editor, Wondershare Filmora is a good choice. You just need to import both video and image. Then place the videos on Video Timeline, and image on the PIP Timeline. Highlight the image, and then right click the "Advanced Edit", go to "Effect" and check out "Make part of the clip transparent" and then pick up your background color to apply. Now you'll get what you want. Now download this software are try to make your own green screen video.

Related Articles:

Green Screen Background Resources >>

How to make and use a Green Screen >>

Top 5 Free Green Screen Video Editing Software

1. Wax

Wax is a simple video editor for both commercial and personal use. It provides all-around special effects which enables users to produce dynamic pieces of video. These effects include chroma key composting and 3d effects. Another great feature is that Wax can either be used as a standalone application or as a plugin to assist your main video editor software in applying effects.

2. VSDC Free Video Editor

VSDC Free Video Editor is a capable editor with plenty of functionality like drawing and selection tools, plenty of color and lighting corrections, some useful filters, transitions, audio effects and more. It's also one of the very few freeware video editor programs that has green screen editing capability.

3. VirtualDub

Virualdub is free video editing software designed for fast processing and versatility. It’s not as powerful as professional video editing programs but helps you deal with the basic video editing like swap audio tracks, add filters, trim clips and adjust audio. It also includes a basic green screen option, although it is not as powerful as many other software titles.

4. iMovie

iMovie comes with every new Mac which helps bring your moving images together into one professional looking production. Besides the basic video editing functions like crop, rotate, trim, split, ect, it also provides a simplistic timeline, built-in sound and animations and various easy-to-use effects including green screen effect. Here is a detailed guide on how to apply green screen effect.

5. ZS4 Video Editor

ZS4 Video Editor is the new incarnation of Zwei-Stein Video Editor. It’s an advanced video editing and compositing tool with over 150 built-in video effects including excellent color and chroma key. You can also customize the width and height of the output video, add unlimited tracks and sub-composites, slave effects, compose controls to audio wave forms and more.

Related: Best Green Screen Editors

filmora.wondershare.com

Free & Easy Green Screen Editing- How to Make Transparent Background

Your Green Screen Editing Just Got Easier!

Ever wanted to remove the background from an image for free without a tablet or a paid App? You can! I’m going to share two ways you can easily do green screen editing regardless of the device you have!

This post will cover 2 different ways to make transparent backgrounds, one for Mac/iPad/iPhone users and one for online photo editing with Chromebooks or other non-iOS devices!

For Mac/iPad/iPhone Users:

There is a feature called Instant Alpha that is available in both Pages and Keynote. That’s the magical (free!) tool that will allow you to take your green screen editing to the next level! Pages and Keynote are two different Apple programs that are available as built-in Apps on both Mac computers and iOS devices (iPad and iPhone), this green screen editing tip will work in both.

Follow these 5 simple steps to get started with Instant Alpha:

  1. Open Pages or Keynote App (included as built-in App) or download them from the iTunes App Store if you don’t have them.
  2. Start a new document. Import an image with a solid background colour, make sure it’s selected (click on it).
  3. Click on the “Image” tab on the right side of the screen, then “Instant Alpha” button.
  4. Put your cursor on the background colour you want to remove, hold and slide your cursor to select the percentage you want to be taken out. Anything that turns purple will become transparent when you let go. Do this until the entire background colour is gone.
  5. Click “Done” at the bottom and voilà, your background is now transparent!

 Here’s a more detailed how-to tutorial video of Instant Alpha in action:

 

For Chromebook or Web-based Users:

For this background removal, the method is similar, but it’s all done online via the web browser of your choice which makes it ideal for any 1:1 Chromebook classrooms with no access to tablets! The website I used for this green screen editing technique is called LunaPic. It’s a fully web-based photo editor with many other options, but for this post, we will just concentrate on the background removal or “transparent” option. Thank you to Sandra Chow for first introducing me to LunaPic.

Follow these 5 simple steps to get started with LunaPic:

  1. Visit the LunaPic online editor, click here.
  2. Scroll down and click on the ‘transparent’ link.
  3. Next, you have a choice of either uploading an image or providing a URL to an image. Do whichever suits your needs.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions and click on the background to remove it and make it transparent. You can then slide the threshold to remove more or less of the colour you picked.
  5. Click the ‘save’ link on the bottom left and the photo will download to your hard drive. You could also choose to share via several social media channels. That’s it!

Here’s a more detailed how-to tutorial video of LunaPic in action:

Now that you have these skills how can you use them?

App-smash!! Put your newly created images into Google Drawings add a background and have students create stories, poems, (fake) newspaper articles, greeting cards, funny memes, postcards, movie posters, PSAs, ads or even put Halloween costumes into context — the possibilities are endless, really!

Be creative and have fun!

Green Screen Editing with G Suite!

Once you get the hang of it, why not try participating in Pic Forward, a Global Green Screen Challenge by my grade 4 & 5 students for other students around the world? It’s thanks to Pic Forward that I’m learning and creating easier ways to use green screen editing in the classroom. I came up with Pic Forward Templates, which are all-in-one one-stop-shop green screen editing canvases using Google Drawings.

Here’s a step-by-step how-to tutorial video that you can share withstudents to help get started with #PicForward creating:

Check out our project at bit.ly/PicForward, consider participating with your students just grab June’s template here: bit.ly/picforward001 (new templates coming once a month!) and start getting creative!

So…as my students would say, “What’s YOUR Green?”. Have fun with the green screen editing and please share your creations using the #PicForward hashtag.

Thanks for reading!

www.mrsgeekchic.com

Green Screen Photography Tips

Light the green screen as evenly as possible

Its not always easy to have a perfectly lit green screen. However, you should try to avoid dark shadows whenever possible, Sometimes shadowing can't be avoided, For example, when doing a full body shot with the subject standing on the screen, there will be no way to avoid shadows. For this case, all areas of the screen should receive light by at least one flash source. A simple way to accomplish this is by using 2 flash strobes at an angle to the person (one to the right and one to the left). The area that is shadowed by one light is illuminated by the other. Since some screen areas are lit by 2 lights and other areas are lit by one light, there will still be some shadowing. However, this should be good enough to get a good extraction.

This diagram shows a simple set up for a single person portrait shot. For green screen portrait photography, we don't recommend lighting the screen separately or using back lighting on the model. Its just not needed and can give undesired results. Back lighting is common with video green screen and it can aid in the extractions. However, it can add unnatural lighting effects to the hair. Also, fine hair detail can be lost. For video, this is usually not that big of deal. However, for a portrait head shot still image, its better to NOT use the back lighting and keep more hair detail intact.

Our Easy Green Screen plug-in works very well when using a simple setup as shown in this diagram. Lower powered strobes (around 150 watt/second) will often work just fine. However, higher powered strobes will allow you to use a more narrow aperture and keep the entire subject in focus which helps with the image extraction process.

Camera settings

  • White Balance: Set to Flash or Manual WB using a gray card
  • ISO: Always use 100 - High ISO values have more noise. Higher noise can cause a speckled transparency mask on the extraction. This is because some of the pixels from the green screen are less green (or not green at all) with higher noise levels.
  • Aperture - Use as narrow of an aperture setting as you can get away with based on your lighting and how the aperture affects the green screen exposure. A narrow aperture (high F number) will help keep the entire subject in focus, including individual hair strands, which will help the extraction be cleaner. However, when using too high of an f value, the entire image can start to get defocused due to diffraction. Basically, diffraction is caused by light bending when it goes through a narrow opening.

    As a general rule for green screen, you want to use as high of an f value that you can before diffraction starts limiting the focus. For a full frame digital SLR camera, you can typically shoot with f16. For a 1.5x or 1.6x crop sensor digital SLR, you can typically use f11. For point and shoot cameras, you will need to shoot a lower f value, which will vary depending on the camera model itself. The actual f value that you can use is dependent on the actual size of the image sensor in the camera.

  • Shutter speed - This doesn't matter too much with flash photography as long as the shutter is open long enough to compensate for any delay between the shutter and the remote flash. The exposure will be set with the flash intensity and not the shutter speed. 1/60 or 1/100 sec should work fine. You can go with a faster shutter as well as long as it is longer than the sync speed. Some remote flash systems cause longer sync speeds than the camera specs. You want to test this and know the actual combined sync speed for your set up.

Space your subject away from the green screen by 6 ft. or more if possible

The closer the subject is to the green screen, the more green spill that will be encountered. This is because the screen reflects green light back onto the person. Obviously, If you are doing an upper body shot, you will be able to space the person further away then if you are doing a full body shot. If you need for the person to stand or sit on the screen then try to use a screen that's long enough to cover sufficient floor area so that you can get decent spacing between the persons upper body and the back of the screen. Easy Green Screen does a pretty good job of green spill removal. However, its best to try to minimize the spill during the photo shoot.

Check the green screen exposure in Photoshop

Easy Green screen will automatically compensate for a variety of lighting conditions. You will however get the best results if you pay attention to how the screen is lit and adjust as needed. Use the adobe color picker to sample different areas of the screen.

The following numbers are what we consider optimal numbers.

sRGB color Profile: Hue=120-140, Sat=50-70, Brightness=50-60

Adobe 1998 color profile: Hue=105-125, Sat=50-70, Brightness=50-60

Minimize wrinkles in the screen whenever possible

If you have a stationary studio then this can be easily done by using a paper backdrop or a painted wall. If you are using a muslin green screen, then you will tend to have some wrinkles to deal with. Wrinkles can be ironed out (which is tedious).

To be honest, this is where we get lazy in our photo shoots. Since we do traveling photo shoots, using a large paper roll background is a bad option. Ironing out wrinkles isn't always an option either.

If your screen has some wrinkles then make sure to stretch the screen fairly well on the backdrop stand using some clamps so there are not any large folds. Also, make sure that light hits the screen from 2 angles. You should still be able to get a good extraction this way even with some wrinkles in the muslin.

Shoot in raw mode

This is not absolutely necessary. With that said, there are some big advantages.

First, there is not any .jpg compression. This is helpful when masking detailed areas.

Second, in-camera settings for the color profile, sharpening, toning, white balance, etc can be changed non-destructively because these are not directly applied to the image. They are just set points that are stored (similar to the Photoshop adjustment layers).

ezgreenscreen.com

Easy GreenScreen Plugin 4.0 | Portfolio

The Easy Green Screen 4x plugin is finally out and I am in love with it! Damon did an outstanding job with the new “One Click Extraction”, which is available in the Pro version only. Blue chromakey backdrops are also supported along with batch processes within the Pro version. You may demo this plugin at no cost here: http://ezgreenscreen.com/

I have been using the Easy Green Screen plugin sense version 2.x He only had the free version in the beginning, but only green chromakey backdrops were supported. Hey, free is always nice but my time is worth so much more to me then the price difference, by using an inferior product. I have tried them all and in my opinion Easy Green Screen is the only solution worth your efforts, versus the dollar value.

To the best of my knowledge all versions have worked the same, running algorithms as Photoshop scripts. This is not always the case with some of the more expensive competitors. So you ask; why does this matter? Easy Green Screen, is far less processor/RAM intensive, thus leaving more of your system resources available to Photoshop, which always seems to be starving for more power.

I have mentioned throughout this and other reviews and tutorials on Easy Green Screen versions CS or later. I should point out before we go any further, while this is true Damon, that’s advantage of several built in features of Photoshop CS5 and later. For the purpose of this article, I am using Photoshop CS6. We are going to run through some of the new features available in Easy Green Screen 4 and then we will get into the initial setup and production usage.

The first thing you will want to do after installing the Easy Green Screen plugin is to open an image and click on Filters> Easy Green Screen Pro 4. Next click on Adjust Image, which will open the dialog box to left of this illustration. With a properly exposed image we’ll just accept the defaults and continue on. However, with obvious issues we will need to tweak the settings and fine tune the plugin interface. Once finished fine tuning your settings you will want to save your setting. In the example above I am using the models name Kelly, so that I will quickly find the perfect settings for the images I am about to edit. By doing this first we have loaded the controls with the algorithms needed to enable us to use the One Click execration for any additional chromakey extractions.

 

If after adjusting these 3 sliders you still have problems, you should go into the next button down Adjust Spill.

Adjusting the Spill, can be painstakingly slow, but your time spent making these critical fine adjustments will really pay off in the long run. The bulk of you adjustments will be on the top section Correct Color Spill, the Edge Color Blending should be adjusted once you’re happy with the fine tuning to the majority of the image itself. Working with a blonde makes it quick and easy to spot your troubled areas. Her hair will be too green or too red. Simply move the slider until your image looks as even as possible. I’m not sure if it’s a requirement or even needed, but I will save my preset Kelly, once again.

For all intensive purposes we are finished and ready for some serious production.

 

Fine Tuning & Tweaking If we have perfect light on our chromakey backdrop we would be able to skip this section. If however you do not have “perfect” lighting we will fix those imperfections within our masks in Photoshop.

My backdrop is obviously far from perfectly lit. I have hot spots near the top corners and deep shadows towards the floor on both right and left bottom regions of the backdrop. Because of this I need to tweak the mask. This is why I stress taking your time when lighting the backdrop.

 

There is a zillion ways to do anything in Photoshop. Use whatever you’re more comfortable and accurate with. In this case I will use the magic wand tool, with the foreground layer selected, not the mask, make the selection in the foreground area that needs our attention. If your selection did not come right up to the edge of the image you wish to keep; use Select, Modify, Expand. In my particular case, I will use somewhere around three pixels.

Now select your foreground layer mask. Simply paint out the trouble spots with your black paintbrush. This will clean up the unmask area, effetely fixing our image for final usage. Where now ready to apply a background, kicked the curves around a bit, etc.

 

 

Tweaking Hair

Back in the old days of version 2.x we had to make all of our hair fine tuning and adjustments by hand. It is not that big a deal once you understand the process. I’ve gone ahead and included some of my old tutorials it in this section, although it’s really not needed now because of the quality attributes built into version 4.0 of Easy Green Screen. Again all we are doing here is working with Masks. Because we are only working with masks we will not be affecting the original image. This is called non-destructive editing, through the use of adjustment layers. Typically this is how quality edits are done in Photoshop today. There will be other cases where you do need to work on the image directly, such as the healing brush and so on.

As you can see in the example right, I do have a slight green cast reflecting back into Kelly’s blonde hair. I will need to go around the edges and make a color adjustment to 4 or 5 small spots. There are several ways to do this. You can use the lasso tool, I like to make them all at one time, so I will use Quick Masks, then Select/Inverse.

After resolving the green cast in the hair, I will go ahead and touch-up the image as I would normally; adjust the curves, brightness & contrast, color, skin touch-ups as needed, etc. Whatever is the norm for you and your style.

You should really take your time here haste makes waste and patients pays off in the final outcome of a successful image.

Applying a Background

Damon has done a wonderful job with the insert background utility. His background utility uses algorithms and does the math for us, when configuring the background size. This can be quite time-consuming if left on our own and will get more in two image resizing later in this issue. But for now we will use the background utility built-in to Easy Green screen 4.0.

The top slider will resize our image proportionate to the background. The middle slider will move our image left to right and bottom slider will move our image up-and-down. Once you are happy with the image placement, click Close and Apply from the Easy Green Screen main menu. We can still move and tweak the background placement from within image after exiting the Easy Green Screen 4.0 menu, should we find the need too.

Finding Backgrounds

Backgrounds are available virtually any place today. You can buy stock photos individually you can buy collections on DVD from eBay or other sites around the Internet. I like to take my own pictures and use them as backgrounds. I sometimes make my own from composites of several images. I have on occasion used images photographed by friends, with their permission, of course. Images found on the Internet are generally copy-written and illegal to use for our purposes.

Licensing Agreements on Digital Background images are another thing you need to pay attention too! Usually – the best, allow full commercial and privet usage rights once you apply your new top image. Not all licensing agreements are the same, know what you are buying! I would not recommend taking images off the Internet for several reasons. First the resolution is too low, we only want High Resolutions images for our purposes. Next it’s my understanding the photographer always retains the copyright (in America) until s/he sells or leases the image rights to you. For additional details on this, consult a competent Copyright Attorney in your area.

Selecting the proper background image is an art form in itself!! All of the tutorials I have read usually suggest you compose your image so that the feet are not in the final image. This certainly helps and may be something you would wish to follow in the beginning..  http://ezgreenscreen.com/

davedavisphotography.com


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