Green Screen Tips

Green Screen Tips setup

A few notes from San Diego Premiere Pro Meeting 27 February 2019 and more.

Setting Up the Green Screen for Filming

Green Screen tips for setup
Eric Addison sets up a green screen at the San Diego PremierePro Users Group meeting at Platt College.
  • Place subject 6-7′ away from the green screen. This minimizes shadows falling on the screen.
  • Keep green screen as flat/smooth as possible.Light green screen evenly (2 lights, same temperature are ideal). Check with a Light Meter or Phone App.
    1. Lux Light Meter (Google Play) *
    2.  Light Meter (Google Play, free) *
    3.  Smart Luxmeter (Google Play) *
      * This is in no wan an endorsement, only a place to start research.
  • Light subject so they are 1-1.5 stops brighter then the green screen.
  • Knowing what the composited background will be will allow you to setup the lights and light the subject in a more convincing way.
  • If possible adjust depth of field to keep the screen a little out of focus.
  • Higher shutter speeds can help with motion blur
  • Camera/formats
    • Use uncompressed formats for heavy keying (422 recommended)
    • Log is rarely useful because you have to color correct in order to key
    • DSLR: flat as possible, ISO increments of 160

Green Screen Tips – Software

Ultra Key: Premiere Pro Plug-in

Green Screen Tip and Ultra Key in Premiere Pro.
Ultra Key settings in Premiere Pro.

Start with a garbage matte then use Ultra Key to remove the green around the subject. There are different output settings (Composite, Alpha Channel – all keyed areas are black, and Color Channel) to check the results. Settings give a preset depending on how good a green screen you are starting with. Start with the eyedropper to select the color to key out (it doesn’t have to be green).

  • Green screen tip: use a Curves Adjustment before Ultra to get a better green.

Primatte Keyer by Red Giant

Primatte is a plug-in for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Final Cut X, and Apple Motion. It allows you to select your background and foreground, and to separate them out for a great key. Primatte/Red Giant

Green Screen Tips for After Effects
DJ Summit discusses Keylight and After Effects at the San Diego PremierePro Users Group meeting at Platt College.

Keylight: After Effects Plug-In

The drop down menu gives several options including: final result, source alpha (transparent parts shown in black), outside mask, inside mask, status, and more. The inside mask can help if there are parts on the inside of the subject that are being keyed out. Status can help show problems. Despill Bias can help with soft wispy hair. Under Screen Matte, Clip Rollback can also help with hair. For more information Adobe has a page on Keying in After Effects.

Books on Green Screen

  • The Green Screen Handbook by Jeff Foster
  • Green Screen Made Easy by Jeremy Hanke, Michele Yamazaki Tepstra

Additional Green Screen Tips

Movie Poster Designs


A great movie poster design grabs your attention and makes you take a closer look.

Here are a few of our favorite movie poster designs created by our very own O’Connell Design team… with a few Theatre posters too.

A great movie poster grabs your attention and makes you take a closer look. They also need to convey a certain amount of information, not the least of which is a call to action. Where to see the movie or find out more. A great movie poster design will also give you enough of the story to let you know what to expect in the theatre but just enough to pique your interest.

Movie Poster Design Credits

  1. Movie: Satellite Drop
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  2. Film: Mnionic: The Beginning
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  3. Film: The Answer
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
    Company: Amalgamated Grommets
  4. Film: Treasure All
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  5. Film: 5 Points Vineyards
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
    Company: Amalgamated Grommets
  6. Film: Loser
    Director: Michael Brueggemeyer
  7. Film : Recency Effect
    Director: David Dawson
  8. Film: A Single Step
    Director: L. V. O’Connell
  9. Play : The Cosmonauts Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild
  10. Play: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
    Director: Matt Addis
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild
  11. Play: The Merchant of Venice
    Company: Oxford Theatre Guild

Lower Third Motion Graphics for CARDA

Lower Third Graphics for the California Rescue Dog Association (CARDA)

We recently created lower third motion graphics for CARDA and their spot on Canine Corner. Founded in 1976, CARDA is a 501(c)3 non-profit, and the largest volunteer search dog organization in America. They train canine teams (dog and handlers) for search and rescue. They deploy throughout the state of California and occasionally to larger search operations outside the state.

Videos such as these and their brand recognition are used to generate funds to support the all volunteer teams.

Social Media Image Workflow

Social media for film promotion.

Social Media image generation workflow for social media posts.

Social media master template for film promotion
Social media master template for post images for film promotion.

Social media for film promotion.
Social media for film promotion.

Keeping up with the graphics required to promote a film or project via social media can be daunting. It