Green screen example

Hi all,

I was following an old tutorial by Andrew Kramer on his Serious FX DVD from years ago. Though Andrew used AE, I used HF Express 2017. I show the individual elements and then the final composite. Would love to get some critiques.




  • Not bad for a first attempt!  I've got no greenscreen experience, but a couple things do stand out with this:

    • The new background feels like it's tinted green, especially at and below the window.  Not sure if that's a problem with the key, or if something went amiss in final color correction.
    • The guy also feels like he's got a greenish tinge to him.  In a way it kinda matches the tint on the background, but frankly, neither tint looks appealing.
    • I see that you trimmed off the dangling bits of leather (?) on the guy's sleeve in the keyed version.  Was that due to a keying problem, or was it a separate artistic choice?
    • The shadow you added on the wall is an interesting touch, but based on the look of the guy vs the background, it doesn't feel to me like it should be there.  He feels too close to camera to cast that kind of shadow.  Just thinking about the size of his head compared to the average brick, the fact that his shadow is the same size as him -- making him feel very close to the wall -- means that he's either abnormally large, or the bricks are abnormally small.
  • edited June 2017

    Agree with @jsbarrett that the green tint shouldn't be there but not sure how that would have happened.

    The green-screen looks pretty even but you might just need some more light on it to make the actor 'pop' a bit more and avoid the green reflection. Maybe they're too close to the screen?

    <edit> having said all that I like the scene itself. :-)

  • Thank you both for the advice. I think I'm going to redo this from scratch and keep your comments in mind to make it better. 

    Thanks again!

  • @CPesto ;If express has it try adding the spill suppression effect after you add the key. This will help to get rid of the green tinge to the edge of things. 

  • Another consideration would be to add a light flash to your actor each time the gun fires. In real life, as the muzzle flash occurs, it would naturally throw light on the person holding the gun. Check out this tutorial by Simon on how to properly do this!

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I think the tutorial Hitfilm Sensei linked covers this, but I don't feel your muzzle flash is following the barrel of the gun. It's just floating in space. I'd do a 2-point track following the back and front of the gun so the muzzle flashes angle correctly. 

    Sensei brought up spill light. 

    Muzzle flashes are WAY too small for a Skorpion. They should be about twice the size. 

  • To add to what HitfilmSensei said, Large muzzle flashes and muzzle flashes that  illuminate the shooter are a large part of  "Movie reality"  If you watch videos of 3 Gun Matches (Pistol,Rifle, Shotgun) you will notice that in broad daylight there is a puff of high velocity smoke with almost no muzzle flash.  So, although it is expected in movies and TV shows, in real life it almost never happens.  see video

  • I agree with Bob in that "Movie Reality" definitely comes into play when creating a gunfire scene. However, it also depends on the gun being used. I have fired rifles that put out a pretty big muzzle flash. Check out this video...

    On the other hand, most firearms will not produce that kind of muzzle flash. This video talks more about that side of the discussion...

    Regardless, movies are not meant to be reality... they are fantasy. If I want to watch reality, I would save my $8 and just go down to a local office complex and watch people work. Reality isn't any fun to watch (normally). That is why we go to the movies, and if you go to the movies, you want to see really big muzzle flashes! :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    And bullet sparks... (cuz they don't....)

  • ...but they (bullet sparks) look really cool!

  • Absolutely.  That's why I said broad daylight.  In Hitfilm Sensei's first video it's obvious that  you shot that at dusk or a little after.  BTW nice fire ball.    I've been temporarily  blinded by the muzzle flash from a .44mag shot at dusk once.   I also agree that large muzzle flashes, and in the case of a US based cop type drama that will remain nameless, starburst with lens flare muzzle flashes.

      Another little know bit of information is that the ammo that is used by LE has an additive to minimize muzzle flash to avoid low light blinding issues.

    Another Hollywood myth is that if you shot a car, it will inevitably emit a large ball of fire and explode :) 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Not updated in a long time, but still the defining work on Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    I hand load and excessive muzzle flashes are a pet peeve of mine even when they're in a movie. To me it's a sign of a sloppy loader that completely ignored burn rates and powder charges. Once the bullet exits the barrel, any unburned propellant is really just waste. You get more recoil and a bigger muzzle flash, but it doesn't add any more energy to the bullet.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Aladdin4d muzzle flashes don't crack me up as much as sound editors using  shotgun SFX for tiny pistols... 

  • @Triem23 You mean tiny pistols don't really sound like that? I made a short film with kids one time that involved nerf guns and added shotgun SFX... it was hysterical. I did a matrix nerf bullet scene. That's what brought me to HItFilm.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @HitfilmSensei I think I remember the Nerf "bullet time."

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