If you know you’re going to add visual effects to a scene you’re filming, shooting against a green screen is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to ensure that your VFX look as convincing as possible. Green is an easy color for an effects program to detect and replace with whatever CGI backdrop you want to add, using a process called chroma key.
“White light isn’t a color unto itself— it’s a combination of the colors red, blue, and green in equal component parts. So when you have a pure, chroma green, you can electronically separate that completely,” Bernstein explains. “But you want to make sure that green screen is the only green on your set. If you put a green screen up in a forest which has lots of green, when you go to chroma key it, it’ll key all over those trees as well. So in a wooded area with lots of green, you’d just use a blue screen instead.”
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