Floating Head Without Green Screen

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Floating Head Without Green Screen

Hey gang!

While making my last song parody video (“The Hell of Diets“), I used a special video trick to make my head float:
The Hell of Diets! (title card)

Since I don’t own a Green Screen, I had to come up with another way.

Okay, rewind… “Green Screen? What the heck is that, Joe?”

Glad you asked! In simple terms, the actor is shot on a set that is all one color (usually green, but sometimes blue), then in the video production, the green is replaced with any other picture or video. The effect in video software is called “Chroma Key”. I’ve used Green Screen in my animation projects, such as the “Ban Ki-moon Tune!” – here’s a peek:
Ban Ki-moon Green Screen

No Green Screen? No Problem!

I realized that all I really needed was a way to ensure my face was lighted much brighter than the rest of the shot. Then I could use the Chroma Keyer in Sony’s Movie Studio software to remove everything else (the darker parts of the image).

Here are the steps (click on any image for a larger view):

1) Record video (on cell phone), wearing a black shirt, face illuminated with a bright blue light, room is dark (you can see some of the room behind me in this one):
Floating Head - original
2) Choose a background image or video (can be anything) – I used this:
Floating Head - background
3) Apply the Chroma Key tool to remove all of the dark parts of the image (adjust the selected color, thresholds and blur to get the best results):

4) These settings now produce this image:
Floating Head - chroma key
5) Place the background image on a layer beneath the Chroma Key layer and voila!:
Floating Head - final

I hope this short tutorial helps with some of your videos. I’m always keen to learn new editing tricks. If you have any, please post them in the comments.

Enjoy!
Joe

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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