Tag Archives: green screen

Gnomedex Green Screen Challenge: Your Commercial Could be on TV!


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This week, I’m taking the Green Screen Challenge a step or two further than usual! Normally, I make a blog post, showcasing a few of my favorite entries. This time around, you can actually win a couple of very cool things!

The challenge: Create a Gnomedex commercial! My annual Gnomedex conference is only five weeks away, and it’s shaping up to be the best one yet! To help spread the excitement, I want you to come up with your very own Gnomedex commercial. Be as creative and innovative as you can – but please keep Creative Commons licensing in mind. We don’t want any legal troubles.

So what will you potentially win? I’m so glad you asked! Next week, I will choose one winner from all of the entries submitted via video response. That person will win two very cool “prizes”…

  • Have your commercial featured on television! Yes, that’s right – on television. The winning entry will be featured on the Seattle-area Comcast network!! Your name will of course be prominent, giving credit (and maybe fame?!) where credit is due.
  • Win a full-access pass to the Gnomedex conference! If you are over 18 and can pay your own travel/hotel/expenses, you can find yourself right in the middle of things during Gnomedex. It’s an amazing conference, and attending can literally change your life by giving you new perspectives and ways of thinking outside the proverbial box. Of course, if you cannot attend, you can do as you wish with the ticket – sell it to someone else, or give it away to someone who might not otherwise be able to attend.

If you aren’t sure yet how to work with these videos, make sure you check out the tutorial I wrote awhile back.

I’m very excited to see what everyone is going to come up with. Based on past entries for our weekly challenge, I know that the level of creativity out there in our community is astounding. Have fun with this – and good luck to everyone!

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Green Screen Challenge – Microsoft Bing

Every week I try to post a new Green Screen challenge. The community loves participating in these – and some of the resulting videos are just amazing! I have a great time every week watching them all, and trying to choose my favorites.

This past week, I asked you to edit a video where I talked about Microsoft’s Bing. Bing is a search engine that finds and organizes the answers you need so you can make faster, more informed decisions.

In a world of excessive choice and too much information, it’s often difficult to make the right decision. What you need is more than just a search engine; you need a decision engine that provides useful tools to help you get what you want fast, rather than simply presenting a list of Web links. Bing is such a decision engine. It provides an easy way to make more informed choices.

So without further ado… here are my two favorite Bing Green Screen responses!

How to Edit with Chroma Key / Green Screen Videos


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I’m still surprised at how many of you accepted the first community challenge I threw out regarding green screens! Since I thought the response was so great, I bought a green screen of my own so we can do these once a week! Do you know how to edit these videos?

In order to edit one of these, you’re going to need a video editor that supports a Chroma Key (or at least the editing of these types of videos). If you use Mac OS X, iMovie 09 works amazingly well. Using the Chromakey plugin of iMovie allows you to intelligently blend two movies. This is more than applying a simple transparency mask, because it allows you to target any color in one of your movies and make that color transparent.

I opened iMovie and opened up the movie of Pixie. I clicked to show Advanced Tools in iMovie, in order to be able to play with the Chromakey features. I dragged and dropped the Pixie clip into the work area, and selected “Green Screen”. I had a picture I took in Alaska already loaded, so dragging Pixie around made her appear to be sitting in front of a mountain in Alaska! It’s that simple and that easy to do.

Now you know how to do this easily in OS X. I’ll keep doing these as long as all of you want to keep remixing them! If you use Windows, I’m not leaving you out! You can use the free CineGobs. It’s low budeget movie making with a Chromakey feature… and it works.

To me, it’s easy to drag the video into a static image and create something new. Let’s see how creative you can get with it. Show us how good you really are! I plan to upload a new one of these every Friday, so get going and create!

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Where is My Dog?

Do you know where my dog is right now? Well, it’s your responsibility to put her somewhere – with the second Community Video Challenge!

Take this video of Pixie and do something. Anything. It’s yours. Just be sure to upload it to YouTube and post it as a video response to the original on YouTube. Otherwise, few will see the fruits of your labor. I can’t add it as a response for you.

First, you’re going to need the Pixie Green Screen video. Then, you’re going to need to find a video editor that has a “chroma key” or “green screen” editing feature. If you have iMovie, it’s waiting for you. If you’re running Windows, well… there are tons of video editors out there that will let you play along.

Take your time with it, gang – this isn’t a contest. I really can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Need more help with “chroma key” editing?

Chroma Keying is a feature that comes with many cameras. That means that you can make your own amazing shots and impossible action scenes in the comfort of your living room.

It important to note that when a color is properly “keyed out”, ALL of that color will disappear. If your subject is wearing blue and you are Keying out blue, then the blue your subject is wearing will also Key out. This can leave “holes” in the actor where the background will show through.

Cool Chroma Keying Fact! – In the movie Forest Gump, Lt. Dan lost his legs thanks to this magical camera trick!

I couldn’t help but join in the fun this time, too:

Community Challenge: Green Screen Me!


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Here’s your chance to do something with me! I recorded this while sitting in front of a green screen. “Chroma Keying” is a technique for mixing two images or frames together, in which a color from one image is removed, revealing another image behind it. It is commonly used for weather forecasts on the news. The weatherperson looks like they are standing in front of a large map. In the studio, it’s actually just a large blue or green background. The different weather maps are added to the screen using software.

You might already have the software installed (and yes, the new version of iMovie does an amazing job with chroma key / green screen shots).

So, here’s your chance! Decide what it is I was trying to say! Have fun, be creative, and make sure you show us what you come up with. Leave a comment here with the link to your creation, or upload it to your Geeks account.

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How to Make an iPod Video Ad

Geek!This is LegoShark’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

We’ve all seen the iconic iPod ads on the television and the Internet. Have you ever wanted to make one? Actually, it’s not that difficult. By the end of this video and written tutorial, you will know how to execute “The iPod Ad Effect” in your garage. You can watch the video included with this article for a more in-depth view of the effect.

What will you need?

  • Dancers – People need to get in front of a camera, and they need to be willing to put a lot of make-up on. The make-up is a key component in an editing technique I’ll cover in a moment. Let them know what song you will be using, and give them as much direction as you can while still letting them do what they want. The face paint can be purchased at a local party store. I got the tubes for mine at $2.50 each, and they MUST be black. They also need to wear black clothing: the more, the better. Another good quality in a dancer is to be able to dance. This is, of course, essential.
  • An iPod – This iPod should preferably be a fifth-generation iPod, white. You cannot use normal iPod headphones, as they are too thin to be detected by a normal camera. You will need an iPod sync cable, which you likely received with your iPod, to act as a wire. Black tape will be used to tape the wire to the dancers’ ears. An alternative to using the sync cable is to use thick, white elastic.
  • A Good, Properly-Licenced Song – Song choice is very important when making an iPod ad. Try not to pick indecipherable, hardcore punk rock music, classical music, or anything Apple has already used. The point of this is to be creative; using familiar music is not creative or enjoyable to the viewer… unless you add a spin. My spin, when I made my iPod ad, was the use of children as dancers.
  • Green or Blue Screen – You need a well-lit, solid color chroma keying screen. Blue is preferred, because it reflects less light on the subject. Great lighting can be achieved by using at least two lights. While incandescent lights are fine, industrial work lights and fluorescent lamps are great options. I used a Bowens Tri-Lite, picked up at a near-by photography shop, and a desk lamp with a fluorescent bulb. All of your lights need to be the same kind, because each lamp will have a different color of light. Incandescent lamps give off yellow light, and fluorescents give off white light. The difference will be apparent in post-production. The proper way to set up the green screen to to have it curve up from the ground to the wall, so as the entire area around the dancer is one color. Do a few tests with your green screen before shooting. You don’t want to see any shadows.
  • A Camera – While this is assumed, you should know that you will need a camera with decent quality. iSight cameras and other webcams will not work nearly as well as a simple DV camera. I used a Canon HV20 set to DV mode (to save hard drive space), but if you really want to do HDV, go ahead. Make sure that all of the clips are the same format, because the aspect ratio needs to be consistent throughout recording.
  • Decent Editing Software – Sorry, but iMovie and Windows Movie Maker just won’t cut it. I used Final Cut Pro for my video, but Adobe After Effects or Sony Vegas will do.

And now, the video tutorial with supportive written instructions:



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  1. Cover your dancers with the face paint (letting them do it themselves is also a good idea). Any skin that is not covered by dark clothing must be covered with the black face paint.
  2. Give the dancers the iPod and wires. Direct them to the green screen.
  3. Play the music. Dancers need music, after all! Try to have the same song playing that you are using in the video.
  4. When you feel you have enough footage (good dancing, enough to complete the 30 – 50 second commercial), take the camera back to your computer to start editing.
  5. Find or create different solid-color images to set as backgrounds for the green screened dancers.
  6. Chroma Key the green or blue screen. Make sure that the only visible part of the video is the dancer. Implementation varies from video editor to video editor. Refer to the Help file if need be.

  7. Overlay the edited clip atop the solid color background.
  8. Find a contrast-adjusting effect. Bring the contrast all the way up. This is the aforementioned editing technique. As you bring up the contrast, you will see the darks get darker, and the whites get whiter. The highlighted iPod stands out, the dancer darkens, and the desired effect is achieved.

Now, apply these steps to all clips. The end product should look just like an iPod ad, as seen on TV! If you already have an editing program and green screen, this should only cost about 10 dollars. If you don’t have a green screen, then go and get one. It’s always a great prop to have on hand. I hope that you try this yourself, and have lots of fun doing it. Let us know where to watch the results!