Blue Screen vs Green Screen – Know The Differences

INTRODUCTION

best - BLUE SCREEN VS GREEN SCREEN

When it comes to filming, you can see that both blue screens and green screens are widely used for the same purpose, i.e., to use the Chroma key technology. Using this technology only, we can place subjects in front of projected backgrounds.

If you get this question, why only blue or green color screens are used, it is because these two colors are not present in human skin tones. Thus, it is ideal for the Chroma key process. But these days, you can notice that filmmakers are moving from blue color screen to green color.


Green screen was introduced after movies considerably shifted to a digital post-production process. The growing popularity of digital cameras brought forward this trend. The green screens are mostly used for luminance (reflect more light) as most cameras capture twice as much green information as they do for other colors.


This, in turn, makes green easier to key out in post-production. Not only that, green screens are much cheaper as compared to red or blue channels.

Also, Checkout various film techniques that every debut director must know before getting into the field.

Why are Blue and Green Screens used? 

Now, let's see this in detail. A digital keyer is a software with which you can select a color range, also known as chroma, and subtract that entire part from the video frame while editing. Green and blue screens are the most popular choices for chroma keying.


This is because they are well layered above a solid background clip in videos, resulting in the background-clip appearing on the deleted parts of the image. Since blue and green are on the opposite end of the color spectrum from red and orange, they can be well adjusted with the skin tones.

So which to use: BLUE SCREEN VS GREEN SCREEN?

It’s pretty evident that green screens are superior to blue ones. Technically speaking, though, it completely depends on the project that is undertaken; in most cases and situations, a green screen will serve you better.


But, this isn’t true in every case. We shall look at the pros, cons and overall uses for green and blue screens to assess it better.

GREEN SCREEN - PROS AND CONS

Let’s start with the pros of using a green screen. Firstly, most digital cameras capture more information through the green channel. It helps to have a cleaner key around your subject with fewer noise artifacts. Also, green screens also require less light, so they are cheap as well.


The spill from them can also make adding subjects into daytime scenes easier as green is much brighter, so it gives the edits a more natural appearance. Finally, a lot of digital keying effects are set up in accordance with green by default. This can speed up your post-production workflow to a great extent!

GREEN SCREEN - BLUE SCREEN VS GREEN SCREEN

A major con of green screens is the amount of color spill because it naturally bounces back more light, which in turn makes the lights have a green hue to them.


This can be a bit tricky to remove, especially with hair, metallic reflections and even/fine costume details. Green screens are also not ideal for nighttime or a dark scene, as the green hue would not make the night scene look natural.

BLUE SCREEN - PROS AND CONS

The primary benefit of a blue screen is that there is considerably less color spill, as blue has a lower luminance value, so it doesn’t bounce back as much light. So a blue screen is perfect for filming subjects with small details as it helps to retain some important details.


Subjects with blonde hair are much easier to capture on blue screens. They also work better for nighttime scenes since they reflect less light onto the subject.


The biggest con of blue screens is that they require more light to properly expose the subject, which will cost you a lot more. If you don’t have powerful lighting available with a blue screen or even a big enough budget, blue screens are not for you.


Another con of blue screens is that the color blue is much more common in clothing and costumes, so that would only increase more work in post-production.

BLUE SCREEN USE - BLUE SCREEN VS GREEN SCREEN

MAIN DIFFRENCES BETWEEN BLUE SCREEN AND GREEN SCREEN

BEST - BLUE SCREEN VS GREEN SCREEN
  • While using a digital camera instead of film, it is observed that better results are obtained from a green screen shoot as compared to a blue screen one because of the cleanness and luminescence of green over blue. Using green instead of blue also results in less noise while keying.
  • When green or blue screens are removed during editing, some color tends to spill onto the subjects, which may create a thin line around the person or make areas like their hairline look odd, especially around the edges. This color spill can be better or worse depending on your shoot and the color of your screen. Blue screens are known to have less spill than green and are also easier to color correct than green.
  • As most subjects and objects are blue, like clothing, for example, it would be ideal to use a green screen in that particular scenario. You will get better results when the background color is not heavily present in the subject that you are filming.
  • Depending on the luminosity of the shoot, choose your screen. Blue screens have a lower luminosity as compared to green ones, so blue screens are better suited to low-light shots. This also means that it is more difficult to shoot a large scene on a blue screen as opposed to green as more light is required, which would make your budget crash the ceiling.

CONCLUSION

To conclude, we can say that when it comes to blue screen vs green screen, it’s not that one is definitively better than the other. There are various instances where both are preferable and get the job done efficiently. So it is up to the filmmaker to adapt to different situations and use these screens accordingly to their benefits. 

Xavier
 

I'm Xavier. I am a professional writer and blogger. It all started when I fell in love with my camera, which was presented to me when I was ten as a birthday gift. Since then, I wanted to become a cinematographer and also succeeded in that. So I am here researching and reviewing the filmmaking gadgets and giving out my top gadgets from the market.I hope you find my review articles interesting and helpful.

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