The benefit of using an external recorder is that it allows you to record your green screen video at a higher-quality setting. How do you use a field recorder to shoot your green screen footage? In this video, Richard Harrington demonstrates how to use a field recorder that uses SSDs to shoot high-quality green screen video.
- The benefit of using an external recorder like this one here is that it makes it easier to record your video at a much higher quality setting. And the reasons are pretty simple. Would you like to record on something like this, a full-size field hard drive SSD, very, very fast, or this, a consumer-quality micro SD card? Well, it's pretty obvious that this is superior. Of course, you will have to pay for that benefit. What's happening here is that by using higher quality media, the video doesn't have to be as compressed.
Now, part of the reason why we use these small cards is not just their small size and portability, but rather the more compressed footage can quickly transfer. We've got those gold contacts on the back and that makes it easy to transfer the compressed file. It's fast enough. Now, not all SD cards are rated for HD or 4K video. They're certainly not the typical ones you'd buy at a big-box electronics store unless you went to the premium section, but they are not the same thing as a fast SSD, or using other types of specialized camera media like solid state cartridges available for high-end professional cameras.
What happens here is that it allows you to record much higher quality. And the recorder gives you lots of other benefits as well. So, for example right now, not only can I see my audio meters on this, but I can bring up a whole bunch of options. I can tap my scopes button here and actually see different types of overlays. For example, bring up a waveform monitor. And this allows me to properly judge the exposure of the shot. What I'm looking at here is where that falls in line and I can actually adjust the overall amount of detail here to make it easier to see the different aspects and how transparent it is when it overlays.
We can look at the RGB parade, and this is quite useful to see the balance. Not surprisingly, the red, green and blue information here, you can see that the greens are quite strong, but being able to look at an RGB parade helps us see the balance. And we can even bring up a vector scope which helps us see some of the details here. For example, we've got a clear spike going down towards green, and that's quite useful for judging if we're hitting the desired target. You could, of course, shoot on any color you want but going for consistency is a good idea, and here I clearly see on the vector scope that we're hitting the green target and everything's lined up.
Now, besides those options, you'll also get other valuable options in here like focus peaking and zebra bars. What I like here is the ability to actually see things. So, let's just turn that scope off for a second. We'll make the waveform back on but drop it down to the corner so it's smaller. And I'll make sure that focus peaking is enabled and I'll choose a color that's easy to see like the blue there. So, now, I can make judgment. As I start to adjust the focus on the camera itself, what happens here is you'll see the details go in and out.
This is very good because it helps me better understand if things are properly lined up as far as focal distance goes. This ensures sharp focus. All right, that's looking good. And I've got simple on-camera controls here. I could just press the record button and it starts to record direct to that disk. This is going to allow me to dramatically minimize those artifacts of compression we talked about earlier. Gone is the file compression. Gone is the chroma subsampling issues.
Now, we're recording a very high-quality file. Now, typically, most field recorders will offer different formats to record to. So, before I do this for real, let me jump in and check those settings. I'll just press stop for a second. So, I'll bring up the options here for record quality. You can see that we can handle how the files are named. I'll come over here and click on the format, and you'll notice in this case, quality, 422. Well, that's indicating that there's some compression in the color channels.
If I switch that over to HQ, that's going to help minimize that. All right, that's looking good. Looking through, I can see that the record times were affected. The high-quality method, for example, shaves off almost two hours of record time on the drive, but that's okay, with Green Screen it's not about jamming as much footage on the card as possible, it's about capturing the highest quality file as possible which will improve the key down the road.
All right, that looks good. I also have support for common Avid codecs but I think that works here. So, I'm using Apple ProRes at high quality and I'll click OK to store it, and let's just roll another test shot there. All right, so the camera's now rolling, Angela. Can you give me a gentle smile? Good. Close your eyes, look down a little bit and look up and smile into the camera. Good. Can you look over here? And, relatively fast without hurting your head, turn back.
Good. Can you go ahead and talk with your hands a little bit and move them around for me? Good, good. Excellent. Thank you. I'm going to just stop recording. And at this point, we've helped our subject move through some of the common ranges. We've seen hand gestures, so we can judge if the key's going to be good when there's movement. We've seen the head turn, which will help us deal with hair issues and check for good transparency along the feathered edges. This should work out quite well, and now that we've captured a really high-quality file, later on when we explore keying, you'll see some of the benefits that that lower compression format offers.
- Why use green screen?
- Using a fabric, Flexfill, or Reflecmedia backdrop
- Lighting the green screen
- Recording green screen in-camera
- Using a field recorder for green screen
- Capturing a background with a light field camera
- Processing backdrops for green screen
- Keying in Final Cut Pro X, Premiere Pro, and After Effects
- Animating the 3D camera