Green screen chroma-key technology has taken digital photography and film to new places. Unprecedented special effects are now possible in both photography and film. You’re probably familiar with the green screen backdrop, but did you know that you can use green screen technology directly with people, too? Enter the green man suit.
A green man suit is the same color as a green screen backdrop, making it easy to delete the people wearing them later during post-production. Let’s say you need to animate an object seemingly hovering on its own; simply put your subject in a green screen suit and in front of a green screen backdrop, film them moving the object, and you’ll be able to “make them disappear” from the shot later, leaving the object still moving onscreen. If you’re considering trying a green screen suit, here’s what you should know:
About the SuitThe green screen suit comes in a variety of sizes and covers the wearer from head to toe. They are completely chroma-key green to match green screen backdrops. The suits are usually close-fitting so that there will be few wrinkles or shadows; this will allow a person to be practically invisible in a shot when filmed against a green screen backdrop. (If they are slightly visible, this can be eliminated during post-production.) Green screen suits are flexible for full range of motion, but the head is made of a thinner material, allowing users to breathe and see easily.
Using a Green Screen SuitGreen man suits are ideal for creating cool special effects or for putting on a puppet show. A puppeteer can pull all the puppet strings or use their hands to move the limbs and mouth of a puppet. The final effect will appear as if the puppet is moving by itself, since the person moving it is “invisible.”
Green screen suits can be used for a variety of special effects. If a filmmaker is making a movie about paranormal or otherworldly activities, an object can be manipulated to appear as if moved by a spirit or an unseen force. “Invisible man” effects are easy with a green screen suit; this effect is great for comedies, mysteries or suspense films. A slight glow or outline may remain, but this can be cleaned up with a video editor. Allow your green screen suit wearer to have several breaks while filming to ensure that they don’t get overheated.
Additional UsesYou can also use just pieces of the green suit; for example, if a character in a film is supposed to have a holographic-looking arm, they can wear just a sleeve of the suit, making the actual arm invisible. Special effects for the new arm can be added in post-production later.
If your production calls for it, sections of the suit can make just parts of a person appear invisible; try exposing just their head and then transpose it onto a different body, i.e. putting someone’s head on to the body of a super hero.
Getting CreativeThe sky is the limit with a green man suit. Beyond just puppetry, here are some other cool special effects to try:
1. A Suspended Body Part. Remove the hood of the suit and create the illusion of a floating head. Try removing just the hands, legs or the entire torso for a disembodied effect.
2. Just the Apparel. Want to showcase an outfit? Have your model wear a green screen suit underneath the clothing they are wearing, and all you’ll see is the outfit.
4. Realistic Computer-Generated Characters. Actors wearing green screen suits can act as stand-ins for computer-generated characters that will be added later in post-production. This helps to ensure that actors will respond realistically to the actions of a villain, monster or other character. The green screen-suited actor will be replaced with the computer-generated creature later.
As you can see, a green man suit, a green screen backdrop and some imagination can take you to some exciting places. Have fun, be innovative, and dazzle your audience as you explore what’s possible!
Have you used a green screen suit? What fun effect were you creating?
-Backdrop Express Photography Team
Interested in learning more about green screen production? Check out Light a Perfect Green Screen With 6 Hot Tips!
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