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Green Screen Made Easy: Keying and Compositing Techniques for Indie Filmmakers 2nd Edition

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Green Screen Made Easy: Keying and Compositing Techniques for Indie Filmmakers 2nd Edition
Green Screen Made Easy: Keying and Compositing Techniques for Indie Filmmakers 2nd Edition

Green Screen Made Easy is designed to up your skill set and give you the necessary skills to take your indie work to a new level.


See how to correctly create and set up your screen, illuminate the green screen cleanly, light your subjects dynamically, and manipulate your camera to get the best visual result. Master matte extraction techniques and learn how to composite your green screen footage onto a background, creating an out-of-this-world that your audience will believe!

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About the Authors

Jeremy T. Hanke is a graduate of Asbury University’s Media Communications program ― the same program in charge of training the television crews for the Olympic Games ― and is the director of two feature films, as well as numerous short films. In 2005, he started MicroFilmmaker Magazine ― the first magazine to specialize in helping microbudget filmmakers make their movies ― where he still serves as editor-in-chief. In addition to his work at MicroFilmmaker, he’s the lead editor of the artistic lifestyle magazine DarkestGoth Magazine, which explores media, society, and philosophy from a darker vantage point.

Michele Yamazaki Terpstra is Pluginologist for, a value-added reseller of visual effects tools and video software, where she creates tutorial content and writes, among many other things. Michele has a BA in Communications in Film & Video from Grand Valley State University. She started her video career at Postworks as a motion graphics artist and taught After Effects and Photoshop at Kendall College of Art & Design. She wrote Plug-in with After Effects: Third Party Plug-in Mastery, which was published by Focal Press in June 2011.

What People Are Saying

As a motion graphic designer, I am often given footage that was shot on a green screen. My job is to key out the background color and make sure the resulting footage looks good.
Green Screen Made Easy is an excellent resource for this, covering many of the more widely used keying programs and plugins. But keying video is only part of the green screening process, and this book has so much more to offer. With information on the backdrop itself, lighting, keying, compositing, and everything in between, the book is a comprehensive resource. Full of tips and tricks with options for any budget, Green Screen Made Easy is detailed and informative, but light enough to be an engaging and interesting read.

Brent Willett, motion graphic designer, Iowa Public Television

This is more than just a book on green screening. It’s a guide, it’s a resource, it’s a lifesaver, it’s a ‘must-read’ for every shooter, director, and editor out there. I strongly suggest that you buy multiple copies of this book . . . one for the field, and one for the edit suite.

Sue Lawson, award-winning editor, ChicagoEdit, Inc; president, Chicago Creative Pro Users Group (ChiCPUG)

Green Screen Made Easy covers everything from correctly setting up and lighting your shot to all the post-production tips and tricks needed to get that perfect composite. As a longtime editor and motion graphics artist, I’ve spent a career learning this on my own. Don’t waste years like I did—it’s all here in this book. Whether you are a beginner or veteran working on corporate interviews or a VFX-heavy feature film, there is plenty in here for everyone. I’m sure I’ll be referring to it often.

Rob Birnholz, editor, motion graphics artist and founder of Absolute Motion Graphics, Inc.

Green Screen Made Easy breaks down the complexity of shooting FX into a palatable way so that anyone can understand this process.

Peter John Ross, founder, Columbus Filmmakers Consortium (

Green Screen Made Easy offers well-written technical explanations mixed with humor, memorable examples, and practical advice born from experience. This will be an excellent resource for college level post-production classes, independent filmmakers, and professional cinematographers and editors. A well-researched, comprehensive, yet practical guide to understanding the technical and aesthetic aspects of the entire workflow of green screen work.

Suzanne Zack, MFA, affiliate professor of Film and Video School of Communications, Grand Valley State University

If you plan on using a green screen, put this book on your VFX grocery list. Sure, you can probably spend a year scouring the web . . . actually, I’ll stop right there. Just save yourself the time and get this book. Please. It hurts just thinking about all the wasted time you’d spend searching for all-you-can-eat green screen. It’s all here—in a single book.

Matt Kramer, operations guy, Video Copilot

Nothing is ‘hard’ once you know how it’s done, and Jeremy and Michele make it easy to understand green screening like never before. With the incredible advancements in non-linear editors over the last decade, working with green screens and augmented realities is simply how storytelling is done now. Plainspoken and easy to both read and remember, Green Screen Made Easy is just that. Technical info is presented with common-sense language and kept to a minimum while practical here’s-how-you-do-it information is logically presented. For anybody preparing to bring their projects into the realm of digital compositing, spending time with Green Screen Made Easy is a must.

Mark Bremmer, green screen animator/compositor, The Voice

In Depth: Keying: Pre-Processing Greenscreen Footage for Keying

If your greenscreen footage didn’t turn out as perfectly as you had hoped, here are some things that you can do to fix problems and not create new ones.


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