Giddy over Green Screen – 6 Tips for a Successful VFX Shoot

You know you in the right job when you get giddy over a Green Screen cove!

We recently wrapped up on one of Distant Future’s biggest ever projects.  It was challenging and a lot of fun and involved putting a live action actor into a completely computer generated environment through the magic of green screen.

Being on set was one of my favorite parts of the project but its hard work, it can get hot, hard on your feet and can mean a long…. long day.  You probably want to cram as much shooting as you can into each day so stock up on the Mars bars and energy drinks.  That’s a free tip for you before we start our main list!

The rest of the tips are a bit different to the ones you find in books or on blogs that talk about lighting and so on.  Instead, our tips take a different view.

Tips for a Successful Green Screen Shoot

  1. Get the Right People

Using our team’s knowledge and experience on this shoot made it a smooth, exciting and successful experience.  Having a professional, passionate and talented team on a project will always reflect on the end result of your project.

  1. Plan in Detail

Shooting on green screen and having an actor pretending to interact with an invisible environment is difficult, so having a polished animatic came in very handy as it allowed everybody to understand where everything would be in physical space and was perfect for showing timings for specific movements.

  1. Keep a Sharp Eye

It’s your job to make sure the actor’s hands are inside the green screen and green spill is kept to a minimum.  Spill can be a killer so minimise it where you can.  I found the floor was reflecting a lot of green on the under arms of the actor, so to reduce it we used large white polystyrene sheets on the floor which improved things a lot.

  1. Speak Out

Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns if you spot a problem.   Coming up with solutions during the shoot can save you masses of time compared to trying to fix everything in post-production.

  1. Take a Comb!

Also his hair was becoming more fluffy throughout the day and fluffy hair gets eaten up by green screen so just kindly ask for a wardrobe touch up.

  1. Improvise

On a few occasions our actor was just too tall for the low angle shots and his head would be out side the green screen in camera.  So we improvised and asked Howard nicely to kneel in the shot with still gave the illusion of him standing.

We are always looking for new ways to exercise our creative minds here at Distant Future Animation Studio, it’s what we love, so if you have new challenges for our talented team don’t hesitate to get in touch.



  1. best blog,thanks for sharing the information…Animation and multimedia college

  2. Bill Beaumont says:

    No problem, we’re glad you are enjoying the posts. If you have any requests for new articles, please let us know.

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