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News Broadcast Goes Green

A few weeks ago, I spent some time with a couple of my students painting the back wall of our news studio GREEN! Now, I don't mean green. This color is definitely GREEN! Why on earth would we do this? I still have green paint on my shoes. It was a bit of a hassle, and the color is so bright, it is borderline obnoxious.

We did all of this to take advantage of the chroma key feature in OBS, but even if you're saying OBWhaaaaaa? There could be some good information here. Let's hit a few uses for a green screen, and a couple suggestions for trying to get the same effect on your pictures or videos.

First, the green screen is how you remove the background from live video. While we are painting in the attached video, notice how we seem to be painting an image on the wall? The computer that processed the video took out the green, and replaced it with another image I chose. They film movies, weather reports, sports talk shows... tons of stuff in front of a green screen, and sub in the background that you see. It looks so real, right? Well, okay, some of them look real.

Another use for a green screen is photography. If you take a selfie in front of a green screen, with a little editing in a free program like GIMP, you could be anywhere with anyone. No, I didn't make that up. There is a free image editing program for Windows / OSX / Linux called GIMP. It's sort of like photoshop, but free. I don't mean free to open the program, but $50 to unlock the features. I don't mean free, but they are going to watermark all of your stuff. I mean FREE. 0$. Download and install gratis. There is a bit of a learning curve. This is a full featured photo editor, afterall. Use the worlds second most popular search engine (YouTube) and figure it out.

Wow. Didn't mean to publish this one yet. Anyway, if you're not looking for all the complication of a green screen, or GIMP, or OBS, or any complicated software, check out Photoscissors. It's a free online photo editor that lets you delete the background from any picture (not just green screen pictures) and add in new backgrounds. They also have several other tools available. For real. Go try it out.

That's the real end of this post. Take time to make the world a better place.


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