Green Screen for Storytelling

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Creative Commons licensed image courtesy of Kathy Cassidy (flikr)

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Create your own narrative using green screen technologies. Using a Green Screen (sheet of fabric or paper or even a chalkboard) and a video editing application, you can filter out the background of any image or video so that you can overlay your central image on any background – real or imagined!

Green Screen by Do Ink is a paid app available for use on iPads and iPhones. It is relatively inexpensive and has a simple and friendly interface that allows one to create green screen videos and photos effortlessly and in a matter of minutes. Features include:

  • Live recording and media upload
  • Combine up to 3 media sources
  • Scrollable timeline
  • Basic video editing
  • Color picker tool
  • Crop and mask tools
  • Saving and exporting

While the Doink app makes it fairly straightforward to utilize the green screen effect, there are other ways to achieve it:

  • Camtasia is a powerful video editing software that is available to UBC students, faculty and staff as a free download through UBC Connect. One of the many functions of Camtasia is that you can filter out a chroma key color and make a green screen video or image. In effect, erasing the existing background and adding your own.
  • Many other video editing softwares will allow you to filter chroma key colour.
  • There are several free and paid iOS and Android apps on the market but, so far, I haven’t found one I like more than the DoInk version.

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Green screen technologies can be incorporated into the classroom in all kinds of ways, the possibilities are endless and include student weather forecasts, time travel and fictional character interviews! Teachers can create media to engage students in a topic, showcase examples and record video lectures or tutorials. An astronomy teacher might be virtually transported into space as they give a ‘tour’ of the stars to their students. Green screen technologies allow you to transport to any place in the world or any time period! Green screen videos are very effective for storytelling. Students can do video blogging, shoot their own movie with special effects or do a video presentation that appears to be taking place in any number of unique settings. For more inspiration on how to use green screen click here.

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 1. Download Green Screen by Do Ink from the App Store and open it on your device.
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2. Click on “+” sign in the top right corner to create a new project.
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3. Select a source for your project:
      – You could use the camera on your device to capture a picture or video or;
      – Upload existing media
Tip: If the object or person is in front of a plain background, the program can automatically filter it out (green and blue work best).
4. Select the rainbow wheel and turn on “Chroma Enabled”.
5. Select the colour of your background from the wheel and regulate the sensitivity to filter out the background.
Tip: If your background is not all of the same colour, try editing manually for best results:
      – Click on the mask symbol and then the eraser symbol and erase parts that are not automatically filtered.
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6. When you are done filtering out the background, under the current image or video select a source for the new background.
7. You can then drag and adjust the position and size of your sources by first selecting them from the timeline.
8. When you are ready you can choose if you want your media to display as a video or an image then select save.
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9. You can choose how you would like to export your media.
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Now start creating and have fun! For more detailed use of the app, check out the Do Ink website.

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Ease of Use
Average: 3.6/5 Stars
Resource Rating
Average: 3.8/5 Stars

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