Today we are going to make some animated duct tape titles just like these using a green screen, some duct tape and a pen, and a window.
We’ve created stuck-on titles in the past for an episode of our Sunday show, The Film Look vlogs; we used them as lower thirds. The setup worked, but we’ve found a much easier and potentially cheaper way to execute this technique.
Previously we had strung up a green screen, lit it, then shot against a mounted plate of glass on an angle to prevent any reflection. It worked well enough, but sourcing a plate of glass this large is time consuming and can be expensive. Then there is the difficult task of mounting it for shooting!
So what is something most people already have access to that will work just the same? How about a window?
Find yourself a window with a view to outside. The trick to a good key from a green screen is to light it as evenly as possible. If you don’t have the right kind of lights, this can be tricky, so putting the green screen outside is the next best thing. Just make sure whatever location you do use, it is getting caught by even sunlight, or in our case, an overcast day.
We don't have a collapsible green screen, but we do have these green sheets! So we pinned the sheets to our collapsible backdrop with pegs to remove any creases.
If you have the cash, a proper collapsible green screen is going to help a lot more than our method. We just used what we had access to, to demonstrate the technique.
To avoid any reflections of ourselves and the camera against the glass we took a large piece of cardboard and cut out a hole for the lens. We did this in order to create a consistent reflection which removes background details.
With a studio setup you would have the camera in total darkness to avoid reflection on the glass but since we are shooting during the day inside a house, we found this to be a cheap and effective alternative method that most people can do at home.
Frame up the camera so the green screen covers the whole frame and expose the image of the subject, in this case it's the duct tape titles, and set it a stop under over exposure so you don't blow out the white tape.
Okay, so here’s a rundown of the setup! Green screen outside, pinned out so it doesn’t have creases. The window is in front where we are sticking the duct tape titles, the camera is behind this with a wall of cardboard to create a blank canvas of a reflection.
Now it’s time to hit record and stick them to the window!
We recorded a bunch of titles including monday to sunday, thanks for watching, and subscribe, sticking them on the window and then pulling them off. So now that we have the footage, let's get it on the computer and keyed out!
Not everyone has the same programmes on their computers, so I won’t get application specific. I’m using after effects, but I do believe you can achieve this in a range of different editing and visual effects applications.
Firstly, apply the key plugin. I’m using KeyLight. Grab the eyedropper tool and click on your green screen. If you have an even screen, so no creases and an even light, it should get rid of 90% of the green on the first click. There are jog bars you can play around with if you need to tune your key in, and use masks to get rid of large portions which are never touched, such as this corner here.
With a bit of fine tuning and toying with the parametres, this is the final result.
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