Green screening and creativity go hand-in-hand – you only need to look at the technology used in many of the major blockbuster movies to see such evidence. Such creativity does not have to be exclusive to million dollar budgets and sets, with the capability of green screening available relatively cheap for classrooms via the amazing DoInk Green Screen app for iPad.
This is a very clever app, and if you don’t want to use a green screen (as it may clash with school uniform etc.) then you can actually define the colour of your screen within the app – just make sure there is no colour conflict for your recording. The app allows you to add video or still photo backgrounds to your video (you can actually combine up to 3 image sources at a time); mix audio tracks from your videos and from the live camera; edit and trim videos on the timeline to keep only the parts you need; and save videos on camera roll, or in QuickTime or MP4 format.
How can Green Screening help in education? Creativity is key here, but this app could be used to support children to become storytellers or allow pupils to explain a key concept they have learned in any curriculum subject.
Set up is relatively easy, but those want to get serious in green screening may want to invest in an iPad Tripod, additional lighting, an iPad microphone, high quality material, and Teleprompter iPad Software (see here for an example) – however these are not essential as the app is designed for ease of use. The creators of the app also offer further advice for working on your project:
1. The quality and color of the backdrop you use makes a difference. Your results can be improved if your backdrop is a bright, fully saturated color and if it’s made from a matte, non-reflective material. You can find an inexpensive green muslin backdrop online by searching for a “green screen backdrop”.
2. Good lighting helps. You don’t need special “movie lights”, but you’ll find that your results improve when your backdrop and subject are well lit. Minimizing shadows on your backdrop can also help considerably.
3. Make sure that objects in your video (including people and clothing) aren’t similar in colour to your backdrop – otherwise, they’ll be transparent!
4. Consider mounting your iPad on a tripod or stand. Holding your camera still while recording in front of a green screen can improve the quality of your video.
5. Experiment with the chroma key colour and sensitivity settings. Getting them right makes a big difference.
Confident pupils will love being in front of the camera for their presentation, but we’ve noted that you can easily insert videos from apps such as Tellagami (click here to view in app store), so the animated character reads the script for you. See the video created by the DoInk team below.
DoInk Green Screen for iPad is a great app, currently priced at £1.99*, and available from the Apple App Store by clicking the icon below.
*Price correct at time of publication.
— DoInk Tweets (@DoInkTweets) August 10, 2014