Green Screen Hack

There are a lot of ways to green screen, but one of the simplest comes pre-loaded with OS X (Leopard). Within the iChat program it is possible to record a yourself (or whomever) with green screen-esque capabilities. If you are having a video conversation with another person, you can record the chat and throw in the green screen effects then.

You can also record a scene without starting a video conference with someone (which would require them having a mac and leopard). This requires some simple hacks. Here are the basics.

1. Start iChat and follow the directions in the video below.

2. Record the onscreen action with a screencasting tool or go video out to a recordable dvd player.
• In the video, I used screencast-o-matic.com. This site’s drawback is that it only records at about 3-5 frames per second. Standard video is at about 30 frames per second. This makes the sound and video look mismatched. The nice thing is that it will generate a quicktime file that you can edit later.
• Another option is Jing, which records at a higher framerate, but saves as an swf.
• Hook your computer up to a tv and recordable dvd player and record what happens. This is obviously more complicated, but gives you the highest quality.

The green screen video you produce is nothing to write home about, but it’s free and has some applications for students. For instance, if you wanted to do a mock newscast or weathercast, it might come in handy.

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