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03.08 Which Reality Green Screen Video Assignment

Assignment Deliverables

  • Exported H.264 .mp4 - maximum 30 - 60 seconds long video file of project (.mp4)
    • label file YYYYMMDD Lastname Firstname Which Reality Video Project.mp4
  • Brief written description of the project and creative decisions made (.pdf)
    • label file YYYYMMDD Lastname Firstname Which Reality Video Project Description.pdf

Assignment Overview

Review the examples of abstract video from the previous week as well as the green screen video art examples from this week. Note different techniques used in the videos to create new realities. Consider how the separation of a character or object from its original context allows for the construction of new visuals and constructed spaces.

Use a combination of chroma keying, rotoscoping, luma keys, generative video, found footage, sounds, 3D environments and other video compositing techniques to answer the question, “Which reality?” Is this reality or is it an illusion? How do we know what is real when human perceptions are disconnected from the nature of the universe?

Final Video Requirements

  • minimum 30 seconds to a maximum of 60 seconds
  • use at least one green screen shot, can use more
  • use at least one motion tracking shot, can use more
  • use a self generated abstract video, could be made with analog or digital means
  • use sounds created by you

Concepts to Consider

Once video is separated from the background with a green screen or other masking technique, then it can be manipulated in creative ways to create new interesting visual compositions. With video one is not limited to a single static composition, the element of time allows things to change.


Changing the scale of the character, objects, or environment can have dramatic effects on the viewer’s perception of your content. For dramatic changes in scale, such as shrinking a person down or turn a person into a giant, it is important to use the concepts of perspective. For example, when shooting a “giant” move the camera as low as possible so that the camera is looking up at the person from a “worm’s eye view”. This will make it more believable since if there was a giant in reality we would have to look up to see it.

Changing Place or Environment

Removing the original context by changing the depicted place or environment can make new associations with your content. An environment can change within the same shot or on transitions. Multiple environments can be combined

Subtracted or Negative Space

  • Wear a green square on your shirt and suddenly there is a gap or “negative space” on your body that can be filled in with video.
  • Paint green circles on your face and fill each one with a different video.

Repeat Elements

Control C or Command C followed by Control V & Command V is the quintessential action of digital workflows. Once something is digital, making copies is nearly costless. Multiple instances of keyed out green screen footage can be placed in the same seen. Repetition is a fundamental design principle that can add unity, structure, and emphasis to a visual composition.

Use Motion Tracking and Camera Tracking

Green screen shots are easiest to composite when done with a static camera on a tripod, but this can create less dynamic shots than if the camera was moving. One can simply have camera movement but this will likely make the footage bounce around in the viewport. A better way is to motion track the footage so that other objects and footage composited into the scene track along with the green screen footage. This can range in complexity from a simple pan track or a swirling 3D motion track.