Home Photography Ideas: Awesome Superhero Shots Using DIY Green Screen!
Watch Video: Home Photography Idea – Superheroes and Green Screens
Here’s a great photo project you can do in the comfort of your living room: a superhero superhero scene!
For your subject, you will need an action figure or statuette of your chosen superhero. Your kids might have a suitable toy lying around, or the collectors among you might have a great figurine on your shelves. Flying or jumping characters work best, so we’ve gone with Spider-Man in an exciting web pose.
• Read more: Best Green Screen Backgrounds
We’re going to take a photo of Spidey and then superimpose it over an image of a cityscape using chroma key compositing, the technique many people know as “green screen.” This allows us to override a specific color range, namely a green background, in Photoshop.
Spider-Man is a perfect subject for a green screen shot, as there is no green on his outfit. However, if you wanted to photograph The Hulk (which is mostly green), you could do this same technique with a blue screen instead.
You can buy dedicated chroma backdrops, but you can use anything that’s a bright, distinct shade of green (or blue). In this case, we used a green card sheet from a craft store, which does the job just fine. Here’s how to do it…
Shoot your superhero
01 Find a Figure
The first step is to choose an action figure or a statuette of the superhero you have chosen. Look for poses where the character is flying or jumping, as these will make for the most dynamic and exciting photos.
02 Go green
You can use a dedicated chroma key backdrop, but you can also create your own green screen using a sheet of green cardboard. Bigger is better because it gives you more shooting options. We set up our green screen on an ironing board, with plenty of natural light coming in from the window behind us.
• Best green screen backgrounds
03 Background Light
Ideally, you should light your green screen, to make it as bright as possible and reduce shadows cast by the figure, making it easier to edit later. Speed lights or constant LEDs are ideal for this.
04 Illuminated key
Again, it’s best to light the figure, both to make the image look as sharp as possible and to add depth and dimension by casting shadows on the sculpt and detail. However, light from the window will suffice.
05 Go wide and steady
We shoot with a wide-angle lens, the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L, to match the perspective of our background image. Most kit lenses should also do the trick. You will also benefit from the use of a tripod, to ensure stability and accuracy.
06 Narrow opening
Shoot with as narrow an aperture (meaning a high f-number) as possible to get as much depth of field and ensure the whole figure is in focus. This may mean you have to use a slower shutter speed, so again the tripod is infinitely useful.
07 Clean Green
We use Photoshop, but other editing suites offer similar tools. Use the Spot Healing Brush and Clone Stamp to paint in anything unwanted, like the polearm holding your figure in place, shadows, or areas behind the background that your green screen doesn’t. didn’t quite cover it.
02 Color Range
From the drop-down menu, click Select > Color Range and choose Select: Sampled Colors. Now use the eyedropper to click and select all the green hues until your character’s silhouette is fully hidden in the panel.
03 Selection of spiders
With your character selected, click on the padlock in the layers panel, then press delete to remove the green. In Filter>Camera Raw Filter, adjust the yellow and green HSL adjustment sliders to remove the remaining greens.
04 Replace background
Source an appropriate image that you want to use for your background. Our skyscraper photo doesn’t quite match the composition we used for our Spidey image, so we’ll flip the background horizontally (Select All, Edit > Transform) and we’ll also lighten it a little.
05 Stick Your Superhero
Go back to your superhero photo and select all, then copy it. Now go back to your background and paste it, then use the Move Tool and resize the image to put it in the right position.
06 Add punch
To make your hero “pop” a bit more, open Camera Raw Filter and increase the Clarity and Contrast sliders to exaggerate shadows and sculpt detail. Now flatten your image and – POW! – you have a great superhero photo.
Stuck at home: 11 fantastic photo projects to try indoors during the COVID-19 crisis
215 Photography Tips, Video Tutorials & Techniques for Taking Photos of Anything
Best video conferencing app: hang out with your photo club from home