Weather Wise Kids: What technology do you use for the green screen?

The infamous green screen….A topic meteorologists get asked about often and the crowd favorite at all of the studio tours.

“Let me tell you their favorite activity is me using this green sheet and making them disappear…this all happened right here, right where I’m standing. So they love that, although I put a lot of time into the science, their favorite part is a piece of fabric which of course makes them disappear on our green screen”

But just how does it work?

First you must start with a backdrop of brightly colored fabric or paint, usually a vivid green. But the background can be any color. Typically in television bright green or bright blue are used because these colors are drastically different from human skin tones and aren’t usually found in clothing. Speaking of clothing… you will never catch a meteorologist wearing green because they will disappear.

Often called a green screen, the proper name is Chroma Key. Chroma keying removes a specific color element from a scene and replaces it with a different element. Basically it’s the process of removing one background and replacing it with another.

For the effect to work the green area must be evenly lit, without any shadows. Once the green screen is identified and digitally removed, just about anything can be added to the background.

But here at Storm Team 3 we prefer weather graphics.

Thanks for the question and if you want to come to disappear on the green screen sign up for a studio tour on the WSAV Weather Page.

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