Newsrooms across the globe have been using green screens to do the weather and display infographics for what seems like forever. We’ve gotten so used to it as a society that not many people wonder anymore about how the system works. However, we still find it interesting, which is why this blog post explains how newsrooms edit and remove green screens as well as why they still use them.
How the Process Works
There might have been a little bit more to it back in the day, but due to advancements in technology, the usage of green screens on live TV is easier and more accurate than ever. All the editors must do is apply a Chroma mask to the footage that cuts out the color of the screen behind the presenter. Once they’ve removed that, it’s quite simple to put in any pictures or videos needed. As long as the presenters don’t wear a similar shade of green, the backgrounds will perfectly crop in behind them.
Why Green Screens Are Still Used
Now that you know how newsrooms edit and remove green screens and how easy the process is, you still might be wondering why they use them in the first place. Before green screens, people used actual boards to show weather patterns and static backgrounds for the news. If they could upgrade to green screens, why not make the change to LCD screens?
The Professionalism Factor
Due to the fact that meteorologists and other news reporters have to look at different screens to see what they’re pointing at on the green screen, they can now look at the camera more often. This helps them seem more direct and personable to the viewers. Switching to TV screens would make them look more at the screen behind them in order to point items out, a problem that hasn’t existed since the change to green screens.
On top of that, even though you could still have the occasional visual glitch through the Chroma removal process, these green backdrops are way more reliable than any type of LCD screen. TVs can malfunction, shut down, or even break down entirely during the middle of a broadcast, leading to all kinds of potential issues.
The Price Point
Finally, even though LCDs aren’t too expensive to manufacture these days, a professional green screen will always be much cheaper. In order for a news company to have a screen large enough to compete with a typical green screen, it would cost them thousands of dollars to have one made. Even if they used a smaller one to make the price more comparable, the chance of it breaking down would lead to further expenses. Once you buy a green screen, you’re pretty much set, which is why they are still the go-to choice for newsrooms today.