There are lots of great learning opportunities when you use green screen effects in the classroom. I’ve written about some of those before, but almost all of them involved green screen movies. What about green screen photography? Is that possible on an iPad? It is, because there’s an app for that.
Recently I was reminded of the ability to do green screen photography when I read a blog post by Dr. Wesley Fryer. He did a green screen photo booth at the Fall Festival of the school he works at in Oklahoma. Great idea. So how do you do it? It all starts with the Green Screen app by DoInk. The rest is easy! Here’s how it works.
1. Start by collecting the background images you want to use in place of the green screen. You can get lots of free, high-quality images on sites like Unsplash, Pixabay, Morguefile or Pexels. Once you find the images you need, save them to your camera roll by pressing and holding on the photo and selecting Save Image.
2. Set up your green screen, and make sure it is evenly lit with no dark or light areas. You don’t have to mount your iPad on a tripod for green screen photography, but if you have that ability, you absolutely should because you will get a sharper image more often.
3. Next, open the Green Screen app and toggle the Video switch to Image. This changes the operation of the app from green screen video to green screen photography, (see below).
4. At the bottom of the screen you will see the timeline. It is split into three layers. Add the image that you want as your background to the bottom layer on the timeline by tapping the plus sign and then selecting Image. On the middle layer of the timeline, tap the plus sign and choose Camera. If the camera image is facing the wrong way (i.e. pointing at you), tap the camera switcher button to flip between the front and rear camera on your iPad.
5. Position your subject in front of the green screen and make sure that the Chrome Filter switch is on (set to green) so that you can see a live image of your subject in front of the image that you added in the last step.
6. When everything looks good, tap the capture button. A preview of your image will appear on your screen. Tapping OK, saves the image to your camera roll.
Green screen photography could easily be integrated into a variety of curricular areas with students, and the finished images can be imported into other apps to add text, borders, frames and more. Some possible uses for green screen photography at school include, but are not limited to:
- Creating book covers or feature images for book reviews.
- Souvenir postcards from a virtual field trip
- Historical backgrounds for student biography days
- Whole class (or individual) photos of students in Halloween costumes
- Creative backgrounds for things created in Art or other subjects
- Staged scenes for a digital story
- Visual representations of vocabulary words
So, what does it look like when you are done? Take a look at a finished image below featuring Gail Grim, a K-8 School Librarian (and willing volunteer!) from one of my recent green screen presentations.