Educators are constantly looking for new and interesting ways to integrate the iPad into the educational experience. One of the activities that the iPad lends itself to is video and still photographs. However, many of the video clubs and classes that I’ve come across have found the iPad to be an extra or ancillary device and are still relying on their expensive digital cameras to do the bulk of their recording. There are many things that they say are road blocks to using their iPads as professional video devices, and I’ve helped them through several of them. And this is just one of them: recording with a green screen!
Usually, they will download iMovie and complain how much it isn’t like iMovie on their Mac. And to that I can’t really offer much assistance. In reality, Apple did not deign iMovie on the iPad to replace iMovie on the desktop. So how do we compensate a bit and set up an iPad as a permanent studio device?
The first thing you need is a green screen. Not everyone has one, but they can be constructed on the cheap – or you can purchase something like this. It is a green screen drop that was designed to go over a pull down projector screen. It works perfectly and is priced under $20!
Once you have that, I suggest a stand for your iPad. I recommend something like this that offers a strong and stable base, while being very flexible in movement.
The next thing you need is the right tool to record. I want to talk about using Green Screen by Do Ink. This app is priced at $2.99 and is very easy to use. Recording in it is easy as pie and can be used in elementary, middle or high school. The app can be set up and then you can allow the students to run the recording, or it can be tweaked while you are working. Green Screen can use up to 3 live video sources that might include iPad cameras, prerecorded videos or photos. It supports 720p and 480p recording, and allows you to edit in a user-friendly timeline interface with as many sources as you need. A big upgrade over iMovie — A great app at a great price! You can, of course, always still record in the standard recorded or iMovie on your iPad and then export it to your Mac to do heavier editing than iMovie on your iPad offers. But Green Screen by Do Ink offers a one-stop shop to intermediate level video production.
One you have these three tools, you are ready to record – oh, and of course you need the talent, too! Here are some tips to recording great video on your iPad.
- Gather your green screen, iPad, proper lighting, on-air talent and set up your green screen app.
- The quality of your green screen matters – this one is a good quality for the price and perfect for any budding school video clubs!
- Lighting matters, as well. Make sure your video area is well-lit and your camera is positioned properly. You want to light so there are no shadows if at all possible! And make sure you look at the shadows being cast by your on-air talent, too!
- No green clothes! Seriously! People often don’t think about it, but if the kids on-screen are wearing green you’ll see right through them! Now… if you are going for that then there you go.
- Always run through a test shot to see how it looks on-screen. Nothing is more frustrating than running through a 10 minute segment only realize the lighting was too dim or there was a big shadow on-screen.
If you’d like to see a more intense review or step-by-step using Green Screen by Do Ink, just ask! It is a wonderful app!