Learn about the Green Room available to customers at the Civic Centre Resource Library. Learn what lights, cameras, backgrounds, mics, software and other equipment are available to use (for free!) as well as troubleshooting tips and resources for further learning.Read the complete slide transcript
Hello! Welcome to Vaughan Public Library’s online course, Green Room 101: An Introduction to the Create It! Space.
In this course, you will be instructed on the basics. You will find out how the Green Room at the Civic Centre Resource Library works, what photography and film equipment are available for use, what editing software is accessible in the space, and some common trouble-shooting issues. We will also cover how to go about booking the space for personal use as well as what other online resources are available to help broaden the green room experience. So, sit back, relax, and we will begin our tour in three, two, one…action!
First and foremost, what is a Green Room and how does it work? The Green Room is one of the two specialized technology-centric rooms at the Civic Centre Resource Library that can be booked for patron use online through the Vaughan Public Library website, when the spaces are open and available for public use.
Did you know that the Create It! Space’s Green Room is, in fact, a green room? The floor and walls have been painted a bright green colour for filmmaking and photography purposes. Bright LED Go LG-600S Video Lights are anchored to the ceiling to provide a 180-degree light wash on the walls in order to brighten the colour and even out any shadowing effects that commonly occur within the room. Chroma keying, or green screen compositing, allows filmmakers and photographers to record a subject in front of a green backdrop and swap out the green for a different background image via editing software.
When working with an all-green setting, there is a rule of thumb that must be remembered. Your wardrobe selection matters. It is important to note that you should never wear green while working in front of a green screen unless the desired effect is to have the person or object removed during the editing process.
Certain colours do stand out better under the blue light of the LED lamps, such as bold primary, neutral, and jewel tones while others colours such as white or prints, may become washed out or pick up a green tint from the floor. Black mats are provided in the space to eliminate the “bounce back” colour effect of the green flooring.
Located in the Green Room is a computer workstation that can be accessed during a booked session. The Apple Mac Pro IOS system comes with the following available software programs to meet all your creative digital needs. Final Cut Pro X is on board for all your film editing tasks. It is important to note that this program is only accessible through the Green Room workstation. The Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, InDesign, Acrobat and more are also available on the workstation.
The Green Room houses a number of cameras, microphones, and backdrops to cover all of your filming and photography needs.
No matter the skill level, the Green Room has three Sony camcorders that are always ready to go. Dash, the Sony PXW-X70 is a go-to customer favourite as it is small, compact, and easy to use. Big Boy, the Sony PXW-X180 is a tried, tested, and true workhorse in the film department. Heavy in design, this camera has been on the filming frontlines for quite some time and is great for intermediate level filmmakers. Sophia, the Sony HXR-NX3, is our most high-tech camera and is quite the film star. Each camera come with their own individual equipment box and each one records using SD memory storage cards. When working with any of these cameras, always remember that the files require plenty of storage space, so any SD card in use should have a storage capacity of no less than 32 gigabytes.
When it comes to photography or filming a video for social media, no one does it better than the Nikons. Ike, the Nikon D750 camera, is a traditional standard in the digital photography field. It comes with a wide assortment of lenses that will cover all photography needs and there is no picture that this camera cannot take. Mike, the Nikon D5500, is great for capturing those close-up candid shots for your social media channels and it is compatible with the Green Room’s wireless lapel microphone. Both cameras record using SD memory storage cards.
The Green Room has one wireless lapel microphone, a ME2 Lavalier. It can be paired with either the Nikon camera Mike or the Sony camcorder Dash. Battery operated with rechargeable Double A batteries; the Lavalier is a two-piece unit. The first piece, the transmitter, gets plugged into the camera while the second piece clips at the waist of the person being recorded. When using this device, always make sure to snake the mic cable under an article of clothing, such as a sweater or button-down shirt, in order to keep it out of sight. The small lapel microphone clips easily onto a shirt collar in order to record your voice. One thing to remember when using any external microphone is that you must always select the correct audio input, or channel, before hitting the record button. The audio channel can be found easily on any device by going to the menu option, selecting Audio Input and picking either the External Mic option or Channel 1.
Another microphone that is available to use is the Rode NTG-1 Shotgun microphone. This attachment microphone is designed for film, video, and television. It has full frequency response, low noise and audio transparency. This makes it an ideal boom microphone or attachment microphone for the Sony Camcorders. It is easy to use, has an input source into Channel One on each of the Sony cameras, and does well in capturing surround sound audio. In a similar vein, there is a portable Rode on-camera microphone attachment for the Nikon D5500 camera, also known as Mike, that works in a similar style.
The Green Room comes with three extendable LED video lights that are mounted on mobile stands for easy maneuverability. These LED Go LG-600s have a manual setting located at the back of the lamp that allows users to brighten or dim the light intensity as needed. The lamps can be raised or lowered to meet the height specifications of a project. Overhead, the same blue LED lights are mounted to the ceiling and positioned to provide a unified light wash on the walls to limit the effects of shadowing in the background. This will help brighten the green wall and make it easier to edit out the background in an editing software.
The Green Room also contains a portable photo backdrop set-up that can be used in the space. The stand is best utilized with a 5 by 7-foot standard placement. This means that the width must be five feet across and the height of the stand has a maximum reach of seven feet. A selection of backdrops available for use, such as neutral cloth drops, seasonal vinyl backdrops, and seamless backdrop paper. For smaller scale subject matter, a Portable tabletop LED Studio Lightbox is on hand that is designed to capture that perfect image of small items, be it for personal or professional use.
Here are a few tips and tricks that you should know when it comes to saving your files and troubleshooting common issues.
Make sure you always have enough adequate storage space in your digital memory banks for your files. The cameras in the Green Room rely on SD memory cards to function and the lowest amount of memory that will give you optimal usage is 32 GB. SD cards are available to purchase at the front desk. It is highly recommended that anyone using the equipment in the Green Room should use their personal memory cards. The space does have a small selection of SD memory cards on hand if a card is needed, but these public access SD cards cannot leave the space and there is a chance that files may become corrupt.
If using a public access SD card, please make sure to save and back-up all your footage onto a personal hard drive. Uploading files to any online storage service, such as the Cloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, or an email, will take a significant amount of time, as the files can be quite large and will need time to render. The Green Room computer relies on the Public Access Wi-Fi network, so please keep this in mind when trying to submit your digital files online. Please note that any files uploaded onto the Green Room computer are deleted within twenty-four hours.
Here are some common questions asked about the Green Room. Regarding recording audio with the Sony’s or Nikons, always make sure to double-check your inputs. The microphones must be plugged into the appropriate input or channel and the audio option must be engaged in the camera’s digital on-board audio selection. This can easily be accessed through the Main Menu list of any of the cameras by using the Menu button located on each camera.
Always check to see if the SD card has been correctly inserted into the memory card slot. Sometimes, cards can become accidentally locked if the small grey tab on the left side of the SD card has been engaged in the “Lock” position. You can tell if a card is locked if the grey tab is lowered beside the Lock icon on the card.
The LED lamps can be overpowering at their highest setting so make sure to raise or lower the light saturation to an appropriate level to prevent oversaturation and squinting. Before beginning any project, always make sure to test the batteries on whatever piece of technology you are using. These items are in constant use and may not have been recharged before they were stored from a previous session.
In order to access the Green Room, you must first submit an online booking. This is a simple, straightforward process that will only take a moment to do. Please note that online bookings and physical access to the Green Room and other Create It! Spaces is not available to the public at this time, in accordance with the health and safety guidelines of the library.
All bookings for the Green Room and equipment are done online through the Vaughan Public Libraries website at www.vaughanpl.info/shareit. When in doubt, Google Vaughan Public Libraries and give the website a click. Doing this will take you to the library homepage. From there all you have to do is scroll down to the bottom of the website and click on the bright blue tile labeled “Make it! Learn It! Create It!” and this will take you to the official Vaughan Public Libraries maker site “Share It!”.
Select the bookings option at the top of the page and scroll down to fill out the request form that will ask you to select a date, time slot, and other relevant information before submitting your request. A booking confirmation will be sent to you via email within 24 – 48 hours. You will need a valid Vaughan Public Libraries card in good standing in order to book the space. First time users will be asked to sign a Customer Agreement Form that covers all the rules of the Creation Space. This form is to be submitted to library staff at the start of your first session.
Please note that due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Creation Spaces and equipment will be unavailable, and no bookings will be made until further notice. Announcements will be made when the Creation Spaces become available and any new booking requests will be processed in order of receipt.
Did you know that Vaughan Public Libraries provides library card holders access to an assortment of online databases? Some of these databases can grant you access to online courses that can further your Green Room experience and take you to the next level of filmmaking and photography.
Vaughan Public Libraries offers all library card holders the opportunity to expand their tech-savvy knowledge with LinkedIn Learning, which used to be called Lynda.com. This is an online database resource that provides users with video courses and tutorials taught to you by industry experts. The best thing about this database is that with a Vaughan library card, access is completely free. Just note that to log into LinkedIn Learning, users must go through the library’s online database listing and know their four-digit pin code for their library card.
To log in, all you have to do is select the Books and Resources tab from the drop-down menu on the library’s browser, select Articles & Research, and then select the letter “L”. Give that a click and scroll down until you see Available Online, which is highlighted in blue, under the LinkedIn Learning description.
An easy way to remember these steps is “L.R.R.L”: LinkedIn Learning is a Resource that is used to Research subjects for Life-Long Learning.
Here is a list of just some of the courses that can be found on LinkedIn Learning. “An Introduction to Photography” with instructor Ben Long, is a great way to jump into the colourful world of photography for anyone who has ever had an interest in the field.
“Video Lighting and Grip Basics” with Mark Grey shows you everything you need to know about how to work with lighting and set up your space for that perfect shot. “Learning Cinematography: 1 Narrative Fundamentals” with instructor, Bill Dill, gives you an in-depth look at filmmaking and shines a light on behind the camera that you may not have known. “Final Cut Pro X Essential Training” with Nick Haraz is a complete overlook course structured that will teach you the ins and outs of Final Cut Pro as the go-to editing software. Remember, these are just a small handful of courses that are available on the database. Spend some time searching topics of interest to find courses and trainings that are right for you.
Vaughan Public Libraries is always offering new and innovative programming for the Create It! Spaces. Make sure to check the library’s Eventbrite page and the Online What’s On Program Guide on the library website to find out what is going on and to sign up for any events you may be interested in, as space is often limited.
Thank you for taking the time to be a part of this learning experience. We hope to see you soon!