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Cheap Green Screen

Dustin

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I recently decided to experiment with green screen. After a quick internet search, I determined that most options were out of my price range. So after a bit more research, I came across a method that was just cheap enough to try.

I wish I could remember the site I found it on, but I was too excited to make notes.

I went to Walmart and bought some green poster board from the crafts section. Since I planned on keeping shots limited to my upper body, I only bought four of them. Then I got some green duct tape (duck brand if you're curious) from the hardware department. The whole trip cost me just under $12.

The next step was to take it home, assemble it and hang it on a wall.

You'll notice that the tape is a different shade of green than the board, and the whole thing looks a bit sloppy. This is alright.
DSC03857.JPG DSC03861.JPG

The different shades will all key out if the lighting is good and you're using a program with good chroma key effects. I've tried it on After Effects on my own computer and Power Director on a friend's. There really is a huge difference and After Effects wins by a long shot. I don't know how other programs work with this setup as I've only tried the two.

For me, this was extremely successful and I hope it helps someone else who may be low on funds but still wants to experiment.
 

Gourmet Gamer

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Good idea. I actually just use a sheet with PVC pipe and light stands.
 
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Isaki Tahashi

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You could also just duck tape the back of the boards together and not the front.
 

KatyAdelson

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Using the poster boards is a great idea! =D I bought sample indoor paints from a hardware store and painted a big box - it as worked really well (Behr Paints, "Green Grass" #450B-7 from Home Depot). The sample paints were super cheap at something like $2.50 each (I think?), and I only needed two. Make sure to get no gloss! : S I also found green sheets at a discount store that work okay-ish, but not as well as the paints... I still cannot key around fine details very well (my violin bow disappears.. =( ), but I think it might be because I have lighting issues.. I use Final Cut Pro X, which has a great keyer. It can select a range of colors and different shades, and they do not necessarily need to be blue or green. I've been wondering what it's like to key in After Effects..
 

Macca

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I was considering trying this before I saw the post. May be worth a shot and see how it goes. Thanks alot for showing us
 

Dustin

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You could also just duck tape the back of the boards together and not the front.
I've actually tried both. There's no real difference.[DOUBLEPOST=1429723067,1429722556][/DOUBLEPOST]
I've been wondering what it's like to key in After Effects..
After Effects was a little daunting at first, but once I got the hang of it, it's really good for keying. You can use the eye dropper to pick the color you want to key out, and you can adjust various balances, and there is a spill suppressor to clean up any left overs. I imagine it would look better if I had better equipment.

Maybe one day.
 

echoraven

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I still cannot key around fine details very well (my violin bow disappears.. =( ), but I think it might be because I have lighting issues.
.
There are 3 things you can check:

1. your distance from your green screen. I've done a crap ton of research and most sites advise about 8 feet from the screen. I have this problem with some puppets I'm green screening (one has alot of hair) and (hopefully) this weekend will try longer distance. (the puppet video from my channel will show my problems with hair).
2. Format your camera is recording in. The default will probably be MP4 which is ok for uploading but probably not the best for editing and compositioning. See if your camera supports a higher definition format. Use the same rule as audio recording: record in the highest quality/resolution possible and THEN downsample at the end.
3. Camera and it's color compression. A cheaper camera will go from 4:2:0, a better one will go 4:2:2 and the best 4:4:4 will give you the best results for green screen.
 
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KatyAdelson

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Thanks! I do try to stand far away, but I live in a tiny 200 sq ft apartment and try to give the screen as much room as I can! =S I'll play around with some of the other settings!

I have the hair problems, too!! I cannot have my hair curly, otherwise I get....em..... "bouncing keyed holes.." as I move about. (Bouncing keyed holes!?..That probably doesn't make sense..) Random "holes" form in my hair as the green tries to key out, especially if it's curly hair. I also have the same problem if I wear a lace cardigan. Anything that has potential "see-through-ness" seems to have issues keying. It makes sense in hindsight, but at the time I just thought I didn't have to wear green.. : P I think it might be why all lady news anchors seem to have the same short-bob-straight-hair cut!
 
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echoraven

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I have the hair problems, too!! I cannot have my hair curly, otherwise I get....em..... "bouncing keyed holes.."
...bouncing key holes; NICE! :D
If your editing in Adobe Premier, you can "choke" the chroma mask to smooth out the irregularities in your hair.
 
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KatyAdelson

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...bouncing key holes; NICE! :D
If your editing in Adobe Premier, you can "choke" the chroma mask to smooth out the irregularities in your hair.
OhhH! I'm using Final Cut X, but I think I saw a mask of some sort that I can probably use! Thanks! I'll give green screens a whirl again sometime soon! : D