How to get a green screen without spending $80+

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by iMacZealot, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    I needed a green screen, and to begin with, it is a miscellaneous product. I asked the guy at Soundtrack where to get one or if they had one, and he gave me some websites to go to that sell them. Well, the green screens ended up being $80 at the cheapest, and I couldn't spend that much money for a green wall. So, I came up with a killer idea.

    I went into OfficeMax and saw some bright green poster boards for $0.99 each, so I bought a few, tacked them up on my basement wall, and it works great! I had some problems with lighting, but it was my first time keying graphics, so that was expected. I did a newscast in front of it, and placed a LiveType texture behind me using Chroma Keyer, and I must say I am proud of what I did.

    So, in conclusion, when looking for a green screen, just go to OfficeMax and buy some posters!
  2. macrumors 68020

    Aug 9, 2000
    Great budget solution!

    I'm sure it works just fine for many at-home applications.

    Can we see your video?! ;)
  3. macrumors 68030


    Dec 8, 2003
    You could also use green paint or green fabric too. Lighting will be a problem if you reflect off the green screen onto the subject.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2003
    This is why you light the subject and the keying area completel¥ seperate from each other.
  5. macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2003
    NJ USA
    I went the budget route too...stopped at the local fabric store and got a big piece of blue fabric. It was 50% off and I got around an 8x12 piece for under $10.

    I went with blue because I have a free iMovie plugin that wants a blue screen.

    And yes, lighting is the key.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2004
    Cincinnati, OH
    ..... DOH
  7. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Yes, I was pretty much broke after ponying up for the G5.

    I'd like to show the video, although it isn't really anything special. All it is me standing in front of the E.M.P graphics from LiveType delivering the news about my family. Plus, it's a rather large file to put on the web. Sorry, but I might do something this afternoon.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2004
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    What did you end up using for lighting? .... I am still looking for an afforable "flood" light to light the green screen evenly.
  9. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Well, my only professional light i use is this one.

    I also have an ordinary desklamp I found while rummaging through the basement. It's very powerful with a 75 watt bulb in it, and it is a three-pronged plugin. I use it whenever it's dark.
  10. macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    I attempted that with Wal-Mart posterboards. I didn't get the lighting right and it was just a fun experiment anyhow...

    But, in case anyone wants to paint a wall or a canvas, the cheap alternatives to the photo store $60 / gallon chroma key paint is PANTONE 2735 (blue) and 354 (green). Any hardware store should be able to mix it for you based on the PANTONE code.
  11. macrumors 68000


    Oct 1, 2004
    Mountains of Vermont
    We did the same thing for still photography. Works great. I use the daylight bulbs from my reef aquarium to get bright light.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Mar 3, 2005
    i just went to walmart today and picked up this neon green fabric for $3.50 for a 6x10' piece...not a bad deal...they also had a bright blue one that can work for the blue screen as well...i'm on a budget so walmart was perfect...

    super walmarts usually have an entire stack of fabric for $1 a yard...if you're on a budget you should def head to your local walmart
  13. macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004

    family newsletters just got a WHOLE lot more technical.... :rolleyes:

    i'm currently trying to persuade my university to give our student TV station a proper studio, which will be plastered and coated in one consistent colour (you don't just have to use green). i'm suprised our film & media department hasn't already got one, seeing as they're one of the most desirable departments for the subject in europe.... :(
  14. macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005
    My school has a studio, and we use a huge green sheet that they got the system to buy.. we also painted a wall with special chroma key paint for a blue screen job we needed. When I had to do projects at home, my sister's playroom has a green walls... so I just move the furniture out for a few minutes :D
  15. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Well, I'm learning, and it's a great way to experience the "NBC News" feel. :) What my family does is the easiest thing to write about.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    Left Coast

    thanks for the pantone codes.
    i have been kicking around the idea of
    the poster board for a while, but if
    the area is too big, this might be
    a better solution. :) :D
  17. macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2004
    I made my own by going to the local lumber yard and getting some massive sized thin sheets of wood, then painted them green and ended up with a 20' by 10' green screen that is awesome. I use it a lot on the floor in my school's studio (they have a real green screen, but the floor is not covered). If you check out my demo reel (that's not complete) you can see some of the work I did with it.
  18. macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    LOL, I thought you were referring to a green monochrome CRT. $80 for one of those is a serious scam! :rolleyes: :D

    During my undergrad years I noticed that one of the media labs had a wall painted green that worked great as a greenscreen...but yeah, posterboard works too.:)
  19. macrumors 65816


    Nov 5, 2004
    I initally thought he wanted an ultra low-power display.

    When did they stop being blue screens. Now, I understand that they can be green, blue, yellow or chartreuse but I always heard them refered to as a blue screen, like in the making of Star Wars and what not. Was there a global shift at some point away from blue to green? Maybe too many weather men starting adding blue to their wardrobes? Anyone?
  20. macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    IIRC a lot of the behind the scenes shots of the making of The Matrix show green screens being used so mid-late 90's at least
  21. macrumors demi-god


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Green and blue are the only colors used. Red is not used because people have red in their skin tone. IIRC there is an advantage to using green, but I don't remember what exactly it is off the top of my head.

  22. Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    so is anyone going to show us a sample of this?

    I've been tempted to do it as well and if I get the time, I'm going to seriously consider it. I just need to find a space large enough that will work.

  23. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2004
    is there a chroma key option in imovie for the basic editor??
  24. macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I could be wrong but I was under the impression that the human eye is particularly sensitive to green...
  25. thread starter macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2005
    Really, it doesn't matter, but I think I once read that green works better with DV cameras.

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