Using a green screen

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by Robert Kennedy, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

    Sep 7, 2002
    Just north o
    Medium Format
    O.k., now this is not a 100% analog project I am being MADE to do here, but at least I am shooting on film...

    I need to print some images out on acetate. Ideally I would actually look at printing on glass and then hand-coloring, but time, money, and other things force me to go digital for output.

    Anywho, I got a "green screen" chroma-key backdrop and did some test shots. The problem is, with the one strobe I have, I get some obvious gradation and some light shadowing on the screen. Not TOO bad, but I would like to do better.

    Any hints on how to light such a beast? Ideally I want the image to "float" on a field of green.
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Large Format
    If it were me I would tend to think in terms of creating a larger light source from your single strobe. I have done this in the past by making a "bank" out of white rip stop nylon. I have used this both by shooting the strobe through a single layer of rip stop and also by reflecting the strobe off a double layer of rip stop. The distance that the strobe is positioned from the panel is important since that determines the size of your newly created light source. My bank was on the order of 3 by 6 feet as I recall. A frame can be contructed from 3/4 or 1 inch PVC pipe, elbows, and tees. The rip stop can be afixed to this frame with spring clamps or even duct tape if you are so inclined.

    To have your object "float" on the green surface...if the material is flexible, create a transition much as a transition table does it by not having any sharp corners at any point but rather curves from the horizontal to vertical transition.
  3. jantman

    jantman Member

    Jan 15, 2004
    New Jersey
    8x10 Format
    First of all, a "green screen" (chroma key), as far as I know, is reall a film/video device. The few times I've known a photographer to to such a thing, they usually use a pure white background, draped to act as a cyc.

    As ot lighting it, it's a fairly simple job. You can do it many ways. One giant lightsource. Two sources. A background light. etc.