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Rob Ine

Green Screen setup

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Do you think the following will be enough to light subject and green screen for a good key? Will be shooting slightly wider than MS with a 24' by 24' background.


Key - 2K open face with chimera

Fill - 1K open face with chimera


2 x 800w redhead Chimera for greensreen





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I have done several green screen tests for an upcoming project, and I found the best setup for green screen depends on the size of the green screen. 24' wide is pretty wide, and I don't really think 2 fixtures will be enough to evenly fill the green background, unless you intend to keep all shots really close and are willing to move around the lights as needed (if this is the case, why need such a large green screen?).

The best lighting setups for a green screen like this would likely include a custom overhead system of soft lights illuminating your green screen, and then a few lights, including a key and fill, but also a hair light. It's very important in green screen to separate the background from the actors, to prevent the dreaded green spill - and I found that a nice strong back-light can often accomplish this.

I made my own overhead greenscreen lighting system for my 30' x 20' x 10' setup by using 4-way bulb splitter's connected to a single open face clamp light, and a diy curved softbox for diffusion. I'd be happy to share materials and instructions with you if needed. I currently use 8 of these to illuminate the green screen, and I found it provides the perfect illumination. Total cost was around $100 for all 8 lights.

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That is enough units to light a green screen evenly for a static medium shot, but not enough to light a 24x24' green screen. In other words, you do not need 24' of backdrop for a medium shot, unless of course the camera or person is moving. 12x12' would typically be more than enough, have done it on 8x8' as well in a pinch. I guess you are not planning on having a scratch or hair light? Kino Flos would be much more efficent.

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if your subject is static they will do a junk matt around your subject.. you dont need to light the whole screen evenly from corner to corner.. just whats directly behind your actor .. you can shoot off the screen, have stands,boom etc in shot as long as they dont interfere with the subject.. no need for cheesy hair lights.. just make sure your subject is far enough away from the green screen.. this is probably the main thing to worry about.. shadows on the screen and green reflection ..


As above Kino,s would be a much better idea..

Edited by Robin R Probyn

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Thanks for the feedback guys.

I probably will have a small fresnel as a backlight but may not use it. I will be able to get a fair bit of distance between subject and screen so shouldn't have too much spill.

My worry was the 2 800W's wouldn't be enough - the reason for the wide screen is because the subject will be moving their arms either side.

I could move them closer to the screen so it would appear wider but wanted to keep a decent distance.

It's a pretty small budget so not sure Kino's could be used.

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