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Matthias Claflin

Adjusting my chroma key set up

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Backstory: I work with a company doing corporate video work in my area. We recently moved into a new office where we were able to dedicate a 12x12 wall for green screen. We just finished painting it with Rosco DigiComp Green. I lit it for the first time yesterday and though I think the wall looks great, I'm not thrilled with the way it's lit. This is what it looks like: 

Lighting Diagram:


Canon C100: ISO: 640, PP: WideDR, WB: 2900k, Lens: 35mm Rokinon T8.0


My Concern: I think the green screen itself is too bright. I find it easier to key (personally) if the screen is a little darker than the subject, 


I was going to just bring the lights closer to the subject, but I had a few people say they didn't like how bright it was already to look at. My next thought is that I could back the Lowel Omni lights off a bit, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to control them enough to keep them off the subject and I don't have a lot of space left.

So I think I've settled on buying some 24x24 diffusion gels (so I can use them on any light later on, as opposed to buying some specific for the Omnis). I'm just not sure which ones to get. I'm not really familiar with using diffusion gels, so I'm not sure how much light I will lose or how much it will change the quality of light. Right now the Omnis are just bare bulbs.

The only alternative that I've considered is buying lower wattage bulbs for the omni or perhaps investing in scrims for them. I'm just not sure what would be the best way to reduce the light, but also be versatile in other applications (scrims vs lower wattage bulbs vs diffusion gels).


Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated. I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to lighting so I appreciate any advice at all.

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when I shoot chroma key I always try to keep the subject as far from the green background as possible and light the green separately from the subject.

In your example frame, the subject is lit very evenly.  You might want to try to lower the fill light and / or brighten the key and back lights to get some more 3 dimensionality to your subject, if it fits your background image that will replace the green.

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Thanks Bruce,

Thanks for the tip. I think i'll turn off one of the 1k fresnel lights so the soft zip acts more like a key. 

I have the green screen lit with two 500w lowel omni lights at the moment. I think I want to pull the output down on those lights a bit. Do you think that a diffusion gel would get the desired effect, or maybe just stick to buying some scrims? I'm just not sure what would be best (without buying new lights) to knock down the exposure of the screen. Just a bit.

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