Having problems with green screen lighting approach

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    • #37410

      I bought a big green screen from Image West thinking that I could shoot some sports training videos in my garage. For these shots I am typically dressed in tennis wear (tennis shorts, polo shirt, tennis shoes). Unfortunately I am discovering that the lighting issue is really a problem. I need to get full length body shots to properly demonstrate techniques, which means that I need to be standing on the green screen. However, the light bouncing off the green screen on the floor puts a green cast on me, particularly on my legs. This green cast is impossible to chroma key out. I am wondering if a better lighting scheme will solve this problem, or if standing on the screen introduces this problem to a degree that the problem really can’t be easily solved. I am hesitant to spend several hundred dollars on additional lighting only to discover that this is a problem that really can’t be solved. If this can be simply solved with better lighting, then tell me how many lights I might need to uniformly light the screen and to light me without getting the green spill. Where should the lights be positioned to achieve uniform lighting? Is it practical to use 4-foot fluorescent fixtures or are spot-lights required? Any help would be appreciated.

    • #165854

      I would use 2 large soft lights to shine just on the green screen. put one on the left and one on the right.

      Then you should be standing no less than 6 feet away from the green screen. If you need a full body shot, then the floor needs to be green and evenly light as well.

      Then implement 3-point lighting for yourself. A rim light should help separate you from the background.

    • #165855

      like rob said, it sounds to me like your issue is mostly with spacing.. You need to stand a decent distance from the green screen (4-6 feet at a minimum) and make sure the floor has a screen on it.. That is probably the reason you are getting a green cast on you…

    • #165856

      Soft lighting on the background is KEY. It has to be an even wash on the entire green screen… top to bottom. Be sure to use soft lighting on the subject as well. It’s important not to create any shadows. It appears you have experienced the same thing I went through when i first got my greenscreen. I got better results when I was between 6 – 10 ft away from my background. The problem usually comes in when you dont have enough lights and the right kind of lights to get a nice soft wash of the whole image. The other thing is… make sure you use hair light on both sides to separate from the background. Sometimes I’ll either gel or use a different color temp light from my forground so that the light on my subject is warmer. You may also want to consider the software you are using to kep out your background. Some programs are way better than others. I use Ultra 2 which is now owned by Adobe. It has an amazing KEY.

      here is a link with an example of what you can do with Ultra 2.


      check out my website for more tips and green screen video


    • #165857

      As people are saying, you really need to have an even green – no shadows. I too use Ultra, but even that has limits. The real snag is that to get a good key angle on the subject, it generates a shadow – what you need for realistic modelling when you’re supposed to be outside. However, this shadow has to land somewhere – moving away from the screen allows it to not land on the screen, but you then need more depth in front of the subject, and I suspect you will run out of depth in the garage unless it’s very, very deep. White clothing means colour casts, unless you can add more front light, which adds more shadows and you get into a nasty circle. Experimenting with the key angle so that you remove as much shadow as you can is a good starting point. Can you shoot with the garage door open, putting the camera outside to gain extra depth?

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