Inexpensive backdrop…

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    • #36681

      I am an author and speaker. My book, The IT Career Builder’s Toolkit (Cisco Press) covers career advice for the technology professional. Additionally, I blog for IT Toolbox and am looking to add a podcast. However, I would like to add the occassional video – sometimes standing, sometimes in a news style format.

      What can/should I use as an inexpensive generic backdrop? I am planning on filming these in my house and while I am not going to be creating too highly produced pieces, I would like a satisfactory level of professionalism.

      Any ideas or suggestions?


    • #163034


      Some cloth material from a sewing/fabric store will do. There are so many varieties of material available. Here is a series of local spots I did for a client using a simple grey cloth background. These spots are not cropped for TV so you may see extra stuff at the edges. Just ignore it.

    • #163035

      compusolver Wrote:

      Walter’s a pro and probably has $50,000 beta cams, but for those of us using prosumer gear, I can tell you that a good green (and I DO mean “Green”) screen will give you your best key.

      VM just had a recent article that explained why prosumer gear does its best keying with green.

      Am I not reading this correctly? Where does he say he needs a greenscreen? I read it as him saying he needs a backdrop. He has no budget and has admitted he might not be at a great level in terms of production knowledge so a green screen would only make his output suffer if he had no idea what to do with it. a greenscreen would get him into more trouble than good. And what does me owning $100k cameras have to do with anythign? At any level of production a simple draped cloth backdrop as demonstrated in the video I linked to above costs $90 and gives great professional looks and can be used over and over. Want something cheaper? Buy brown paper in sheets (like what shopping bags are made of) and crumple it up then hang it behind your talent, or buy a half roll of seamless paper and crumple it, or not. It will do what you want. Great look! Trust me, I am a professional πŸ˜€

      PS For those that want to see my article on down and dirty greenscreen:

    • #163036


      These posts crack me up.

      You’re both right for different purposes, cbtoolkit already said he liked the Keying idea in one of his later posts; however, Walter’s right too.
      A friend of mine, Dave Anderson, once used a Deep-grey sheet (bought at Walmart) with bleach brushed on for texture (cost $5). It’s just a matter of “preference for situation”.

    • #163037

      ” Paper bags will make a cheap backdrop, but with only a tad more invested, a green screen would allow an unlimited number of really cool backdrops and everyone who does video would rather do cool than drab.”

      And for someone who doesn’t know how to light a green the suggestion would make their effort not worth it. If they are using a less that steller camera, it will make their effort even worse. I was referring to the craft paper or seamless, not paper bags. A $40 roll of seamless travels easy, and looks very professional.

      “Well, if we ARE talking chroma screens, it has quite a bit to do with it. For a variety of reasons, the pro-cameras do better chromas and can key pretty darn well on nearly any color. Not so with the $3500 and under jobs.”

      Hence why you would not want to tell someone who does not know how to do a greenscreen to use it.

      “Green is the way to go and absolute perfection is unobtainable, though reasonably good results can be expected and they are definitely good enough for pod-casts and web-video.”

      And once again as long as the person knows how to do it.

    • #163038

      Walter’s web site as some great Professional (Yes, and Pro”looking”) spots on it that feature just such simple backdrops as he has outlined here. Unless cbtoolkit has a great handle on the concepts used in lighting green screen (there are articles on this in the Magazine), he IS better off doing the simpler backdrop.

      Come on, not everything has to done in Post.

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