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Re: My First Green Screen -- Help?

COW Forums : Lighting Design Pros

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Rick AmundsonRe: My First Green Screen -- Help?
by on Dec 12, 2007 at 4:41:25 pm

Andy,

This is totally doable in your living room. Here is my thought. I, too, am not a big fan of the tota light. The secret to getting a good key is to make sure the chroma key screen is lit evenly. The best way I have found to achieve this in a small space is by using 2 lights on the background, one from either side, with diffusion on them to help spread and soften the light. Try something like Opal or 250. This is where the barn doors come in handy. I have used both open face or fresnel lights. Either works but you don't want more than 650w per light in this scenario.

Next, find the 70 IRE level on the background by using the zebras in your view finder and stop down to the point where they just disappear. As you open and close the iris, the zebras should appear in a uniform manner across the green, if they don't, the green is lit unevenly.

Once you have an even background, set the exposure just below the 70% zebras and light the foreground element to this level. Be sure to flag the foreground lights off the chroma key screen. This is why the Divas (or something similar) is so great for the foreground lights, they are soft, flattering, cool and drop off in a hurry so there is less flagging required.

One last piece of advice. If you go with an open face light for the background (i.e. nook light, tota, etc.) be sure to get a protective screen for the front as these have a tendency to explode and will melt you carpet.


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