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What Color is best for a screen?

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Scott Fleener
What Color is best for a screen?
on May 17, 2018 at 7:40:33 pm

I'm wanting to use holograms in my short films and I'm curious which color backdrop is best? Green, blue? Something else? Thank you


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Dave LaRonde
Re: What Color is best for a screen?
on May 17, 2018 at 11:30:19 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on May 17, 2018 at 11:34:04 pm

Green is generally the best chroma-keying color. Of course, the subject can't wear any green.

If you're new to this, some hard-won advice:
  • Make sure your chroma key background is big enough! Don't cheap out on a little one thinking it'll do the trick. You'll soon outgrow it.
  • Make sure you give yourself enough room to shoot it properly. You need a good 6-8 feet between the subject and the background.
  • Make sure you have enough lights! You need to light the subject separately from the background. The background must be lit flat, with no dark or hot spots. If you google "lighting for green screen" or "lighting for chroma key" you'll find good information. Don't trust information from high school kids. Hell, they can barely find their butts in the dark using both hands.
  • For God's sake, don't use a phone camera. Use a video camera.
  • PRACTICE BEFORE YOU SHOOT FOR REAL! When effects guys shoot stuff, they KNOW it will work because they're either highly-experienced or they have run tests to get it right.

I presume you're chroma keying. I'm not sure what that has to do with holography.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Scott Fleener
Re: What Color is best for a screen?
on May 18, 2018 at 12:33:27 am

Awesome! Thank you for all the information! I'm quite new special effects so the extra info is appreciated!

Master the Day, Not Your life


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Steve Bentley
Re: What Color is best for a screen?
on May 18, 2018 at 3:59:26 pm

If its the Princess Leia type hologram you are trying to do, you can just shoot that element on black and then use a Screen or Add blend mode onto your background footage. Holograms are just light so they can just be superimposed over the background element without need for keying or green screen.



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Scott Fleener
Re: What Color is best for a screen?
on May 18, 2018 at 6:27:29 pm

That's good to know! Thank you!

Master the Day, Not Your life


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Dave LaRonde
Re: What Color is best for a screen?
on May 19, 2018 at 1:28:43 am

Using a blend mode MIGHT do the trick for you, but it might not. Let's say you want to add animated scan lines to the holographic image, like in Star Wars. If you pull a key, it's easy to use it as a track matte to limit it to the image.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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