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Green Screen Help

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Tyler Groom
Green Screen Help
on Jan 9, 2008 at 9:59:32 pm

Okay, well we have a studio and we just bought a 12' by 24' green screen with stands. Now the problem is there is lots of wrinkles in it. First what is the best way to get those wrinkles out? Secondly, we want to be able to shoot the screen and the floor so what would be the best way to mount it? I was thinking of tacking it to the wall, but i need some opinions thanks



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Matte Blume
Re: Green Screen Help
on Jan 9, 2008 at 10:39:20 pm

Leave it hung up to get rid of some of the wrinkles.

You can help relax some of the more stubborn wrinkles with a large garment STEAMER.

Click link below to see examples-
http://stores.ebay.com/AllBrands_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZ12QQftidZ2QQgclidZC...

They can be rented.

We lashed ours to a light pipe, securely hung from the ceiling.

Rolled out the section on the floor when needed.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Green Screen Help
on Jan 10, 2008 at 6:19:20 pm

You didn't say what kind of cloth it was, might make a difference between a spandex and a muslin. Steam will help, as will putting it under tension with a weight like a piece of metal pipe. Some wrinkling will happen if you can't keep humidity stable as well.

For getting it onto the floor and having a seamless sweep,assuming the fabric is long enough you can just hang it lower so gravity will make it curve naturally, then tack the farthest-forward end to the floor with gaffer tape or sandbags. The problem you get there is, shoes will get it dirty and tend to tear it up.

Alternatives on the floor part include painting the floor or painting cheap 10-cent foot-square linoelum tiles that you can throw down unglued and take up again when done. The individual tiles are sturdy and easy to clean or touch-up or replace. You can paint the back sides white or black for another 3 floor alternatives.

When I had to do this earlier in the past year, I used a large roll of white photog's background paper (about $50 and good for 2 or 3 useable sections) and painted that with a matched shade of green flat custom-mixed from Ace Hardware. Taped that to the studio's concrete floor and it allowed people to walk on it and stand on it with few consequences. Where the paper met the green muslin hanging part, I used the existing curling tendency of the paper to make a little hummock or bump or cove that hid the joint from the camera's POV. Once everything is lit flat and even, it all blends remarkably well. I'd planned to just throw the floor paper away after the single shoot day, but it stood up well enough that I instead rolled it up for storage and have re-used it twice more for these gigs. Scraps of it are handy to keep around to shoot props and things with.

I feel about 4 uses like this is the lifetime for a sheet of the paper, if all people do is stand on it. So one fifyt-dollar roll of the photog's paper is good for maybe 12 shoots. If the women wear spike heels, good luck.

The more the actors walk or move, the more they'll tear it up or dirty it. It helps to have a good thick doormat or carpet sample nearby for people to use first, also, you can throw black gaffer tape on the bottoms of shoes that are too "grippy" to avoid making lots of tears in the paper. I repair minor tears by just backing the tear with gaffer tape and pressing it back together. Or take a scrap from off- camera or a spare section and lay it over the hole, done.

Please don't forget that in many cases, you don't need as much green screen as you think. If there's enough to make a clean inch around the talent, you've got enough, thanks to garbage mattes and masking. But if you really, really NEED a LOT of green, RoseBrand in New York sells a super-wide, flame-proofed cloth that's a very good value for this, say, for shooting entire cars on a set. You can get key cloth sample cards thru the mail by going to their web site and browsing.


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Mark Baird
Re: Green Screen Help
on Jan 10, 2008 at 8:48:34 pm

I'm know this is obvious, but it's worth saying that the more the light hits the screen directly on as opposed to raking the screen from the sides, the more any stubborn wrinkles will disappear, especially in NTSC.


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Tyler Groom
Re: Green Screen Help
on Jan 11, 2008 at 6:01:27 pm

Well it is a muslin fabric and right now we have it on stands. Would it be better to mount it to the wall? How would I attach like a metal pipe to the bottom to give it some downward pull? Thanks for all the help guys.



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Mark Suszko
Re: Green Screen Help
on Jan 11, 2008 at 6:56:24 pm

Hopefully, if it is hanging from stands, you are using a stiff, ridgid pipe or other crossbar at the top and the cloth is fastened to that with clamps or staples or maybe it is glued and screwed between two thick boards in a sandwich. Be sure that it is supported in the middle as well as the ends or the center will sag.


If you have enough that it runs on to the floor for a foot or two, you can take a length of pipe or conduit or heavy chain or smooth edged 2x4 board and lay that right at the intersection where it first hits the floor. Then pull on the very forward end of the cloth to put it under some tension and tape or weight that down evenly on the studio floor. The pipe will want to roll away from the little curve in the cloth at the wall/floor joint. roll it back "uphill" a bit and tape or block it into that position (don't tape it to the cloth) so it maintains a tension there. Let it sit over the weekend with a humidifier nearby on "low" and by Monday it should be pretty well straightened-out. Remove the pipe.

Something you can do for later is use fabric glue to add loops or a long cloth tube to the back of the green muslin all the way across and just a few centimeters above the floor level. When the glue dries, you can slip the pipe or a length of heavy chain into the sleeve behind the camera side any time you need to stretch that baby out. Adjust height so the pipe is just a hair off the floor.

Muslin's nature is to be wrinkled. Most times, photgs work with that, accentuating it with edge lighting, but not for greenscreen, obviously. You'll want to light it from the front as mucha s you can.


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