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Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation

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Kevin Sio
Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 15, 2006 at 8:39:53 pm

Hello All

I will be shooting a green or blue screen shot soon. I used to have full ultimatte green cyc but those days are gone. Has anybody used one of the fold up backgrounds (like a flex-fill but green or blue) for this. There seems to be a fairly large difference in prices between similar systems and I was hoping for some forum feedback!

Thanks

Kevin

Kevin Sio
Videographer/Editor
Corporate Communications
National Grid


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B.J. Ahlen
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 16, 2006 at 6:30:51 am

You don't mention what size you need, but Photoflex has a very nice collapsible 5'x7' Flexdrop2 screen that's blue on one side and green on the other.

Excellent non-reflective material that keys really well.

Make sure you're absolutely sober the first time you fold it, otherwise it may take you a while to figure it out. :O)


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Kevin Sio
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 16, 2006 at 6:18:59 pm

I purchased a Lastolite blue/green 6 x 7 collapsible from B & H. They had cheaper manufacturers but I was not familiar with them and I have personal experience with Lastolite products.

K

Kevin Sio
Videographer/Editor
Corporate Communications
National Grid


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Bob Cole
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 17, 2006 at 12:42:14 pm

[Kevin Sio] "I purchased a Lastolite blue/green 6 x 7 collapsible from B & H."

I'm interested in a portable screen too. I've always shied away from the small screens because they need to be placed so close to the subject, and therefore will be harder to light separately from the subject, more prone to shadows from the subject's key, and impossible to throw out of focus for surface imperfections.

Could you please let us know how this one works, both for surface texture and size?

Thanks!

-- Bob C


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Mitch Gross
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 17, 2006 at 4:28:48 pm

I have an 8x16 collapsable greenscreen made by Botero that I bought from B&H last year. The flexfill-style frame is actually 8x8, and the extra material extends from it. That's fine if you want to have that extension on the floor as a small cyc setup, and the screen will clip to a single stand for support. I needed the 16' width so I ended up getting a seamless rig - two stands with an expanding pole across them - and spring-clipped the screen in place. The seamless rigs are actually only about 12' long, so I had to get an extension kit which included a couple of horizontal sticks and another stand to support the center. It all worked just fine but in retrospect I think it would have been easier to buy regular greenscreen fabric and hang it without the frame.

One note about the Botero. The fabric wrinkles a lot; but I never found this to be a problem as long as I lit properly from the front. Pulled nice keys. The fabric is also quite thin so it is semi-translucent if there is a light behind it. I had to set it up in a space with a mirrored wall and I could see the hotspots of my lights reflected off the mirror, right through the greenscreen (twice!). And a greenscreen in a frame cannot be put into the wash if it gets dirty.

Mitch


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Bob Cole
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 18, 2006 at 6:41:26 pm

For me the big problem with taking a green screen on location is all the extra stuff: stands, clips, lights, lightstands. And using cloth brings up the whole issue of wrinkles, and requires stretching the cloth with clips to get rid of at least the biggest folds. I understand that some of the flexfill style screens have a textured surface which doesn't show wrinkles, so I'd really like to know whether the 6x8 size is workable.



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Mitch Gross
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 20, 2006 at 8:51:27 pm

Taking the kits on location is really not that bad. You can buy a kit of a couple of lightweight stands with collapsing crossbar rod that stuffs into a dedicated bag for under $200. I added a third stand, some extra crossbar extensions and a bunch of medium spring clamps and a bigger bag to stuff tham all into and it was about the size of my tripod soft bag. I have never had a problem with the wrinkles, just use a few clamps on the sides as well as the top to stretch the fabric a bit. My big 16x8 screen rig took maybe 10 minutes to setup each time. I usually set the camera about 18' back from the screen with the talent 9' out (halfway in between). Two lights, about 5' to either side of the talent pointed straight at the screen to illuminate it. A couple of lights in front for the talent and one little one rigged overhead for hair/shoulders and I was all set. Easy stuff and I was on the road with it for two months, so it had to travel well and be small. I used as much Lowell lighting as possible for size & weight. Again, it was cheap & light & we had no problems.

If I were to do it again I might invest in a Reflectamedia kit. That would be really simple & light and they work great. Because of the unique technology the screen can be right up behind the talent with no worries about spill so a much smaller screen can be used. But it is still an expensive system.

Mitch


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Kevin Sio
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 21, 2006 at 12:58:31 pm

Thanks to all for the recommendations and ideas. I expect this will arrive anyday. I have a shoot scheduled with our company president on the 29th so I will be able to give some initial impressions. I have plenty of stands, clamps and lights so that will not be an issue.

Kevin Sio
Videographer/Editor
Corporate Communications
National Grid


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Kevin Sio
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 22, 2006 at 9:14:58 pm

The Lastolite 6x7 green/blue reversible arrived and I have done some tests. From a shooting point of view it should be fine. I had my subject about 6ft from the screen, tho a couple of more feet would be optimal. As long as there aren't any big hand and arm jestures the size of the background is fine. I have it mounted vertically at the moment. Couple a things about the screen itself...construction seesm to be very good, the metal band that surrounds the fabric is beefy and there are fabric tie straps on the long sides and hand loops on the short sides. As with all of these "foldable" systems...there is a learning curve. I have yet to be able to fold it by myself.

As far as the actual keying, I did tests with my Avid Express Pro system. The Avid "Chroma Keyers" was OK, not great. Avid FX was noticeably better. Then I switched to After Effects 6.5 and used the "Keylight" plug in. This gave great results.

That's it from snowy upstate NY.




Kevin Sio
Videographer/Editor
Corporate Communications
National Grid


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Mitch Gross
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 23, 2006 at 5:57:40 am

There are a lot better keyers then what you're using. You'd be amazed what a good program can do for you.

Mitch


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Redflag
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 23, 2006 at 8:58:08 am

Hi there

I have the same screen but only in Blue,I recently had to buy another,this time a 6x6 collapsable frame one,blue on one side green on the other.Worked fine for just head and shoulder interviews.
But the reason was I was told by the client that the screen had to be green,I guess becaues that is what they are used to,also I had heard from other people that green was better as more of the interviewee,s had had their media traning and were wearing blue shirts etc.

Any comments? any other reasons that green would be better than blue?

Thanks



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Kevin Sio
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 23, 2006 at 12:59:29 pm

Redflag:

Green can be better than blue from a practical point of view because saturated green is not a typical clothing color, while blue is. There maybe other negatives and positives based on keying systems in individual facilities. One thing I have heard is that very large green screens can be unsettling to work around for long periods. Leading to nausea in some people.

Mitch:

Well you are certainly right about the chroma keyer in Avid. However "Keylight" is a full featured package that is equal to anything on the market. So if you have a recent version of After Effects, you have a great keyer built in!

Cheers

K

Kevin Sio
Videographer/Editor
Corporate Communications
National Grid


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Redflag
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 24, 2006 at 12:00:07 am

Thanks for your reply.This new one is Lastolite skylite frame 6.6 X 6.6,Good design with metal frame with elastic rope inside so just clips together in a minute,then fabric is Velcro -ed on,so no wrinkles.Plus as its 6.6 in height also,if the interviewee is sitting,and not a basketball player,no need to raise the frame off the ground either,so just need one stand.Bit small but fine for the usual loose head and shoulders shot,ideal for quick set up on the road shooting.

Thanks



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Mitch Gross
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 24, 2006 at 4:39:02 am

In video, green is usually better because there is more information in the green channel. Blue is better for blonde hair. And yes, in corporate work you'll run into far more blue shirts & suits than green.

Mitch


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Redflag
Re: Collapsible/Portable Green-Blue Screen Recomendation
on Mar 24, 2006 at 11:22:30 am

Thanks for the info.I should have really got a blue one side/green the other in the first place,but back then it was mostly all blue screen.Green seems to be the favourite now.

Thanks



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