So, I have to shoot an object that is going to be melted using hairdryers and heaters in the studio. My question is if it is better and more efficient to use just a white background and mask out the remaining objects (hairdryers, people that come and go out of the shot etc) or should I use green screen instead?
I'm hesitant to use green screen as I'm not sure if it would look authentic or natural, where as shooting on the white background will most probably make it more difficult to get rid of the unwanted objects in post-production.
The solution to either method is: nothing intrudes over/in-front-of the object itself. If you know how to shoot green screen, and the object is not reflective, then green screen is probably the easiest method.
Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area http://www.RickWiseDP.com
Well, it could depend on how good the lighting and the keying software are. If there is visible heat wave distortion in the air around the object being melted, or smoke and debris being given off, that might mess with the key and complicate things. Assuming you shoot a "plate" shot of just the white background first, your masking job becomes easier in post. Green screening it gives you more and easier options if you intend to composite the melt shot into something else later, but if that's not the plan for your footage, it may just be more unnecessary work.
I suppose you've already considered the ventilation and fire prevention aspects if doing this indoors.