Green Screens ?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by JayClark79, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    Where do you get the images that you put in the background of shots when a green screen is used???
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Could be anything. Using your own shots would be cheap & easy...or you could by from stock sites etc.

    For most still photography applications, you really don't need a green (or blue etc) screen. You just have to make sure that your subject doesn't blend into whatever background you do have. This can almost always be done with careful lighting.

    The colored 'ChromaKey' backgrounds can actually make things harder because they might bounce some of their color back onto your subjects.
     
  3. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    hey mike thanks for the responce... im looking at buying a home background kit... i was going to get just the black back ground and a white back ground and was wondering how difficult it was to change the image on the green screen without making the people in the portrait look like they were cut out and placed there..

    but while your here lol..what size background do you recommend for a home studio... is the 10x20 going to be way to big and hardly used...or is a 10x5 more practical... im in the basement as well and space is not really an issue.... what size is your home background?
     
  4. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    I was going to start a thread today based on Green Screens / Chromakey. I have a green screen background and have been experimenting with it a little.

    Are there any tips out there as to lighting the background not to get any bleeding into the hair on subjects or the halo around the subject?

    What type of lighting on the background have you guys been using? Brighter light or more subtle light? Special process like using 2/3 lights just for the background or ?????

    I see alot of potential for using green screens because of the options with Photoshop and the various backgrounds without having to go out on location.

    Any tips, please share!!!!
     
  5. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Besides my own shots that can be used for backgrounds, I picked up a package of all kinds of backgrounds from ebay:

    COMPLETE DIGITAL BACKGROUNDS FOR USE WITH GREEN SCREEN - eBay (item 190306601450 end time Nov-05-09 22:33:23 PST)

    Besides the disk they sent, they provided access to download anything and everything from their web site for 30 days, which was long enough for me to grab everything they had. All told, I got 1,987 backgrounds and templates to use for about $25. They're large, high quality, and actually quite nice. They take up 9.93 gigs on my hard drive.
     
  6. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    nice buckster... do you have some examples of green screen shots... how easy is it to change to the new image?
     
  7. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Get your subject as far away from it as possible.

    I've found that it doesn't really matter much, as long as you:
    A. Get a good separation between the subject and background.
    B. light the background evenly, especially around the subject.

    Associated with that, I'll echo Mike - any color will work fine for still photography, as long as you follow A and B above. Chroma Green works well because people aren't that color so it's easy to select. People ain't pure white or pure black either though, so... yeah...

    If you're going to really get into this, do yourself a favor and get onOne Mask Pro. It's worth every penny.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There are ways to make it easier or more difficult...but your skill with PS will play a big part.

    Firstly, it will look best if you match your lighting to the background that you are using. It would obvious look stupid if the subject was light from the right, while the whole background had light coming from the left.
    Also, some things/parts of a subject are easier or harder to cut out (extract). For example, a dude wearing a hat would be relatively easy....but a girl with a big teased out 80's hair style might be a nightmare to extract from a background.

    The important part is that your subject doesn't blend into the background...and the less the background peeks through your subject, the better.

    As for background size...that depends on how you use it. A 10x20 background is typically used to cover the back 'wall' as well as the floor of the shooting area. Sometimes that is preferable. Other times, you may just want the backdrop to be the back wall and not the floor.

    Either way, a larger background is probably better...because it sucks when your backdrop isn't long enough.
    It also sucks when it's not wide enough...but if you are shooting in a basement, your width might be already limited.
     
  9. JayClark79

    JayClark79 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the suggestions mike... my wifes gonna kill me i just ordered a whole set up for my basement lol... i didnt get the green screen though ill save that for christmas lol
     
  10. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    Get your subject as far away from it as possible.


    How far is far? Are we talking about 6' like most photos or are we moving to 10', 15', ?????

    I'll take a look into that program that you suggested. Also, thanks for another website to get backgrounds. I've already got a little more than 800 backgrounds.

    I'd really like to learn alot more about this (2) images together setup. I've been learning ways to blur the background on a graduated scale to create depth, but that halo is still killing me.

    So basically, a (1) light setup might work then with a background reflector like normally used for a background light.


    After perfecting this skill, I'm sure more lights would be needed to evenly light a subject standing up full body. Have you guys shot someone full length and extracted them completely? For example, have you guys been able to extract a subject and put them standing on a beach?

    I'd really love to see some examples to get my mind wrapped a little more around this concept. Examples are always good as I try to imagine what you guys did and try to set this as an example and replicate it.

    Regards,
     
  11. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If you have room to get 10 or 15 feet, go for it. The point is not to have light bouncing off a bright green background and lighting up your subject from behind with that color, influencing the hair and other edge detail. Inverse square law comes into play here - you need enough distance for it to fall off sufficiently so as not to influence your subject.

    You'll find excellent examples of extracting full length body shots there. I don't have anything handy to post right now that specifically used a green screen (I might pull one out of the files later and put up a side-by side), but it's not like it's a big mystery to extract a background and stick another one in it's place. It's the blending of edge, light and shadow work that makes it believable or not.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  12. GFruge

    GFruge TPF Noob!

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    I'll agree with the extraction. I've already created an "Action" in PS to extract the background. My only concern from the start has been the edge as you mentioned.

    Also, in the past, I didn't practice lighting the background separately for an easier extraction and even lighting. The edge situation has been my nightmare. The reason I ask for an example is to look at the edges and the finer detail of maybe hair or the little spaces that would maybe give me a problem. I've tried feathering the edges and contracting the edges, but still come up with the green.

    I'll have to work on this 10-15' separation distance. I usually work within close quarters, but I'm sure I can setup something different to try atleast 8' and see if it changes anything from what I'm currently getting.

    I picked up some seamless paper (Savage) from BHPhoto for $44. It's almost 9' x 12 yards(36'). Savage | 107" x 12yds Background Paper | 46-12 | B&H Photo

    Do I need something brighter than this or will it suffice? It's only a solid color and I'm not photographing aliens.
     

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