When a green cyclorama isn’t readily available, green seamless is usually the next option for a successful green screen studio shoot. Green seamless can easily be acquired online and at professional photo/video shops, and is available in a variety of materials and sizes. Once obtained, it is important to correctly set up the green seamless in order to ensure a successful shoot.
It is important to understand why it is necessary to set up a green screen properly. The purpose of using a green screen is to replace it with a different background in post-production. In order to successfully composite in post-production, the background must be a solid, evenly lit chromakey green color. This produces the image of an “infinity background”. If the green seamless is set up incorrectly, there’s an increased risk that shadows and wrinkles will appear in the footage, which makes it difficult to key out.
1. Build a Sturdy Frame
Some green seamless kits do not include a frame. Whatever you choose to hang your green seamless on, from c-stands to tension rods, it is important that they are secured in place and do not move at all. The c-stands and rods should form a rectangular/square shape, as pictured below.
2. Unroll the Green Seamless
Once the frame is in place it’s time to unroll the green seamless. Place the green seamless on the floor with enough distance between the roll and the frame for talent. Add weight (sandbags) to the end of the roll of fabric to ensure that the seamless stays in place throughout the set up. Slowly unravel the green seamless until you reach the frame.
3. Hang the Green Seamless
Most green seamless fabrics have a small fold on one end – this loop allows one to mount the fabric to the frame. Remove the horizontal rod from the top of the frame and feed it through the loop in the fabric. Once the rod is in place, continue to unravel the fabric, with the rod, to the top of the frame and clamp it in place. Hold the fabric taut and clamp it to the sides of the frame as well. Make sure there are no creases or folds in the fabric.
4. Final Adjustments
Steam out any wrinkles in the fabric and adjust the curve of the fabric untila solid color of chromakey green is achieved on camera. This may take acouple of attempts, but once done correctly, an “infinity background” will be successfully achieved!
Now that the green seamless has been hung, it is important to light it properly. Elle Kyle, producer at American Movie Company, covers the ins and outs of lighting a green screen, whether using a green cyc, or a roll of green fabric, in her blog post “Lighting a Green Screen“.