If you’ve ever tried to shoot your own green screen footage before, you’re probably well aware that even a single wrinkle or imperfection in your green screen can cause mayhem when you go to add the chroma key effect in editing. Here are some tips to help you keep your green screen studio wrinkle free without a lot of work!
(Want to test out your video editor’s chroma key tool? Here’s a free green screen clip you can experiment with!)
1. Pull it tight.
If you’re using a cloth green screen, you want to pull it as tight as you can to eliminate wrinkles. This may seem obvious, but many studios don’t take the extra time to clip back their screen, leaving lots of room for not only wrinkles, but for air and movement to have negative effects on the shot as well. Head down to your local hardware store and pick up a basic clamps to help you pull your screen tight.
Spring clamps are perfect for tightening green screens.
2. Use a spray bottle.
If your green screen is hanging and is showing a lot of wrinkle, get a spray bottle, fill it with water and spray down the whole screen. The gravity of the screen hanging will work with the water and smooth itself out. Just let it dry overnight and you’ll see drastic results without all the ironing!
3. Create your own frame.
It may be that whatever you have your green screen attached to is just not sturdy enough to handle your screen. Try making your own frame out of PVC pipe. It’s really not that hard, it is pretty inexpensive and you’ll have a lot more control on the size and features of your frame than if you bought it pre-made. There are a lot websites with instructions on how to do this, like this link. We like this site because it has great step by step instructions and extra ideas to improve the basic design.
4. If all else fails, use paint.
Cloth green screens are great because they are portable, work well with lighting and give professional results. However, if you light it the right way, painting a wall green can give you equally good results, and you’ll never have to worry about wrinkles. Just go to a paint store and pick out a vibrant green and paint away. The other nice thing about this route is it’s really cheap…only $10-$20 depending on the size of your wall!
Do you have questions about using a green screen? Let us know! We’ll do our best to answer them in an upcoming blog post!
If you love your editor’s chroma key tool, try free clips from VideoBlocks. It is an After Effects template with the video removed and a green box inserted. You can use it in all sorts of projects! Happy editing!