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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:34 AM   #1
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My new Chromakey studio....

Hello everyone,

This is my first post. So hello!

I have just taken delivery today of a new chromakey backdrop studio with lighting rig etc. The chromakey fabric hangs from a 4 meter high frame.

Due to space issues, I'll be forced to erect the chromakey studio each and every time I need to use it. Problem is: editing is tough because of the creases in the fabric causing so many different shadows and shades of green.

Is there any way to un-crease the fabric in around an hour? Would taking a hair dryer to it help? I'd like a nice flat hanging fabric if possible! It's a shame that it needs to be folded and stored in between uses, because this adds to the problem.

Thanks :)
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:38 AM   #2
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Use a handheld steamer to decrease it. And use good Chroma software (Keylight at the very least).

And finally, roll it and stow it to prevent future creases from excessively long folding.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 12:41 PM   #3
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I was hoping to use it with final cut pro, will this work? (I'm a Mac guy) I'll be using a Panasonic AG-HMC70.

All I am looking to do is erase the green and replace it with white, I'm not after complicated backgrounds etc.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 01:13 AM   #4
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Solid backgrounds are less forgiving than complicated ones when you're keying. And not sure about FCP as I don't use it. As long as it has a keying plug-in, I'm sure it has a solution that will work though.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 01:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Collins View Post
Due to space issues, I'll be forced to erect the chromakey studio each and every time I need to use it. Problem is: editing is tough because of the creases in the fabric causing so many different shadows and shades of green.
Hi James

Purists will hate me but with good keying software you can get away with creases and uneven lighting. Here's a job that I shot incredibly badly. The blue background is 40 yards of ordinary blue fabric from Jo-Anne Fabrics (in the UK, think John Lewis) nothing special - in fact it was discount fabric.

We hung the strips from an office false ceiling grid using shower curtain hooks. I didn't bring enough lights, so the lighting is patchy - see photo in DV article.

Of course a perfect, evenly lit blue or green BG is something to strive for - but you can get away with less than perfect. Honest - see my video.

Keyed with Ultimatte AdvantEdge within Shake but it could have been done in FCP - I only used Shake as the model had areas of blue that needed masking.

Read about my screw up and fix in post -

Look Mum, no creases - here's the link to the article, then there's a link to the actual finished video at the bottom of it.

Production Diary: The Last Resort

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Old May 9th, 2009, 06:14 AM   #6
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Keep it simple!
If you need a white background, don't green screen, simply use a white background.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by David W. Jones View Post
Keep it simple!
If you need a white background, don't green screen, simply use a white background.
I agree on this one. I keep black and white muslin backdrops for interviews and corporate shoots that may need them in my lighting kit.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 10:14 AM   #8
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A white background is only needed though on this occasion, so I bought a green screen so that it can accommodate the specifics of future projects.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #9
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Go cheap and use a white sheet? You can go cheap cheap knock off egyption cotton or whatever and get all glossy even.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #10
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I do a lot of green screen work and found the fabric from EEFX.com to be excellent for the job. I've mentioned this a lot elsewhere.

Its soft surface lights very evenly. The material will unwrinkle on its own within an hour. It keys extremely nicely.

Lighting green screen can never be taken for granted. The more care you take in illuminating it evenly, the less headaches you'll suffer in post. I've had to rescue badly shot green screen and it's not fun, even with sophisticated keying software.

As Douglas suggested, roll it up between uses to avoid wrinkling. The EEFX fabric can be stored folded without getting permanently creased.
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