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Old March 16th, 2007, 02:40 PM   #1
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Advise for chromakey backdrops

Hi there,

I'm currently considering the purchase of a bluekey backdrop. Any tips on the does and don'ts?

I've seen the reflecmedia-stuff, very intresting but major expensive - and it also scares me when i read about the problems with lightspills on glasses and other elements. Should i be worried about this or is it just a case of proper lighting? Are there any lower-cost competitors working on equivalent ideas?

I've also been looking at Amvona-products, classical approach and they seem cheap but pretty good. Any happy/unhappy owners out there?

One other issue is that i'd like the backdrop as flexible in use as possible,: small enough for the use in an office, and big enough to shoot an entire group of dancers. Is this possible or do i have to be looking at several backdrops (and how would i then seamlessly match them together.

All clues are welcome!
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Old March 16th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #2
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Hi Frank. You might find the following thread interesting: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=85533
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Old March 19th, 2007, 06:40 PM   #3
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Thanks Boyd,

one more: if i were to buy two 10ft pieces of blue cloth, what would be the best way the "connect" them together? Sew them, tape it?
I'm looking for a transportable solution so it should be hanging from some kind of stand.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 03:57 AM   #4
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Overall bluescreen is better for film, green is better for video.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 10:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Feijen View Post
if i were to buy two 10ft pieces of blue cloth, what would be the best way the "connect" them together? Sew them, tape it?
I don't think tape will work very well on fabric, it should be sewn. Or even better, order a seamless drop (see Rosebrand info in my link above).

Since you're in Europe, you might want to contact Gerriets International. They're a big soft goods company with offices all over the world and they may have chromakey fabrics. See the contact info on their site here:

http://www.gi-info.com/world.html
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Old March 21st, 2007, 03:30 AM   #6
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Thanks guys,

I'll surely have a look at that site, with so much possible choices, it's sometimes hard to find out what options are applicable and then it's still hard to choose.

What about packing for day to day transportation and storage?
My guess is that it would best be rolled up on some kind of a bar, is folding an option or is that a very, very bad idea?
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Old March 21st, 2007, 04:01 PM   #7
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Frank...

Take a look at eefx.com.

Their textured fabric lights evenly and comes with a thin foam core which smooths out wrinkles even if the fabric is packed in a box.

My 10x20-foot backdrop is stored on a roll but was shipped boxed up. Didn't take long for any creases to smooth out completely.

The green color of this fabric also makes it easy for Keylight in After Effects to get a good key on a single click. A few tweaks and you can get an excellent key.

I bought two backdrops. The other is a 6x10-foot which is easier to set up in a smaller space for interviews and such.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 02:14 PM   #8
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Hmm, eefx looks sweet indeed,

if i was to go for a 15x20 or 20x20, would you have any suggestions what i would best use as stands? (eefx doesn't seem to ship stands to europe)
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 03:49 PM   #9
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Frank...

I use ordinary Bogen light stands, although "C" stands would be much better. Sandbag them to make them more stable.

For the top bar I have 2-meter telescoping aluminum tubes about 26mm diameter that I got from a hardware store. You can also use a strip of wood, too, or thin-walled wiring conduit pipe.

PVC pipe is OK but it's got too much flex.

The fabric is clipped to the support with spring clamps. Again, from a hardware store.
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Old March 27th, 2007, 05:35 PM   #10
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and now for a totally newbie-question:

What are the advantages/differences of ordinary lightstands versus C-stands?
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Old March 29th, 2007, 02:05 AM   #11
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Oke, just ordered a eefx 20x20 backdrop and a lastolite 20ft wide backdrop support.

Thanks for all your help gyus.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 05:44 AM   #12
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I'm looking at this also, and since you live almost next to me (relatively speaking :), what did you pay for shipping?
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 07:59 AM   #13
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Frank,

C-stands are made of sturdier, heavier guaged metal. The tops of their legs are parallel to the floor, making for better sandbagging, and typically are wider at the base.
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Old April 3rd, 2007, 01:56 PM   #14
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That wider base means that C-stands deal better with offset loads. That is loads that are not directly down the axis of the stand.

Standard light stands are lighter and pack smaller than C-stands.
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Old April 4th, 2007, 05:09 PM   #15
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Hey Steven,

For now, i paid only the sum mentioned at the online shop, that's 140.72usd for shipping (for backdrop and bag).
I guess i'll have to wait what the customs are gonna add to that.

The support i've ordered at a av-shop near antwerp, but there again: 3 weeks before delivery.
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