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Thread: Buying a 'green screen'

  1. #1

    Default Buying a 'green screen'

    I am curious to use a 'green screen'. It appears that the most common are made from Cotton Muslin. Sold either with inbuild (and collapsible) frames; or sold as sheets with optional stands. They does not appear to be a wide choice of manufacturers, but I am curious whether anyone has any recommendations or experience of buying or handling this kind of cloth.

  2. #2


    You don't have to get it from a specialist video out let. Try your local haberdashers you will get it cheaper. All it has to be is non reflective and one bold colour, It doesn't have to be green but that is often the best could. The frame isn't needed in a lot of cases but that depends on how you will be using it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Surrey, UK
    Blog Entries


    When I did my daughter's school project (the Fire of London, seen elsewhere on this forum) I borrowed a 6m x 3m muslin one from a friend who'd only used it once (that's the problem with this sort of thing). I hung it on a back wall (just 3m) of my conservatory and held it in place with Duck Tape. This meant 4m of spare curled up on the floor. With the talent stanading 2m in front of it, te overcast skies providing an even lighting I thought this wuld be plenty of separation (had no lights), but even here i got a significant amount of green spillahe onto the edges of teh subject.
    In practical terms, the sceen came folded. I spent an hour and a half ironing it, but made minimal impact to the creases. In practice, this didn't prove to be a significant problem - certainly not as much as the keying around the edges of the subject. Of course my subjects were all seated and static so I was able to garbage matte out the vast majority ofthe screen.

    However, it was a lesson learned. If there's any way you can store it this way, I'd advise putting a muslin screen on a cardboard cylinder roller (possibly a habidashers might have one or at least know where you can get one.).

    If you don't need the size and if practicalities allow, a painted sheet of hardboard or ply works very well.

    Also, for a one off, a large sheet of coloured paper works. I used this at a school recently. I wasn't aware they were expecting to blue screen - I was just expecting to film some lads in football kit. I turned up to find the teacher had some inductrial sized blue art paper (about 2m wide) stapled to teh sealing and hanging down. In the event it worked rather well, though keying was fun as the strip was Aston Villa colours - burgandy and light blue!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, England


    Not sure I've ever seen the genuine cloth in haberdashers - they'd take ages to shift the whole roll and it's pretty pricey/m.

    Paper is expensive, but easy to roll up. Green is most suitable as no skin tones contain green - and green-eyes are quite rare. Blue is second choice, but Chroma-Keying can be any bright colour.... that is missing from the subject in front.
    However the gn cloth is "almost" fluoscent green . . . a dull green cloth won't do the job so easily. Certainly there needs to be plenty of separation between subject and screen . . . the "spill" (of relected green) is a major agro. The cloth is about 54" wide and can be sewn to make it wider, but you need expertise to avoid creases - someone that makes curtains may suit, I guess.
    If you are a trade buyer then you can get the size made by the Manufacturer - somewhere in Watford. London. But you'll be looking at 300, whereas on-line GS are often priced about 100 complete with poles, tripods etc. I suspect this is the way to go.

    You could try a video-studio - these often have an infinity corner painted green - and their lights are easier to position . . . it depends on what the OP wants to achieve.

    However, you need to buy a much wider screen than you expect.
    Last edited by vidmanners; 05-12-2012 at 11:01 PM.

  5. #5


    Many thanks for your posts and comments. I am an amateur. I am poor. I own no lights. I have *very* low spec movie cameras, and some higher spec stills cameras.
    My current plan would be to film outdoors (using an overcast sky to give even lighting without strong shadows). And, if the material was durable, it would allow us to stand on the cloth; thus allowing full length body shots.
    I considered visiting a haberdasher, but was not convinced I knew enough to choose the best material. However, the prices of commercial screens (without stands) is not too expensive. Here are two below 25UKP:
    PhotoSEL Green Screen > Buy Your BK11CG Chromakey Greenscreen
    Professional studio Background Green 1.8 M X 2.8 M Cotton Muslin Backdrop Cloth | eBay
    Some friends of mine are considering how to hang the fabric in an easy+cheap frame, and how to prevent the cloth flapping in the wind. But I was was grateful for the comments regarding creasing, ironing and storage.
    I am not expecting perfection, and am half expecting to convert the final image into black and white, to reduce the effects of spill. But my experients with other backgrounds have been unsatisfactory; so I am hoping that using the real things will give better results.
    Thanks for your input and comments.

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