Here are some steps to create a digital background at home:
Step 1: Get green screen material, green screen paint or green fabric. You can find them online or at www.artsandcraftscorner.com. The key is to get as close as possible to 100% green without any blue in it! Some green screens have a very slight tint of blue and others are greener than others so test them out before you buy one! On the backside of your green screen tape down gaffer’s tape (it will not leave a residue on your wall).
Step 2: Remove any pictures and unnecessary furniture from the walls and put up your green screen about an inch away from the wall with painters’ tape (this is also non-toxic and won’t leave a residue).
Step 3: If you’re green screen is green or has green in it, cut out an X on the top right side to make sure green color does not get on your background.
Step 4: Get your backdrop and attach it to a light stand (make sure you can adjust the height of the stand over time). I like the paper backdrops because it’s easy to put up and take down. You can choose any colors that suit you! I chose purple and pink for today 🙂
Step 5: Make sure that all green color from your green screen is off your backdrop by double checking along seams.
Step 6: Use 2 clamps with each clamp at opposite ends to tighten the backdrop onto the green screen.
Step 7: If you cannot clamp, staple the background to green screen with a staple gun (pulling tightly) or tape it down with gaffer’s tape (meaning it will not leave any residue on your wall).
Step 8: Attach backdrop lighting to green screen background and backdrop stand. There are many different types of lights that you can choose from! I used soft box lights because they give off a nice even light. You can also use regular florescent lights, halogen lights, strobe lights, etc…
Make sure there is no green color coming out from underneath your green screen by double-checking. If green color comes out from under green screen this means green color has leaked onto background and green screen will not be green in front of green background!
Step 9: Adjust lights to add more or less green color and play around with the lights. Remember that green is a lighter color than any other colors so never turn green lights up too bright because it could blow out your background! Make sure your lights are pointed at the green screen not at the backdrop (the purpose for this is so you can recover detail in your subject when they get close to green screen). If light falls on backdrop, there will be no detail in subjects’ clothes and hair once they step into green screen which means you would have wasted money purchasing a green screen!
Step 10: Once you adjust one light move onto the next until all three (backdrop light, green screen light, and fill lights) are adjusted to perfection.
Step 11: All green color should be off your backdrop by now! If there are any green tinges on your backdrop, turn green lights down or up until all green tinges are gone from backdrop.
Step 12: Turn green lights onto subjects’ skin before you take pictures so you can see how green color affects skin tone. Green color is lighter than other colors = subject will have lighter skin tone next to green background! To fix this problem, use fill light to balance out green screen lighting because fill light brings up shadows without adding more exposure to the picture. Adjust fill until no green shows up on subject’s face or body they step into green screen
If green screen is green, green color will leak onto backdrop and there’s no detail in subject once they step into green screen. If green screen is not green, green color will not show up on background and you have a cool green screen! When buying materials for green screen, choose colors that are lighter than other colors because green light is the lightest of all colors.