Frequent questions for chromakey studio

This section is devoted to Q & A about blue/green screens, lighting and staging with chromakey.

Use Flash or Incandescent light bulbs?

  • Q.   I'm new to experimenting with a chromakey setup. Do you suggest using Flash or Incandescent light bulbs during the shoot?
  • A.  You can use either kind of light. Both have pros and cons. For photographers, we generally recommend flash. Most photographers aren't used to dealing with hot lights, so I think they're just not worth the headache. If they plan on shooting video as well as stills, then hot lights are a must. To learn more, read through our How to Light a Chromakey Screen tutorial. Read more

How much distance between the background screen and model?

  • Q.   What is the required distance for a model to be from the background screen?
  • A.  The general recommendation is that you keep the background screen at least 10' behind the subject so as to avoid shadows. This is only partially true. 10' helps but it's not necessary. You want at least 5-6 ft to prevent the green from the background spilling onto your subjects. You can learn more about poisitioning your subject in our tutorial. Read more

Advice about a home greenscreen photography studio

  • Q.   I want to turn my garage wall into a greenscreen photography studio and I have no experience at this. Do you have a recommendation for the screen? Will I need to have special lighting to make this work properly?
  • A.  Anyone can work out of a homemade chromakey studio. We recommend following our suggestions in this Setup Chromakey Studio section. This training section will teach you about lighting properly, choosing a back screen and posing your model.

What is color spill?

  • Q.   What is color spill? Why should I worry about it?
  • A.  After you have created a mask in Primatte, you may see a colored tinge around the foreground image. This fringe is called 'color spill'. Color spill describes areas of your foreground subject that have absorbed or reflected color from the background. Learn more about color spill in our Setup Chromo Studio section.

What color should the chroma screen be?

  • Q.   Is there a particular shade of Blue or Green that should be used as the background? I want to get the best possible results when using Primatte Chromakey software. Can I use other colors?
  • A.  One of the great aspects of Primatte Chromakey software is that you can use any color, not just green or blue. Blue and green are the most commonly used because they contrast with flesh tones. What's most important, actually, is good lighting and staging. To learn more about choosing a chroma screen, read through our Choose a Screen Color tutorial.

How do I hang chromakey material?

  • Q.   How do I hang chromakey material? I will use it as a permanent backdrop that doesn't need to be taken down. I am considering staples or sticky tape.
  • A.  You could try stapling the fabric because it is an easy, cheap solution. But we also recommend consulting with someone who does interior construction to get her thoughts. We recommend following our suggestions in this Setup Chromakey Studio section.

Pros & cons of going chromakey

  • Q.   I am going fully digital and I'm considering setting up a chromakey studio. What are the pros and cons of the technique?
  • A.  The advantage that chromakey software has over just using Adobe Photoshop is that it's made specifically for power use in a certain kind of scenario. Chromakey software is designed to get rid of a single color background (it can be any color, not just blue or green) and then help you color correct that single color out of the object being keyed. To learn more about setting up your own chroma studio, go to Setup Chromakey Studio. Read more
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