Key points of setting up a Chromakey Studio

Setting up your studio for chromakey work is a personal process. The variables include your location, equipment, space constraints and technical style. This page talks about some factors that will improve your photographs in anticipation of chromakey masking.

Your situation and equipment will benefit from some of these tips, but other tips won’t work for you at all. As with most areas of photography, chromakey requires some experimentation to figure out what works best for you. We recommend that you ALWAYS test before taking your chromakey work into the field.

Basic guidelines to follow

  • For people, you should use a green or blue background. There is no specific shade that is necessary although a bright medium green/blue is standard.
  • The material of the background matters more than its specific color. We recommend a foam fabric because it is light absorbent, but any felt-like fabric will do nicely.
  • Avoid MOST paper as a background. It’s usually shiny, which causes light to bounce, which causes color to spill onto your subject. We recommend Savage Paper Tech Green #46.
  • The chromakey background must be as evenly lit as possible. This means one flat, continuous tone across the background.
  • Use the least amount of light possible to do this. Otherwise you will turn the green screen into a big, green light.
  • The chromakey background should be about one stop below the foreground. You want the background slightly darker.
  • Use the least amount of light possible to get a flat background.
  • Use a floor light to eliminate shadows around the feet or base of your subject.
  • Position your subject 8-10 feet away from the background. You can get away with 4-6 feet, but more is better.
  • Did we mention the background should be slightly darker? If your subject is 6 feet or more away from the background, the background should be naturally darker due to light falloff.

Step Two: Choose a screen color