[TUTORIAL] Low-budget GREEN SCREEN at home | What gives the best results?

JavertValbarr StaffPosts: 374 Staff
edited March 2021 in Practical Filmmaking

Today we're testing some of the most popular green screen alternatives to see which is most effective on a $20 budget! From card to curtains, we're trying them all with the same lighting setup and the same keying process inside HitFilm Express.


  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,294 Power User

    While I have a nice 12x18 greenscreen and a 5x7 pop-up greenscreen I also have a bit of green poster board that does a great job as well.

    It's more about the lighting than the material! 😁

    @JavertValbarr you might (or not) remember my pitch video for the "Sandman" (Thanos) disintegration tutorial where I held up a hand and had that dissolve in front of my body before the rest of me went... I actually stood in front of my greenscreen holding the green poster board in front of my chest and reached around that for the arm plate... After recording the main plate, with camera running, I squatted down and picked up the green card which was just lying on my feet. Kept everything lined up nicely.

    Alternative/cheap options combine nicely with a "real" greenscreen.

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Lord EarthPosts: 3,578 Ambassador

    A great video this one, I have tried many things over the years. One tool I found that was great was the green screen tool https://www.hollywoodcamerawork.com/green-screener.html really handy app that saves a lot of clean up when trying to get your lighting right.

    Check out my other Green screen links over at https://tagpacker.com/user/VFXLists?t=Green_screen

  • FilmSensei
    FilmSensei Posts: 3,160 Expert
    edited March 2021

    I have actually used the green craft cards method shown here, but I used green push pins instead of scotch tape to put them up. I covered a whole wall with them and was able to key out whole groups of people. I have to say, I was amazed at how well it worked!

    Like @Andy001z said, the lighting is absolutely the key. Nice list by the way!

    You should think about adding Shiny Films tutorial on this... It is really good!

  • iamkhanproductions
    iamkhanproductions Posts: 596 Enthusiast
    edited March 2021

    I've had my green screen since 2008 when i was using DV tape camcorders..

    I know its full of creases but hitfilm still does a great job of keying myself out.. And yes the better lighting the better composite you will achieve..

    example edit..

  • Andy001z
    Andy001z Lord EarthPosts: 3,578 Ambassador

    Good call, added. Wow that takes me to the magic 200 links. Ill have to think of something special to celebrate.

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,294 Power User

    @FilmSensei @Andy001z doing other research it's become apparent to me that fluorescent tubes in banks are the best way to get smooth lighting on a screen. I'm about to sell off seven LED lights* to buy fluorescents. Might grab a used Digital Juice Aura kit.

    *Although I just bought four LED lights. Replacing old, single color LEDs with 2 fancy RGBWW app-controlled lights. And two larger RGBWW lights that aren't app controlled.