It’s been slow news for the past two month, but all that is changing.
I had ordered a green screen from www.tubetape.com and it arrived earlier this week. It’s a massive 10 by 12 feet (compared to the other screen I had that was 8 by 8 feet) and cost 20 dollars. Add thirty dollars for shipping and ten dollars for customs clearance and the total cost ended up coming to just over sixty dollars. I don’t feel like that’s too much money to spend. It was important for me to have the correct green to key out.
So it came as a surprise to me when, upon unwrapping the packaging, I found out that the green screen was significantly darker than the last one I had used. I’m not complaining. I have to test it out first. I was just taken aback. Maybe because after shooting two scenes and having some difficulties getting a solid key on some shots I’m realizing I may have been using the wrong green.
According to tubetape.com, to obtain a perfect key you need to light the green screen evenly and have a screen that’s as close to pure green as possible. Sounds fairly simple but I think in practice there are other factors to take into consideration such as the how the color of the lights you are using to light the screen may modify the color of the screen itself.
Without getting into specifics, if you are using a DV camera connected to a computer you should be able to use software to check whether your green screen will key out using a chroma vectoroscope. I don’t have either so I guess the only way for me to find out will be to test it out. Before that I need to have the screen ironed to remove folds and I also need to install a rod to support the screen in place.
Before I resume shooting (or testing for that matter), I need to buy lights. I found two types of red-reads in town. One type is Chinese and the other is German. Both use the same bulbs which are available in plenty, but the Chinese lights have a lifespan of a few years while the German red-heads apparently last forever. I’m not picky, so I might get the Chinese lights (unless anyone raises any objection between now and next Saturday).