DIY Blue Screen / Green Screen & Lighting - Filmmaking Tutorial 9

Uploaded by polcan99 on 07.05.2010

OK. Welcome to another filmmaking tutorial. My name is Tom Antos and today I’m going to
show you guys how to set up a blue screen shoot or a green screen shoot,
depending what you’re using. And what’s more important,
I’m going to show you how to do it on a low budget.
I’ll tell you have you can make a blue screen, then how you should set it up.
And then, at the end, what is the best way of lighting it and why.
So, let’s begin. First, before you start, you’ll need
a blue screen, obviously. So, if you have the money, you can simply
rent a nice blue screen studio and all the work is done for you.
But for the rest of us who don’t have the money, we can make our own.
So, the way that I did it in this example, I got a big piece of blue cloth
- once again, you can use blue or green. In this project that we’re shooting,
I happened to have some clothing that had some green color in it,
so, we decided to go with the blue screen. But basically you can buy a piece of material,
either blue or green color, and also you should make sure that the material
is not shiny, so that if you put lights at an angle
while you’re lighting the blue screen, that you won’t get these kind of hot spots in it.
Other than that, just buy as much material
as you need and you then can just wrap it around,
put it the way as you see we’ve done here, where we hang it on top of this long beam
that we have standing on two light stands. And, to give you another tip, just while looking around
on eBay, I realized that you can buy a really good quality blue or green screen cloth
for pretty cheap these days. So, that’s another option if you
don’t want to bother looking around in your local stores.
You can just order it online and get a nice blue screen package and many time you will
actually get it with these light stands like you see I’m using up here...
and ways of mounting it and things like that. So, that might save you a bit of time.
The good thing is that you can fold it up, pack it in your car,
and then, it doesn’t matter what location you are at,
you can always unfold this piece of cloth and there you have your mini blue screen or
green screen studio. So, here is the first step of setting up
the blue screen. First, you want to do it in a place where
you don’t have too much... actually, where you don’t have any light,
Any outside light that you can’t control coming in.
The reason why is, because you really want to be able to control all the lights
in a blue screen shoot. So, in this case, we shot in an old warehouse.
And there was a few windows, actually, one right behind the blue screen there,
so, what we ended up doing, we ended up blocking out all of those windows,
so that we had no outside light coming in. Then, we set up our two light stands, a beam
on top of those and then we draped the blue screen over that beam.
Now, as you can see, this blue screen that we’re using is pretty wrinkled up.
The reason is that we used it on different shoots, we just kind of fold it up quickly
and throw it in the back of the car, and so over time it just got really wrinkled up.
It’s not really a problem, though, as you’ll see
in this set up, because, first thing what you’re going
to want to do anyways is, you want to stretch the cloth as well as you can.
Basically, to eliminate most of the wrinkles
and also, so if later on you’re using wind, like we
did in this shoot, we used a little wind machine and stuff like that.
You just want to make sure that it doesn’t
move around on you. So, by stretching it, you’ll eliminate
the bigger wrinkles, and the small wrinkles, you’re going to eliminate anyways when you’re
lighting the blue screen. So, once you have the blue screen nice and
stretched over, then we start setting up the lights.
And, the blue screen, what you want to end up doing is, you want to light it evenly,
from every side. So, up here we end up having one light from
the top up here, which is a 1000W and it is a soft box.
It creates these very soft and limited shadows. Then we also have a 1K light on the left side
and another 1000W light on the right side. And they’re all more or less at the same angle.
So, that’s pretty much as far as
lighting blue screen goes. Now, of course, if you’re shooting in
a big blue screen studio where you have a big area to cover,
you are just going to end up using more lights. But, again, the rule of thumb is, for example,
if you’re using one 1000W light on one side, then you should use the same kind of strength
of light on the other side. So that, this way they kind of eliminate each other
and they cancel out the shadows. This way, that’s how you make all those
little imperfections in your blue screen disappear. Now, the next thing we’re going to do is
basically light the subject. So, here we have a nicely lit blue screen shot.
What I mean by that is that the actress is
actually lit separately from the blue screen. It might not be obvious just by looking at
this right now, and that’s because until you actually remove
the blue screen and you put her against some kind of a background, it might actually look
like the lighting is flat. But in reality, what I actually have is
a nice soft light from the top on the actress. I have a backlight lighting here a little bit
from the right side on her hair and her shoulder.
And I also have two nice soft lights from the front filling in her face.
And if you notice, if I actually turn off all the lights here, none of those lights
really affect the blue screen. I mean, it might affect it a little bit,
but the key thing is that you want to make sure that your blue screen is properly lit
and is more or less even, while, at the same time, you also want to
make sure that the lights that light your blue screen don’t light your actors.
Because if they light your actors, then that means that as your actor moves around,
he’s going to cast shadows on the blue screen and also he’s going to get a lot of blue spill
on his face and his clothing and stuff like that.
So, if you see up here, this is basically with all the lights off
and we’re still getting a nice, evenly lit blue screen.
The way to achieve this is basically, first, you want to have a long enough of
a blue screen so you can put your actress forward, away from the blue screen itself.
You don’t want to have them right against the blue screen,
because then it’s really hard to separate them.
So, in this example, I think we had around, maybe six feet of distance from the blue screen.
And as you can see, with all the lights for the actress turned off,
she’s pretty much black. You just see an outline,
yet the blue screen is nicely lit. Now, we’re going to turn on all the lights slowly
one by one. So, first we have the top light,
which is actually a 1000W soft box. And that top light actually, I put up a big
diffuser on it and I wanted to soften the light because I wanted it to serve
a double purpose. I wanted it to light the actress from the top.
Give it this nice soft light, while, at the same time, just filling in a few of
those wrinkles there on the blue screen. So, that’s why it’s this big soft box
that hangs over the whole set. Then, we have the backlight there on the right side
which lights, again, just the actress.
If I go back and turn it off, you can see that it doesn’t affect the blue screen.
And that’s a 300W Arri Fresnel light. No barn doors or anything on it.
Just straight forward. You can pretty much use any kind of a work light
that you can get at your hardware store. Then we have another....
It’s a fluorescent Kino Flo light. Again, you can use a fluorescent light.
You can use a hardware light and maybe kind of shoot it through a nice diffuser...
a diffusion paper. Just to give it a softer feeling, like the one I have up here.
And the reason I use Kino Flo’s up here is because we could afford it and...
because we had two Kino Flo’s and Kino Flo’s allow you to control the brightness
of the light really nicely. You just have these little knobs on the side
of the light and you can turn it up and down. And so, I wanted to make sure that this light
from the front is exactly the same strength as the light here on the left side, which is
again another Kino Flo. And these nicely fill in the front,
the face of the actress. And now if I go back to with all the light off,
you’ll notice that the blue screen doesn’t really change that much.
It’s still the same exposure and it’s pretty evenly lit.
And now if all the lights on, you see that the actress is now finally lit but also
she’s not really affected by the lights from the blue screen.
And that’s pretty much it when it comes do lighting a blue screen.
Then, after you’re done, you can take your footage, key out the blue without a problem
and you can put your actor against any kind of a background you want.
In the next tutorial, I’m going to talk about some neat compositing tricks
with this blue screen footage that we shot up here. So, stay tuned and see you next time.