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Setting up a colored backdrop for chroma keying

Choose the largest, evenly colored item of fabric you have (like a single colored bed sheet). Even it if is a bit lumpy, like the seams in these panels which are velcro'd together, lighting it well and from multiple angles will hide any shadows or imperfections. The more saturated the color the better.
Avoid shiny fabrics that will reflect the lights.

Below are detailed instructions on setting up chroma key backdrops and lighting. You do not need to do it this way: do whatever works for you. The below details how to get the best results if you have the time and energy and available equipment.

The ideal set up is to have a smooth, evenly colored backdrop that is separately and evenly lit. Use whatever diffusion you can to soften the lighting so you don't get hot spots and hit from as many angles as you can. I prefer to have lights in a row from above and from the floor.
Light yourself separately, preferably with soft, even lighting.

Make sure you are not wearing anything that is the same color as the backdrop or that item will become invisible on screen.

Practice before hitting record. You can record as many times as you like. Recorded files will be located in the same location as the app (so if the app is on your desktop, the recordings will appear there). I recommend you run the app from your desktop as other places may prove problematic (I know it won't work properly from your downloads folder).

For my set-up I'm using 4 very bright compact fluorescent bulbs to light the backdrop, two high up and two near the floor.
I'm lighting myself with 3 soft boxes (also with CFLs inside) and using a ladder as a platform for my laptop.
Detailed notes on lighting

I put black aluminum foil on the backs of the top lights so they don't shine my head. Light cannot go through the foil. The floor ones are fine as they can help back-light my body but are further from the camera frame.

You can use regular aluminum foil on lights that don't get too hot like these. If you need to do this with hot lights, use something to hold the foil away from the bulb so it doesn't get too hot and doesn't overheat the bulb and cause it to fail.

These are 600Watt photo-floods. They get extraordinarily hot and will fail if you get fingerprints on the bulbs (so never touch them, when cold and of course don't touch anything when hot) or if shaken when hot they will blow. Be very careful with lights like this. These are similar to work-lights (just calibrated for color), so you can use work-lights You need to soften the light by either bouncing the light off a bounce like above or bouncing off the ceiling or another wall. You can make your own bounce with aluminum foil taped to cardboard. Crumple the foil so it is not reflecting like a mirror, but is textured all over.
Direct light from these is nasty.
Alternatively you can create your own soft-box. Here I took a fitted sheet and hung it. I put two weights in the bottom corners and put the photo flood about 5 feet behind it. See the difference: the photo on the left is behind the sheet: fairly good soft light with no shadows thrown. The one on the right is direct light and you can see it is very harsh with heavy shadows (look at the difference on my neck). Also my expression is different because I'm being blinded... and it is throwing my shadow on the backdrop messing up the chroma keying Soft light is best for many reasons.

view artworks (performance, installation, sculpture, video, audio, multimedia, animation and more),

Irish artist, Gearóid Dolan, a.k.a. screamachine, a.k.a. G-man

studio located in the East Village, New York City

art exhibitions in Ireland and USA

designing and producing multidisciplinary activist artworks with an emphasis on time-based media

composing and producing Jungle / Drum 'n' Bass music for the underground dance scene

as well as audio works for site-specific and gallery installation.

© Gearóid Dolan, 2020. All rights reserved