Learning how to evenly light your green screen backdrop will give you better results when it comes time to edit your video. Noam Kroll details what you need in “The Basic Fundamentals of Lighting a Green Screen”.
Lighting a green screen is fairly simple from a technical perspective, yet many DPs who don’t have much experience with chroma key work are prone to making some unfortunate mistakes on set. Unlike traditional film lighting, which is all about finding contrast and mood by balancing light and shadows, lighting a green screen is all about evenness and consistency.
For the purpose of this post, I’ll describe a basic green screen lighting setup that involves only two background lights. While two lights might be all you need for many scenarios (such as an interview setup), keep in mind that the basic principles outlined here can be applied to wider and larger green screen setups too — you just may need to add more light.
The most crucial thing to remember when lighting your green screen: any area of the backdrop that appears in the frame must be lit perfectly even and exposed correctly. If your backdrop is lit properly on one side but underexposed on the other, your compositor or editor will have a very tough time pulling a clean key. The same applies to a backdrop that’s either over or underexposed. Any attempt to pull a key from a backdrop that isn’t actually reading as green on camera will inevitably be a failure. Read more on Premium Beat.