June 1, 2016 at 8:12PM, Edited June 1, 8:13PM


Colored backgrounds? HELP

Hi Guys,

So I'm planning to do a project soon that will be shot in a studio space with a subject in front of a background. I have white, black, and green backgrounds I can hang up to use. However for this project I want colorful backgrounds (Pink, Blue, Yellow, Purple, etc.). Here are some links to videos that have similar looks to what I'm going for:


I'm wondering if I should just green screen and key out the background and then somehow put in a colorful one? (I've never done this before so if someone could let me know how that works I would really appreciate it). Or I could just buy solid colored backgrounds on amazon or something (except they're kind of expensive, like $40 for just one backdrop). I'd be so grateful for any advice or tips! Thanks!


From my experience the simplest way to get saturated and smooth color backgrounds is to shoot on a studio cyclorama that is painted with flat matte latex paint of the color you are trying to reproduce. Paint is sturdy enough that people can walk on it, it's easy to touch-up if there's a mark, and you can get paint in any color you like. With a large paint roller you can paint a studio cyc in 30 minutes, and 30 minutes later it's dry enough to shoot on.

Seamless background paper is not as saturated as paint, it's easy to damage, and it tends to show some "sheen" from the lights you use.

Green screen has it's own set of problems, so it's a lot easier to shoot on painted studio cycs. I do use green screen from time to time, but only for very specific purposes.

If you want to go green screen then I would strongly recommend that you test your set-up out to make sure you can get a good "key" from your green screen, and that the finished result looks good enough for your project. ( Adobe After Effects "Key Light" or "Ultra Key" can do a great job at getting a good "key" but you will have to learn how to use the controls to get a good image )

June 2, 2016 at 5:20AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Thanks for the advice!

Olivia Eberstadt

July 31, 2016 at 4:53PM

Have you thought about using gelled lights to change the color of the white background?

Probably wouldn't work for full length, or lots of movement, but a static interview type setup you could change the color to whatever you needed in seconds.

June 7, 2016 at 9:11PM, Edited June 7, 9:11PM


Something I've done is to setup a White Visqueen backdrop, since it doesn't have seems you can make it large, and backlight with RGB LED lights.

We raised the actors above ground level to hide the lights behind them. The backdrop I created was approx 12'x 30'.

You have to play around with the spread and spacing to get even coverage but it seemed to work well.

The downsides is that you cannot achieve a cyclorama effect and even after playing around, there was a slight gradient from bottom to top, with bottom being slightly more saturated.

June 30, 2016 at 1:34PM

John Dimalanta
Freelance Photographer/Cinematographer

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