Introduction: Deluxe Green Screen
If we want to make a change from using our webcams to show the world our bookshelves and old wallpaper then we have to use the green screen background replacement technique.
Of course, we do not want it there all the time and so it would be great to have a screen that rolls away when not needed.
I hope that his instructable will act as the inspiration to produce your own Deluxe Green Screen.
Note:I have used UK spelling since I am in fact British.(Please do not hold that against me:-)
This project uses an old window blind that is simply painted green and mounted to the ceiling behind the 'performer'.Even if a suitable plain blind is purchased the cost should not be too excessive.
You will also need a long piece of wood to mount it onto the ceiling. the usual screws and mounting brackets.
The tools needed are minimal and the whole project could be completed using just a few hand tools such as a screwdriver, saw, and drill. Of course, a power jigsaw and power drill would be better.
Finally, a pot of green paint will be needed which should be close to the green seen in the images. I had some leftover from another green screen project that was purchased specifically as the right colour by going to one of those places that will match any colour and mix it.
Using standard household acrylic-based paint will produce a plastic film that adheres well to the blind. This has proven to be flexible enough to withstand the rolling up and down actions without any flaking or cracking.
Any light green should work because fortunately, the current programs such as Zoom are very tolerant and only require a consistent colour. They will even work with other colours such as blue.
The main reason that green has become so popular is that it tends to work better with faces.
Step 1: First Make the Support
Using a suitable length of wood, prepare the support for the brackets that will hold the blind. I suggest that you paint it to match the room and then leave it to fully dry whilst undertaking the next steps.
Step 2: Paint the Blind
Find a suitable dust-free area to layout the blind. Layout lots of newspaper or other protection under the blind then paint it. Take care not the start at the wrong side and so avoid painting yourself into a corner!
Try to keep it even and solid but don't worry too much as the end result will be quite forgiving.
Step 3: Fix the Support
Carefully measure then pre-drill for the screws and mount the brackets. This is not quite as easy as it may seem and care must be taken to ensure that the blind will lock into the brackets once it is mounted to the ceiling.
Step 4: Mount the Blind
The images show the new deluxe version and also the poor hooked up version that I used before. The new version is of course FAR better.
So when you have completed your deluxe green screen blind it is time to set it up;
First, screw the mount and brackets to the ceiling.
Ensure that the blind will drop down where you want it to.
I made a mistake the first time and had to re-do it to allow more room for the blind to clear the bookshelves.
Of course, it will be best to screw through the joists in the ceiling so do the usual checks beforehand and pre-drill the wooden mounting strip.
Step 5: Test It Out
All should be working well but it needs to be tested. In fact, this is a very satisfying stage as you roll down your own deluxe backdrop.
I was lucky as the room light casts an even light down over the blind which helps with the effect. You may need to arrange lights aimed at the blind, behind your back..
Then fire up Zoom to see all the new backdrops that can be used. If you want lots of ones to choose from then a simple search will reveal hundreds of free backdrops including MP4 versions that produce looped movie backgrounds.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Deluxe Backdrop
Now when your next online meeting is set you can select the backdrop that best suits the occasion.
Here I am using just a simple curtain effect which I was pleased to learn was thought of as real by my fellow Zoomers.
I have kept this Instructable short and simple as I personally prefer to use them as guides and inspiration rather than as a finely detailed long-winded diatribe.
I do hope that I have inspired you to make your own backdrop blind for your sessions.
As ever, if you do make one then please let me know.
Participated in the
Question 1 year ago on Step 6
I'm having some trouble with the edges curling up. Any suggestions for how to flatten it out? Leaving it rolled up didn't seem to help. Maybe something with a hair dryer?
Answer 1 year ago
Thanks for the question and the picture.
I will do my best to help.
My screen also has a slight curl on the edges but as that is outside of the viewing area it does not have an adverse effect on the green screen functionality.
All I can suggest to you is that you attach a long strip of good-old-duct-tape (aka: DuckTape or gaffer tape) to the back edges of each side. This might make it stiff enough to avoid the curl. If you can find green tape (or white tape that you can paint green) then maybe you could also add strips to the front too.
I hope this helps. Thanks for using my Instructable.
Reply 1 year ago
Thanks! I actually added two strips of "heavy-duty Gorilla tape" down the length of each side on the back this morning. I do have a small roll of green tape that I used to reinforce the vinyl along the bottom, but so far it looks like the tape on the back might be enough to get the job done. I may try the green stuff on the front if anything changes after I roll it back up.
If that doesn't work, then I might try taping a piece of string to the tape strips in the back, from one side to the other. Then I could use a clip or something to adjust the tension on the string and see if that pulls the edges enough to counter the curling and straighten them out. Once I determine the right amount of tension, I could tape it and remove the clip for easier retraction.
Thanks again for responding!
1 year ago
I had been using a homemade green screen composed of green poster board taped to a big piece of flat cardboard and mounted on a tripod. It worked beautifully but it got in the way when it wasn't in use.
I found a 55"x72" blind for $10 at the Home Depot, but when I mounted it I realized that the paint I had on hand was probably not the most durable. I found your Instructable and it was exactly what I needed to finish my project! I'm waiting for the rain to stop before I start painting, but at least now I have all of the supplies I need.
2 years ago
Good idea! I've done a lot of home made green screen movie work with kids. The further from skin colour you can get the better that's why that vivid lime green works better than blue.
The best colour I've found corresponds closely to the RGB value 0,255,0 which given the computer technology for paint matching and mixing should be easy for a paint supplier to create. I've used big sheets of fabric which tend to have a range of colour and need wider tolerance in the editing which sometimes results in slightly fuzzy foreground movie. The kids make little film sets for animation using coloured card which has more consistent colour than fabric.
I have a 2m log by 1.8m high roller blind in the garage junk pile that I might try and get paint mixed for. How many coats of paint did you use?
Question 2 years ago on Step 6
Thanks for the write-up, makes for a convenient solution. I do have a question about your selection of paint colour. (A little reciprocating on the spelling. ;) ) What did you take in for the colour scanning?
2 years ago
Very clever budget option. I wonder how the paint will hold up to the rolling process.
Reply 2 years ago
I too wondered that.
I can report absolutely NO problems after many many uses.
Clearly, the paint used could not be flakey undercoat or crumbly primer. I used a standard household acrylic based paint that becomes effectively a plastic film bonded to the blind.
I have since coated an old projector screen for mobile use which works well also
I hope you make your own and enjoy the great results that can be obtained.