An Almost Magical Way To Light Your Green Screen Background

A green screen, also known as a chromakey, can make life really easy if you are doing a lot of video work and want a simple solution for dropping in different backgrounds. David Dugdale created a great tutorial for green screen which shows how to effectively light a chromakey background and key it out in Premiere. ReflecMedia has created a different solution for chromakeying with their Chroma Background Kit. It uses a green LED ringlight that illuminates their special background made up of glass beads. Even with the lovely Olivia Tech explaining how it works, I'm still a bit shocked that such a small ringlight can illuminate the background without affecting the subject. This system isn't cheap but I can see the advantage of not having to carry extra lights just to evenly light a huge background especially out on location.

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ouch, that ain't cheap

Patrick Hall's picture

It probably will be in about 6 months :)

Zack Williamson's picture

once a knockoff shows up on ebay out of China...

It's been out for some time now, but the kit is still... very plasticy!
It does illuminate the subject with a green / blue cast (depending of which kit you are using), if you don't control the light correctly... I have been shooting chromakey since 1990, and still prefer the 'propper' way of metering the lighting to a green or blue screen rather than this set-up... I shot a feature with this lighting the main, and to the side the 'b-roll' profile camera was shooting against conventional green screen.. the results were much better with the conventional set-up.

I don't see how visible light won't be hitting your subject. Also what about when you use powerful lights, sometimes I light people with powerful HMI Par lamps going thru diffusion material.. Won't those lights overpower the little ring flash? I'd love to test this thing in the studio vs the traditional method of lighting a green screen. 

I've actually used this on multiple video shoots for the past 2+ years. One of the production companies I work with owns one and we use it a lot. It's actually surprisingly good and really fast to set up. You look in the viewfinder of the camera and the background is a perfect even green. It does reflect pretty heavily in eye glasses if the subject is wearing them and is looking straight into the camera. Other than that, it's great!

Personally, I would rather spend the $1600 on a kit of regular hot lights and then be able to use them in broad daylight and wherever else I feel the need to use them.  Its a neat idea, but I don't know if the practical application would be awesome enough to warrant the drawbacks of the system...

That is a pretty cool solution but yea it is expensive!

NIgel King's picture

I use this kit with the local high school. Works perfectly in that the kids get the concept with out being bogged down with the delicate lighting of traditional green screen. Highly recommend for this level of production.

seems so unnecessary