Saturday, August 9, 2014

YouTube Tip - Make A Green Screen Out Of A Bed Sheet

Its nice, but not required!
Every time I watched videos on YouTube, I'd see amazing green screen and then immediately become discouraged. How was I supposed to make videos like that? I can't afford a green screen kit and I don't have a spare wall in my small apartment to paint green.

Through numerous trials and errors, John and I were able to come up with a cheap and effective way to construct a green screen using a king size bed sheet we bought at Walmart.

Things You'll Need:

1.) A green bed sheet. You can get yours anywhere or use one you already own, (This will work, even if the sheet is faded from washing or a duller green) I used the king size flat sheet sold at Walmart for $14.99. [Don't use a silk or shiny sheet, use cotton!]
 2.) Screw Mounts. I only have four because I lost the rest and was too cheap to get more. You can get a pack of six at Walmart for $9.22. They might be cheaper at Home Depot. Spend the least amount possible. You will need five for this project!
3.) Small binder clips. Most people have these lying around but if you don't, they're pretty cheap. You'll need a binder clip for each hook; a total of five. I find that the smaller ones give a tighter hold than the larger ones.
4.) A piece of yarn or rope cut a little shorter than the length of your sheet.
5.) Thumb-tacks.

6.) Tape.

7.) Most importantly, you'll need a friend (or parent) to help you!


1.) Find a place where your sheet can hang with enough space around it to film. I hang mine against the closet.

2.) Fold the string in half two times and stick a piece of tape around every bend and also both ends. This will help you space the hooks equally along the line.

3.) Tack the yarn onto the ceiling in the three spaces where the tape is and both ends. It will serve as a guide to keep your hooks straight. You may have to stand on a stool so be careful and ask for help!

4.) Place a screw hook facing outward in front of each piece of tape on the string plus both ends.

5.) Hang a binder clip from each hook. You're almost done!

6.) Now, clip the sheet evenly into the binder clips from the thickest side.
See how mine sags in the center? I need a fifth clip!
You're done! You have a cheap green screen that is easy to assemble and put away when you're done!


*If you're looking to get full body shots, you get a smaller sheet to use on the floor. Just place one end under the hanging sheet and roll it out. 

*Lighting and distance in key! Try to film with as much space between the sheet and your subject as possible. Also, light the sheet evenly and back-light your subject to keep them from having a green halo in post.

*If you're finding that your sheet just isn't green enough, you can always make it greener in post using the color settings in your editing software. Dress your subject in red to make this process easier.

Here is my latest video shot using this green screen set-up.

I really hope this technique helps. I realize that it might not work for everyone; if you have really high ceilings or ceilings made from an impenetrable material it might be impossible. Let me know if you've discovered ways to get around this. 

If you have any suggestions, questions or tips, just leave a comment below. 

Thank you, and happy green screening!

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