Pin Me

How to Make a Green Screen

written by: Misty Faucheux•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 2/8/2011

Want to learn how to make a green screen for your next project? It's really easy and cheap to do. You just need to pick up a few things at your local craft or thrift store, and you'll be ready to go!

  • slide 1 of 3

    Making Your Own Green Screen

    A green screen is a tool that allows you to add different backgrounds to your image. For example, you can film or take a picture of someone riding a bike in front of a green screen, and then you can take this image and put the person somewhere else. You can have the person ride down the streets of Paris. While you can purchase a green screen, you can also learn how to make a green screen yourself.

  • slide 2 of 3

    Materials

    Supplies

    Cloth

    DyeSource: http://www.flickr.com/photos/peterpearson/4981835627/sizes/m/in/photostream/ 

    Pins

    You can use nearly any type of white cloth for making a green screen. You should, however, make sure that it doesn’t have any type of coating, or your dye won’t evenly stick. You can purchase a sheet from a thrift store for less than $5. Dye usually costs about $5. You need stick pins to hang your green screen over your wall. If you have some type of map stand, that works as well. But, you don’t want to go out and buy this since it costs close to $100. The pins cost less than $5. So, you can make you own green screen for about $20.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Instructions

    You have your choice of dyes for this project. Depending on the type of image that you are filming, you need a green, blue or orange screen. The name green screen is actually something of a misnomer. The color of the screen actually depends on the colors in your foreground image. But, the previously mentioned colors are the most commonly used.

    The hardest part of this task is making the color even. A good rule of thumb is to try to not have any wrinkles in your cloth when you are dying it. A large plastic pool works well for this purpose, and it doesn’t cost that much, usually about $20. So, if you don’t have one, you won’t be out a lot of money. And, you’ll have someplace to beat the sun next summer.

    Now, mix the dye according to the directions on the package. Usually, you have to heat the dye, but that depends on the brand that you are buying. When it’s ready, dump it into your pool, and lay your cloth in it. Weigh down the extreme edges of the cloth if it won’t lay flat. These edges don’t usually show up in the shot, so it doesn’t matter if they’re not perfectly died.

    Let the cloth soak in the dye for as long as the instructions recommend. Then, pull it out of the water, and hang it up to dry. You can use a clothes line and pins for this step.

    Check the color of the cloth of your green screen when it’s done drying. If it’s too light, or uneven, try repeating the above process again.