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A Quick Overview
Best Overall - Editor’s Choice
Best green screen stand
Best premium green screen for creatives
Best 2-in-1 green screen kit
Best green screen backdrop only for budget
Our Review of the 5 Best Green Screens for Creative Videos
Best overall - Editor’s choice - Elgato Green Screen Backdrop Kit
The Elgato green screen kit is a quality product made from high-grade materials. The kit comprises a green backdrop, its stand, and a carrying bag. When fully spread, the green screen spans 4.8 x 6 ft. This is a moderate size for most creatives; whether you’re into vlogging or live streaming.
What makes the Elgato kit our top choice is its color composite. The green screen comes with a strong pigmentation that stands out when well-lit. The subject and the screen come out distinctly which makes the chroma keying process more efficient.
Another strong talking point of this green screen is the support frame. The frame is made from aluminum which makes it quite sturdy. The backpiece locks in an x-frame setting which makes the setup more solid. It’s also quite easy to set up; pull up the backdrop to the desired height and lock in with the frame clip.
As the green screen backdrop is made from polyester, it makes it wrinkle resistant. Then, the neat packing and frame also ensure it’s neatly rolled up and lesser chances of wrinkles. And to top it all off, the complete green screen weighs only 20.5 pounds. That’s an advantage for filming on the go, as the setup is very portable.
Best green screen stand - Emart Green Screen Backdrop Stand Kit
Next up on our list of top green screens for creatives is the Emart green screen backdrop kit. This product ranks for having the best green screen stand on our list. So, if you’re particular about height and solidity, this is the green screen for you.
Standing at an impressive 8.5 x 10 ft, this chroma-key kit has an impressive framework. The frame stands have adjustable length with four segments each, then the crossbar is also adjustable. This means you can customize the breadth and height of your green screen to fit specific cases.
The green screen backdrop comes in an extensive design, sized at 10 x 12 ft. So, you get enough screen to cover some part of the ground. This kit is ideal for studio use or outdoor shoots that need enough space.
Apart from the frame quality, the green screen quality of this kit is also great. The backdrop is made from muslin cotton. So, it has good absorbance and low reflection. The material is also anti-wrinkle. Although, you might have to smoothen it with a steam iron after long storage.
The kit comes in a durable carry bag made from water-resistant nylon material. And for solidity purposes during use, the pack also comes with heavy-duty clamps to eliminate risk of slippage when in use.
Best premium green screen for creatives - Digital Green® Screen Kit
Green screens used in blockbuster movies with million-dollar budgets are surely not commonly available to the average Joe. But if you know where to look, you can also lay your hands on premium materials at much cheaper rates. One of such premium products is the Digital Green® Screen kit.
This is a patented product manufactured by the company that supplied the materials used in production of The Amazing Spider Man movie, Composite Components Company. But away from the name and all, this green screen kit is one of the best you’d get in the consumer market.
Though the kit comes at a steep price compared to some low-end screens, it does make up for it in quality. The color gradient of the green is carefully formulated with a unique dye and pigment formula. It’s well crafted to give less color distortion and minimal light reflection. So, you can rest assured that the chroma keying is neater, easier, and faster.
The Digital Green® Screen Kit is made from durable materials. The backdrop is made from stretchable spandex that goes from 8 x 8 ft to 9 x 9 ft when hung. The expandable backdrop stand also comes in coated steel, with the whole kit fitting into a firm, portable case.
Best 2-in-1 green screen kit - Neewer Chromakey Double-Sided Backdrop
The Neewer 2-in-1 green screen is a popular choice among creative videographers. It features a collapsible backdrop with a green screen on one side, and a blue screen on the other. The complete kit weighs less than a pound, making it one of the lightest green screen kits available.
What distincts the Neewer double-sided chroma-key screen is its ease of use. This product doesn’t need any extensive setup before use, nor does it require additional effort to dismantle. It works well with a pop-up setting. You simply pull out the screen to desired length, then clamp the back of the side you need to hold in place; removing the clamp allows the backdrop to roll back in, and you can pack up.
So, this product doesn’t only offer the advantage of switching screen color, it also has a quality make to produce good results. The backdrop spans 5 x 6.5 ft, and is made from thick muslin material. The steel frame on the sides of the screen holds it in place preventing wrinkles, and the kit packs small in its disc-shaped zippered bag.
Best green screen backdrop only for budget - Yesker Green Screen Backdrop Only
If all you’re after is to get the best green screen backdrop alone, then this product would be right for you. The Yesker green screen backdrop is a quality product made for filmmakers who already have a frame system but need a high quality green screen that will get the job done.
With this product, you can make creative on-the-go shoots to modify already made footage or for stand-alone quick films. The backdrop spans 6 x 9.5 ft, and comes with a crossbar hole at the top. The material is double-coated with muslin cotton on the green front and a thick satin at the back. So, you can rule out reflection and light leaks.
The good news is that this backdrop is made to last. The durable materials play a key part in this, but in addition, it can be easily rolled on a stick for storage without wrinkles. And upon long use, it’s machine-washable, with the option to straighten out with a steam iron after, to pull-off a rock-solid green screen effect like that of a new material.
How to buy the Best Green Screen for your Creative Videos
Why use a green screen?
The truth is that not all videographers need a green screen. But undeniably, green screens are handy tools for creative filmmakers and photographers. The ability to edit subjects onto any background and make it look natural is of immense advantage to creatives.
The question to ask now is, must one use a green screen for background editing? Technically, the answer is no. But, green screens have proven to be the most effective as the color doesn’t match any part of the body and is easily keyed out in the editing process. A green screen can be termed as a monochromatic background which allows editing software to “chroma key” the color out without affecting the subject.
What to look for in a green screen
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a green screen. However, we’ve narrowed them down to the most important features to look out for in a green screen;
The material used in making a green screen determines how it reacts to light and how efficient the chroma keying would be. Different materials have their advantages over the other. Here are the most common green screen backdrop materials:
Spandex is a stretchable material that sometimes feels like nylon on the hand. They are often very reflective with light, and can cause different shades of green in shots. These are often used in low-end screens as they are cheap. To effectively use spandex green screens, the videographer has to master light intensity and position to factor out color reflection. On the bright side, this material is highly wrinkle-resistant.
Muslin is another name for cotton. Green screens made of muslin are usually durable and absorb light well. Hence, less problem with light reflection. However, muslin is prone to wrinkles which can cause color variations and more difficulty with keying out the green color. An effective measure is to roll such backdrops when packing instead of folding.
Arguably the best-suited material for green screens. It’s more stretchable than cotton (1), and less reflective than spandex. High-grade polyesters work great as monochrome backgrounds in video editing.
Some green screens are made from very light material like paper cloth or very shiny material like silk. These are not advisable to purchase, even though they are super cheap. These would expose your project to uneven chroma color due to wrinkling and too much reflection respectively, which makes chroma keying much more tedious.
The shade of green of the green screen is often a bone of contention among video editing communities. But quite frankly, the shade of green doesn’t really matter. As long as the color is uniform across the screen, and not closely related to any color on the subject or props, it’s good to go. Be that as it may, we can infer that deeper shades of green are more distinct on the screen and are probably easier to chroma key. What really matters is that strong pigment and a dye that doesn’t fade are used in making the green screen.
The size of a green screen can put a lid on the creativity of the filmmaker. For expressive shoots that need lots of room for action, a large screen is non-negotiable. But for still shots that barely involve any movement, a large green screen would be a waste. So, depending on the intended use, the size of a green screen helps in making purchase decisions.
Also worthy of note is a green screen length. For full-body shots, it’s best that the subject stays at a distance of about 10 feet from the screen to achieve the best lighting. Only a long green screen would suffice, as it needs to cover parts of the ground as well.
Ease of use
The ease of setting up and also packing a green screen kit after use is a valid point in choosing a product to buy. If you don’t have a production crew that would dedicate quality time to assembling and disassembling green screen parts, then you might want to stay away from Hollywood-targeted green screens. Just go for the handy kits that you can single-handedly put together within minutes.
A green screen setup often comprises the backdrop and a support frame. Having a sturdy green screen stand is quite vital to filming quality video for chroma keying. You don’t want any shakes whatsoever when filming, hence you need a frame that firmly locks the green screen in position all through the filming process.
As most consumer-grade green screens come in kits, the cost of purchase often includes the green backdrop and the support stand. So, basically, you should expect to purchase a green screen kit at a higher price than only the green screen backdrop. That aside, prices also vary based on the quality of material used and size of the green screen.
The size of a green screen is best determined by evaluating the activity to be filmed. The more space needed to perform, the larger the ideal green screen. However, for a fair size that allows for creativity and isn’t too big, a 9 x 12 ft green screen would do.
Yes, green screens can be used for live streaming. The best type of green screen for live streaming would be a compact one with a solid stand. This can be placed behind the presenter and then edited into the background of choice.
Overall, picking out the best green screen for your creative videos isn’t as complicated as you might think. While just any green piece would pass an efficient green screen, most of the products on the market would work just fine. But if you’re particular about getting your money’s worth, which you should be, then be sure to look out for a product made from quality material, solid framework, and is easy to piece together.
Need a recommendation? The Elgato Green Screen Backdrop Kit is our strongest choice. It’s made from quality polyester, has a solid x-frame stand, lightweight, and very easy to set up. It also comes at an average size and a fair price point.
It’s over to you, our readers. Which green screen do you use for your creative videos? What stunts are you able to pull with the product? Let us know all about these and more in the comments below. Cheers.
- Sewing Parts Online Community. (n.d.). The 411 on Cotton vs. Polyester: The Pros and Cons. Published on Sewing Parts Online Blog. Retrieved from https://www.sewingpartsonline.com/blog/411-cotton-vs-polyester-pros-cons/