FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can I walk on the green
How should I light the backdrops?
Do the seams cause a problem
when color keying?
Do grommets or Rod-Pockets come with the standard orders?
Does it cost extra to add extra features?
How much do grommets Cost?
will it take for my order to process?
What is your
standard shipping carrier?
How is the
fabric shipped? Do you fold it?
should I store my backdrop?
How do I remove wrinkles?
How does foam-backed fabric compare
to other fabrics?
a larger Chroma Key backdrop better?
What Color is Better
(BLUE or GREEN)?
I only have access to a miniDV camera, what
can I do to make the composite look better?
How can I make my green screen composites look
I want to buy a professional video camera,
what features are best for color keying?
How do I clean the backdrops?
can wash our backgrounds in the washing machine and hang or tumble dry.
For larger backdrops (too big for a washing machine), put a little
soap on a cotton rag (mild soap or laundry detergent) then run the
rag under water to dilute the soap (if the soap is not diluted, it
may be hard to rinse completely). Use the rag to spot clean the fabric. If the spots are bad,
you can also use stain remover or spray it down with a water hose.
After your done, hang out to dry or use a hair blow-dryer for spot
drying. The important thing is to clean away any excess soap and let it
dry completely before using. If the backdrop is not dry, dirt might attract to
the wet spots. Don't be scared to use soap if necessary but
don’t use any chemicals that will harm synthetics (IE: 409, bleach, Tilex, etc).
Can I walk on the green screen?
This fabric is very durable and will not rip or
tear when walking on it. The Chroma key fabric is made of very
strong nylon/polyester that is very difficult to rip. To give
you an idea of how strong it is, we've attached 40lbs of lead weight
to a 1/2inch wide strip without it ripping
(click here to see image). It is also very
difficult to cut. You would need sharp scissors or a matte
knife to cut it. All we recommend is when walking on it is to clean any loose mud
or dirt off your shoes and use anti-slip mats under the screen if
the floor is slippery.
How should I light the backdrops?
Daylight corrected HMI's are
wonderful if you can get them. Kino fluorescents also work very
nice. To keep cost down you can also use Tungsten hot lights. They are easier to find and less. Most Mini DV
cameras have white balance options with a settings for Tungsten. If
you are shooting on film, kinos with bulbs specialized for
compositing would be the easist to work with. If you can't
get access to kinos or HMI's, you will need to correct the Tungsten
lighting using optical filters.
The best way to successfully pull a key is to
evenly light the entire backdrop. Eliminate
any hot spots inside the frame. Light the screen from the sides at 45 degree angles
Place equal amounts of lights on each side. The quantity
of lights you need is completely dependent on screen size. If the
backdrop is fairly wide, roof mounted lights across the length are
very helpful. Place your actor 7ft -
10ft away from the backdrop to eliminate most shadowing problems
and color bleed. This also makes it easier to light them
separately. The way you light your subject/talent depends a lot on the scene
you’re compositing them in. A backlight or hair rim light can help give you
separation also helps minimize color bleed issues.
Will the seam cause a
The seam is so small it
not effect your color key. For most productions, the camera will
also be at least 8 feet away, making it hard to notice the seam.
to see a shot that utilizes a seamed backdrop. If you look
closely, you'll see the seam next to the actor's elbow. It is not
large enough to effect the keying.
Do grommets or Rod-Pockets come with the
standard orders? Is there an extra charge for these additional
Unless specified otherwise in the title or
description of our item/auction, rod pockets or grommets are not
included with the standard backdrops and are an additional cost.
How much do grommets
The price varies depending how
many edges you want
modified and the space you want between each grommet (standard is
In order to give an accurate quote, we need to know specifics about
what you are looking for. The edges on grommet orders are normally double tucked
(folded over at the edges for reinforcement) and sewn down before
grommets are placed. Double tucking the edge takes extra time to
manufacture, but makes the edges stronger. This extra
strength insures the grommets won't rip out, especially on larger
How long will it take for my order to process?
manufacturing times changes depending on current demands. The
estimated processing and manufacturing times are posted in the
shopping cart and order confirmation
email. This is generated from an average of our current order
processing and is not a guaranteed a shipment date. In
general, the larger customized backdrops tend to have longer
processing times. Although faster shipping methods are normally processed first, don't assume your backdrop will arrive in 1 day if
you pay for overnight shipping. Manufacturing times also applies to
Overnight Air and 2-Day air orders. Expedited processing is
sometimes available for a minimal service fee. For more information
please call our sale office at (805.462.EEFX).
What is your standard
Most of our orders ship via UPS Ground. USPS (United States
Post Office) or FedEx may also be used, depending on the priority of
the package, size and ship to location.
How is the fabric
shipped? Will it be folded?
backdrops are rolled up then folded to fit in an optimally sized
box. This saves you money on shipping. We will gladly ship the
backdrop rolled instead of folded, but it is considered over sized
and can cost 2-3x more to ship. Please call our sales office prior
to placing your order if you have special shipping requirements.
If your worried about
wrinkling, you should be happy to hear that our foam-cored backdrops bounce back amazingly well. For storage, fold the fabric
at the seam, then roll up on a pole or on itself. Another option is
to loosely fold it up. Remove every month or two and refold
differently each time to eliminate creasing.
How should I store my
The best method would be
to fold the fabric at the seam, then roll the fabric up on a pole or
on itself. Another option is to loosely fold it up. Unroll it
every month or so and refold differently each time to eliminate any
How do I remove wrinkles?
Once you hang or lay the
out, the foam core bounces back amazingly well. Let it hang up for a day or so, depending on the
extent of the wrinkles and the wrinkles should disappear. If
you need them out faster, fill up a spray bottle with water and
spray the back side (in the area with wrinkles). The water will
speed up the foam expansion process and remove wrinkles within
30-45Min's. Use a hair blow drier if you need to dry the fabric
quickly. The foam back fabric is the best in the industry when it
comes to wrinkle removal.
How does foam-backed fabric compare to other fabrics?
Our fabric is preferred by artists because of
many reasons. First of all, it is composed of a three layer laminate design.
The layers include a foam core center, nylon mesh backing, and chroma key diffusion face. The nylon backing makes it almost impossible to tear. The foam core
gives it the ability to stretch and also bounce back from wrinkles.
The face layer is very strong and is composted of a
series of tiny loops that diffuse light for a more evenly exposed
backdrop. There is no other fabric like it.
Although it may cost more to manufacture compared the other single
layer woven fabrics, our prices are extremely competitive for quality
EEFX.COM is owned by a visual effect
artist that has worked on projects ranging from feature films to
commercial spots and has used all different types of chroma key
fabrics and paints. Foam-Backed Fabric is superior because of its
versatility, durability, ease to evenly light, thickness, color
fastness, diffuseness, and strength.
What makes a larger chroma key backdrop better?
When the backdrop is smaller, the actor has to stand closer to the
If your subject is
to close to the screen, you may have problems due to the chroma key
color reflecting off the screen and bouncing onto your subject. This
is called "color bleed". Too much bleed can cause
the subject to become transparent where the green hits their skin
and clothes. Bleed can be removed by bouncing white light into the
problematic areas or by moving your actor further away from the
screen. This is one reason why a large backdrop is extremely
beneficial for a successful color key. The larger the backdrop, the
further you can pull your actor away from it.
Having a larger backdrop also makes it easier to light the backdrop
separate from the subject. With more space between the backdrop and
the model, you can easily light the backdrop without casting dark
shadows on the back of the screen. We
recommend placing the subject at least 8'-10' away.
A larger screen will also give you
more range of camera movement. If you plan on shooting multiple
angles (IE: close-up, wide, side, low POV, moving shots, etc.) then
make sure your screen is large enough for its application.
What color is better (BLUE or GREEN)?
Both blue and green work very well for color keying. Green tends to
be more popular for DV because the camera's CCD is more sensitive to
the frequencies in the green color spectrum and requires slightly
less light. Blue, however, can be easier to work with when color
bounces onto the subject (bleed). Most of our customers purchase
green, but both colors are industry standard. Keep in mind that the
Chroma key backdrop shouldn’t resemble colors in your scene. For
example, if you are taking photos of a person wearing green clothes,
then Chroma key Green may not be your best choice. The same is true
for blue. If your subject is wearing blue clothes, then you
shouldn’t use a Blue backdrop. Photography studios often
buy multiple colors so they have a keying screen for any
have access to a miniDV camera, what can I do to make the composite
It is a
common mistake to assume MiniDV is uncompressed because it is a digital format.
In reality, the video is compressed the moment it is
recorded to tape. MiniDV cameras record to tape at a 4:1:1
color space. For every scanline (720 total NTSC)
every group of 4 pixels are sampled down to a single pixel.
The color channel on a miniDV tape is actually only
180x480 chroma samples and not 720x480. The reason the color channel doesn't
appear to be a lower resolution is because the luminance channel is recorded at
sample rate, which gives the illusion of color shift. This can be
minimized significantly by using a good keying plugin. Some of the
better color keying programs have built-in settings to reduce miniDV
compression artifacts. If possible,
you should use a 3CCD camera for color keying. If a 3CCD camera is
not available, we recommend using a green screen instead of a blue
screen. Since the blue chroma channel on a DV camera is inherently grainy and noisy, shooting green screen will
artifacts from noise and grain. When shooting miniDV full body
shots, you normally have 480 vertical pixels, 720 horizontal pixels
and a lot of wasted information on the sides. The best way to get
more pixel information is to rotate the camera sideways. Now you
have 720 vertical pixels and 480 horizontal. After capturing the
footage, you can rotate the image 90 degrees and scale it down to
fit inside the 480 tall composite. This gives you more pixel
information, a cleaner edge, and by scaling the footage down
(to fit in the 480 comp) you also decrease the size and visibility
of edge artifacts.
How to creating better looking green screen composites:
It is always a good idea for your subject to take up as much of the
frame as possible. Afterwards, you can scale them down to fit inside
your composite. For example, if we were working on a visual effects
shot with a final output resolution of 720, we would shoot the green
screen footage at 1080. The footage would then be keyed and scaled
down to 720. The more you are able to scale your footage down, the
cleaner the edging will look in your final composite. You rarely
ever want to frame your subject as small as they will be in the
final shot. We also don't recommend zooming or pushing into chroma
key footage after it has been shot. This technique also applies to
film frame scans. If we are working with 2k 35mm film scans, we
would scan the green screen frames at 4k, then scale them to 2k for
the final composite.
interested in buying a professional video camera, what features are
best for color keying:
Cameras that record to memory cards or directly to hard drives are preferred because
they are not limited to the
NTSC 4:1:1 DV tape compression. Some can record at 4:2:2
(1/2 color space samples) or 4:4:4 (Uncompressed color space).
The color pixel information on a 4:2:2 camera has twice as many color pixels as a
4:1:1 DV camera. The color keying artifacts due to
color compression will be minimized on a 4:2:2 camera or eliminated
with a 4:4:4 camera. When
shooting digital video, we
recommend a 3CCD 4:2:2 (1/2 compressed chroma channels)
or a high-end 3CCD 4:4:4 (uncompressed chroma channels) camera. When
shooting motion picture film we recommend a film stock with low
grain that is specialized for matte compositing.