They are not only used in film & television to change backgrounds at will, for example, but are also increasingly used by streamers and creators to hide the background when using a facecam and insert it into the image. In this greenscreen test, we present the best models and show you what you should look for when buying a greenscreen.
1 The most important facts in a nutshell!
Here we briefly summarize the most important facts that came out of our greenscreen test.
- There are 5 types of greenscreen: green wall, retractable greenscreen, foldable greenscreen, roll-up greenscreen & tripod greenscreen.
- Greenscreens made of cotton are widely used, but also prone to wrinkles.
- Greenscreens made of polyester are durable, wrinkle resistant and waterproof.
- With a special paint, you can also turn your wall into a green screen.
- To remove the background, the color green is the most suitable.
- The effect that is applied when using a green screen is called chroma keying.
- For the perfect result, the optimal lighting of your greenscreen is an absolute must.
- Your green screen should not have any wrinkles, otherwise image errors and distortions can occur.
- Avoid green clothing unless you want to deliberately play around with it.
- You can get a good green screen on the Internet for about 120 €.
2 Greenscreen Test - The best screens in comparison!
3 What types of greenscreens are there?
Even if the actual functionality of a greenscreen is always the same, there are different types of greenscreens, which then differ in the design, the structure or the type of application. Which type of green screen is the right one depends on the application you want to use it for. In general, there are different types of greenscreens.
- rollable greenscreen
- Greenscreen on roll with tripod
- foldable greenscreen
- retractable green screen
- green wall
The roll-up greenscreen actually works similar to a window blind. You can hang in on the ceiling or on a wall that the camera is pointed at and pull it down when needed. The advantage of this variant is that it saves space and can be rolled up again in a matter of seconds, so the greenscreen doesn't get in the way or hang. The rolling mechanism is durable and roll-up greenscreens can be used in almost any spatial condition.
Greenscreen on roll with tripod
Similarly, greenscreens that are rolled up, but not hung, are held by a specially designed tripod. The construct is simply placed behind the person being photographed and can be repositioned as needed. This mobility can be very important in some cases, which is the reason that this variant is often used in TV or professional photo shoots.
Another advantage is that due to the rolling function, there are no wrinkles in the fabric or paper, which can be very important, especially in professional productions. Of course, this type of green screen takes up a relatively large amount of space, while dismantling is also not exactly easy. Likewise, you don't have to roll up and unroll the roll by hand as you do with the rollable greenscreen.
Foldable greenscreens are mainly used by newcomers and beginners because they are relatively inexpensive to purchase and do not require much technical understanding to set up. They come in round, square or rectangular shapes and are often stretched on a flexible frame, which can make it easier to stow the greenscreen and prevent wrinkling. Greenscreens that come without a frame are simple green fabric blankets that can be cut and attached as desired. The major drawback is that the look is often quite makeshift and the overall construction is prone to wrinkles.
Retractable greenscreens are the spearhead of greenscreens, so to speak, and are hard to beat in terms of practicality as well as workmanship and flexibility. Especially for streamers, retractable greenscreens are very popular, because they don't need any annoying setup and can be stowed away in no time. The screens are rolled up in an elongated metal case and, thanks to the so-called pop-up technology, can be extended with a flick of the wrist, while the heavy metal case remains firmly on the ground. The green fabric wall is held in place by a flexible X-Frame, which guarantees a crease- and wrinkle-free user experience.
While it's only a green screen in the broadest sense, probably the most mundane way to get a green surface behind you is to use wall paint. Nowadays, there are even special wall paint that has been mixed to match the functionality of a real green screen. The big disadvantage: the green wall is of course more or less permanent and cannot be easily removed.
4 Buying guide: What you should look for when buying a greenscreen!
Of course, when buying a green screen, there are some things you should definitely pay attention to. What these are and how you can find the perfect green screen for you, you will find out in this category.
The different greenscreens are often made of different materials, which means that the quality can vary greatly. Because: not all greenscreens are the same. Each of the materials used for greenscreens has its advantages and disadvantages, which are of course reflected in the price. In the following, we will explain the differences between the materials and tell you what is important when choosing a material.
The most common material used in the production of green screens is cotton. The fabric is quite inexpensive to purchase and can usually provide good to very good image results. The advantage of cotton cloth is that you can cut it to any size and adapt it to your space. Theoretically, you can simply attach the fabric to the wall like a poster, but this kind of attachment does not look very good. Another disadvantage of cotton greenscreens is that they are very light and tend to slip or move with small gusts of wind (fan, etc.). Also, this material often wrinkles, which can have a negative impact on the image.
Polyester greenscreens are especially popular with streamers because they are often used in so-called pop-up greenscreens such as the Elgato Green Screen. The material is much harder than cotton in its feel and thus makes a more stable impression. In most green screens made of polyester, the surface is already stretched on a frame that can be retracted or extended. While cotton sheets often get dirty and fade, polyester greenscreens are very durable and even water repellent.
Specially developed for Creator and Creative people, so-called Chroma Key wall paints offer the ideal shade for displaying a good image on the screen. They are particularly matte and thus hardly reflect, which should be especially interesting for photographers who work with flash. However, streamers and creators who use a face camera or webcam also benefit from a green screen wall. The disadvantage is that you first have to have a suitable and free wall available to paint it in a greenscreen wall color. In addition, this type of green screen is permanent and cannot be removed without a lot of effort.
Green and blue are so-called key colors - the colors that are used when artificial backgrounds are to be added behind a scene afterwards. The idea behind this is that these two colors contrast ideally with other colors, so less post-processing is needed to get a satisfactory result. While the color green is most commonly used by streamers and creators, bluescreens are also often used in film studios and on TV shows. However, the term green screen is considered common and is even used when talking about blue screens at the moment. So you don't have to worry about what color is best for your home studio, because you will find almost no blue screens on the Internet. Green is great for your purposes and is the standard around the world when it comes to filtering out the background of an image.
Depending on what you want to capture, green screens come in different sizes. For streaming, it's usually enough if the greenscreen is as big as you are while sitting on your desk chair. For this reason, greenscreens designed specifically for streamers and creators are not particularly wide. However, there are applications for which a huge green screen is absolutely necessary. In TV studios or on film sets, entire backdrops are often equipped with green cloth so that they can be subsequently replaced with an impressive background.
Tripod or background system (mounting of the screen)
In order to achieve perfect results, it is important that your green screen is not just arbitrarily placed anywhere, but held by an appropriate mount or tripod. This so-called background system is ideal for freely positioning the green screen and adjusting the height of the system. This way you are always flexible and can dismantle or put away the whole construction within a few minutes. Note that this method takes up a relatively large amount of space and may have a negative impact on the overall look of your room.
So before you buy, make sure that your space is adequate for the use of a green screen with background system. The best thing to do is to measure the area beforehand and then look at the corresponding dimensions of the system in the item description.
5 Functionality and application areas of a greenscreen
The technology of a green screen is not exactly new, but nevertheless a result, which was achieved with a well-lit green screen, always knows how to inspire. It almost borders on magic when the background disappears behind the focus and is replaced by any scenery. Want your viewers to think you're in a professionally set up studio? Or in a cozy café? No problem - a green screen makes all this possible, because with the so-called chroma key technology, the image in front of the screen is automatically cropped and replaced by a video, photo or virtual environment with the help of compositing.
This technology was first used as early as 1940 in the Hollywood adventure "The Thief of Bagdad" and then went on a triumphant march that continues to this day. Today, green screens are used in virtually every film. The use of this technology allows filmmakers to take heroes to places they've never visited. The Internet entertainment industry has also been harnessing this magic for several years now, as streamers from around the world turn to greenscreens to create unique content for their viewers.
6 What are the benefits of a green screen?
Greenscreens allow users to present their viewers with different locations and scenarios as backgrounds, even though it always looks the same to them. In this way, creators and streamers add variety and fun moments to their broadcasts, which strengthens viewer loyalty, looks professional, and demonstrates a high level of creativity and initiative.
7 What programs do I need to work with green screen?
Since you are certainly a budding or already established creator or streamer, we would like to focus on these areas when using a greenscreen. To get the most out of a greenscreen, you don't really need much more than the software you probably already know and use regularly - OBS Studio. The free program allows you to activate the Chroma Key function with a single mouse click to present the perfect illusion to your viewers.
8 Tips for getting the best results / shooting with green screen
In this section, we'll take an in-depth look at how to make the most of your greenscreen and get the best results. While the operation and use of a greenscreen is child's play, there are always little stumbling blocks, especially for newbies, that can lead to unsatisfactory shots or results.
Illumination or the right lighting is an important issue when it comes to perfect image quality - even without a greenscreen. But with a greenscreen, this factor is at least as important, because if your room is not sufficiently lit, your greenscreen will not be able to reach its full potential, which means that the image will not be good.
So make sure that both you and your background, i.e. the greenscreen, are evenly lit. Only then will the camera recognize the rich green and the program will be able to crop the background correctly and believably, without any visible errors. Try to position the light source so that it sits directly centrally in front of it. This is important because it may be that otherwise an unsightly shadow will appear on the green screen. If this is the case, the camera can no longer optimally distinguish the color difference between the shadow and the greenscreen, which means that the background is not correctly cropped. Instead of one light source, it would be ideal to position at least three strong lights in front of you - one on each side and the other again in front. With this setup, you can achieve highly professional results that are well worth seeing.
If your greenscreen has wrinkles or is heavily creased, this can lead to minor distortions and irregularities in the background. In extreme cases, this can be very distracting and put off your viewers. Therefore, make sure that your green screen is smooth and completely wrinkle-free. If necessary, carefully iron the fabric once with a steam iron and try to get out every little wrinkle. To avoid wrinkles, it can also be helpful if the end of the green screen is equipped with a weight in the form of a bar. This way the fabric doesn't flutter around unnecessarily and wrinkles don't stand a chance.
As mentioned before, unsightly shadows may form on your green screen if your room is not ideally lit. However, these shadows can also occur if you are sitting or standing in front of your greenscreen at the wrong distance. Therefore, make sure that you always maintain the optimal distance of between 2 and 3 meters so that your image can be displayed sharply and without errors. The interaction of lighting and distance is the key to achieving a beautiful and satisfying result.
When using a green screen, you should avoid wearing green clothing. Logical - because with some shades your camera can't tell the difference between greenscreen and, say, a green t-shirt, and you'll get annoying, but no less entertaining, image errors. Of course, you can also deliberately take advantage of this little detail by deliberately wrapping yourself in green. This can then ensure, for example, that your entire upper body is "lost" in the green and it looks as if your head is flying around freely in space. There are no limits to your creativity here!
9 Greenscreen Test - The Costs
So how expensive is a decent greenscreen? Of course, that always depends on which variant you choose. There are already good set offers starting at about 120€, which include a greenscreen with tripod and background system as well as the appropriate lighting. If you are a streamer and want to be as flexible as possible, we can only recommend the retractable green screen from Elgato for about 150 €. It is space-saving, durable and very easy to use.
The cheapest option is the foldable green screen cloth, which is available for about 25 €, but you have to hang it on the wall yourself. As already mentioned, there are also special wall paints that not only have the ideal green, but are also so matte that the end result is hardly distinguishable from that of a "real" green screen. The Wanders company offers a 500 ml bucket of greenscreen paint for €35. Depending on the size of the area that is to be turned into a green screen, you can expect a considerable total price.
Now you have learned in our greenscreen test what a greenscreen is, which variants there are and how you can use it in the best possible way. With a green screen, you as a streamer and creator stand out from the competition and are able to create unique content that is not only innovative and interesting, but can also be funny. Using a green screen opens up a whole new world of possibilities to entertain and keep your viewers happy.
Chroma Key technology was originally developed for the film and TV industry, but because greenscreens are now quite affordable and just about everyone has a webcam or camera, they are becoming increasingly popular with streamers and creators. As a result, streams are looking more and more professional and are in no way inferior to larger productions in terms of quality and visuals. Various manufacturers have also noticed that the demand for greenscreens is growing, which leads to more and more complete packages or user-friendly greenscreens coming onto the market.
Be aware that the assembly of the entire construction may take some time and work. Especially when it comes to lighting, you should rely on our tips and possibly include the purchase of additional lamps. Don't miss the opportunity to play around with the green screen technology to find new and creative applications, because only if you are innovative and entertaining, you will be able to inspire your audience.
We hope to have helped you with your purchase decision and wish you a lot of fun streaming!
11 Frequently Asked Questions about the Greenscreen Test
What is a green screen?
A greenscreen is a green screen that helps remove the background that is behind the focused object or person using chroma key technology to replace it with other images and backgrounds after the fact or in real time.
Why is a green screen green?
Green is a so-called key color and, together with blue, the color that stands out the most from other hues. This is the best way to remove backgrounds.
What kind of green is needed for a greenscreen?
The green used for greenscreens is usually rich and bright. If you want to turn your wall into a green screen, keep your eyes open for special green screen wall paint.