Best Green Screens

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

24 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
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330 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best green screens

Last Updated September 2020

If you enjoy making videos or taking photos, you’ve probably wondered how to raise your production skills to the next level. With a green screen, you can pull off amazing special effects that can rival professional production values.

A green screen is a backdrop that’s placed behind a subject when you’re shooting videos or photos. It uses a special effects process called chroma key, which allows you to single out a particular color and make it transparent. You can then superimpose another background image on the screen, so you can place your subject in nearly any setting. A green screen is used for chroma key because green tones aren’t present in skin tones, so you needn’t worry about distorting your model or actor when changing the background.

Choosing a green screen can be difficult because there are so many options available. You must select the proper color, determine the right size, decide whether you want a portable or stationary model, and figure out which other features you require. Our buying guide simplifies the process with the information you need.

A green screen should be as smooth and flat as possible, so stretch the fabric as tightly as you can to remove any folds or wrinkles.

Key considerations

Color

This probably seems obvious — a green screen should, of course, be green — but pay careful attention to the specific hue of any green screen you consider. Choose a screen with a uniform green shade across the entire surface, so there aren’t differences in the brightness or tone of the green. If there are faded areas on the screen, you may have a more difficult time editing your video or photos with the special effects that you want.

Keep in mind that some photographers and videographers use a blue screen rather than a green screen for chroma key effects. Just as with green, there usually isn’t any blue present in human skin tones, so a blue screen can produce a similar effect in post-production editing. But green screens typically work best with digital cameras and aren’t as tricky to light as blue screens, so they’re usually the best option for beginners.

Size

If you’re going to pull off the video and photo shoots that you want, you need a green screen that’s the right size for your projects. As a general rule, the larger your subject, the larger your green screen should be.

Some green screens only cover the wall, while others are large enough to cover the floor as well. You can find options that are as small as 3 x 5 feet and as large as 20 x 20 feet. If you’re only shooting one person, a screen that’s 5 x 7 feet should work. For group shots, you will need a screen that measures at least 10 x 12 feet.

Portable vs. stationary

Some green screens are designed to be portable, so they collapse easily, which allows you to take them wherever you happen to be shooting. They usually have hooks for hanging the screen or include a portable stand. Some also feature a carrying case to make transporting and protecting the screen without damage easier.

Other green screens are meant to be stationary and left in one place in your studio or filming space. They tend to be larger models and often roll up on a rod that’s mounted to the wall, so the screen is always ready to roll out when it’s time to shoot.

EXPERT TIP

Green screens don’t work well with natural light. Block any light coming from behind or next to the screen to prevent problems in post-production.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Material

Green screens are made of a variety of materials including paper, vinyl, muslin, polyester, and cotton. A green screen made of 100% cotton usually produces the best results, though it can wrinkle easily, so you may need to iron it often. In general, fabric green screens, especially those with a tight weave or higher thread count, are the best choice.

Non-reflective surface

No matter the material of your green screen, it’s essential that the surface be non-reflective. If there’s any gloss or sheen on the screen, it could adversely affect the final results when you attempt to edit your videos or photos.

Stand

Many portable green screens include a stand to hold the screen in place. Some feature a frame that you can hang the screen from, while others prop the screen up almost like an easel. Large stationary green screens usually come with a rod that the screen hangs from, which must be mounted to the wall or ceiling.

Washability

A green screen should be easy to clean in case you have any accidents around it or it starts to gather dust. Fabric screens are often machine washable, which makes cleanup extremely easy. Others require hand washing to protect the material. Vinyl green screens can often be cleaned with a damp cloth.

Package deals

Some green screens include accessories that can help with your video or photography sessions. Many come with lights to ensure that your images are clear and fully visible, while others include a boom stand to hold your microphone to improve sound quality. Purchasing a kit that includes a green screen with other videography or photography equipment usually provides the best overall value.

DID YOU KNOW?

TV meteorologists often work with a green screen when using a weather map, but they’re also used in plenty of movies, including the Harry Potter series, the Marvel Avengers movies, and the Star Wars franchise.

Accessories

Photography lighting set: StudioFX 3-Piece Kit
Whether you’re using your green screen to take photos or shoot a video, you need lights to make sure that your images are clear. We like this kit from Studio FX because it has all the essential lights that a beginner needs and can be set up in a matter of minutes.

Camera microphone: Rode VMGO
When you’re shooting videos with your green screen, you need a high-quality microphone for your camera to provide the best sound. This one from Rode is a favorite because it’s powered by the camera, so you don’t have to worry about a battery.

Green screen prices

Green screens vary in price based on the size and frame style. Models range from $10 to $400.

Inexpensive: The most affordable green screens are small models made of vinyl or cheaper fabrics. They typically don’t include any type of frame or stand and measure between 3 x 5 feet and 5 x 6 feet. Low-end models generally cost between $10 and $30.

Mid-range: Mid-price green screens are typically medium-size models with screens manufactured of cotton, sturdy vinyl, or another high-quality fabric. They often include a frame or stand to support the screen and are usually between 5 x 7 feet and 20 x 20 feet. Some green screen packages in this price bracket include accessories like lights, too. These models cost between $30 and $170.

Expensive: The priciest green screens are large or extra-large models that are made of cotton, sturdy vinyl, or other high-quality fabrics. They generally include a frame or stand and are larger than 20 x 20 feet. They may include additional accessories like lights and a microphone stand. These usually cost between $170 and $400.

EXPERT TIP

If your subject or actor needs to wear green clothes or a green costume, use a blue screen instead of a green screen.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Strive for consistent lighting. For the best results with a green screen, it’s important to light it evenly so there are no overly-bright light flares that could disrupt the background imagery.
  • Beware intense reflections. Watch for reflections from glasses, jewelry, and other reflective surfaces when shooting with your green screen. Items that sparkle or glitter can also be an issue.
  • Stay smooth. Wrinkles in your green screen can affect how well the background you  add over the screen looks. You may want to iron or steam your screen just before using it to make sure it’s as smooth as possible.
  • Constrain your actors. Make sure your subject or actor doesn’t move any part of their body beyond the area the green screen covers. Even a few fingertips extending past the screen could ruin an entire shot.

Other products we considered

With so many high-quality green screens on the market, we couldn’t feature all those worth recommending on our shortlist. We like the Neewer Green Chromakey Muslin Backdrop for beginners because the muslin material doesn’t wrinkle easily and is entirely non-reflective. It’s also a good size at 9 by 15 feet, so it should work for most applications.

The Julius Studio Collapsible and Retractable Green Chromakey Screen is another excellent option because it sets up quickly and easily. It has a built-in hard aluminum case, which allows for safe, compact storage

To properly light a green screen, you typically need two to four studio lights, though you may require more for a larger screen.

FAQ

Q. What else do I need to use a green screen in addition to a camera and lights?
A.
You need green screen software that allows you to edit your photos or video after you shoot it. The software is what allows you to superimpose images on the green screen to create the special effects you want.
 

Q. How long does it take to set up a green screen?
A.
It depends on the size of the green screen and the type of stand or frame it has. Most green screens can be set up in less than 10 minutes.
 

Q. How close should a subject stand in front of the green screen?
A.
The mistake that many make with a green screen is standing too close to it. That can cause shadows on the screen or reflections from the lights to tint the subject’s skin and clothing green. Stand far enough away from the screen that you don’t cast a shadow on it.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
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    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
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    Jennifer
    Writer
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    Lauren
    Writer
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    Melinda
    Web Producer

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