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I do frequent video shoots of a speaker standing in front of a white wall at the end of a hallway in a corporate office with limited clean background availability and tight spaces. I don't usually have the ability to carry a lot of extra gear with me, so setting up complex backgrounds and lighting is not easy. We've been mostly successful in keying, but it's difficult due to the white wall and its orangepeel texture.

I was thinking it would be nice to be able to set up a green LED or two to wash the wall in green, and then some LED panels in front of the speaker, who could step away from the wall a bit to avoid excess green spill.

Does this sound like a good idea?

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There is nothing particular about the color green for chroma-key use other than the fact it is far from skin color, and not that common in clothing.

Basically, the same issues the textured white wall causes will occur with textured green. And your ability to evenly illuminate it in order to provide the separation will have the same issues I would think... i.e. if you have lighting and separation, I can't see why you couldn't just blow out the BG as easily as turn it into a green screen. Also, in order to get a saturated green color you will need to use a low power on a white wall, which is then hard to get even coverage over a larger area.

It's worth a try if you already have everything required, but I wouldn't expect much.

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The truth is that it will be easier for you to get a green matt fabric or a foldable green screen.

Trying to light a wall with only green will be more difficult than just use the same light you are using overall, plus maybe one additional light for the background.

The fabric is smoother, with less texture than a wall.


But answering your question, if you have good separation to your subject and no light spill, yes, a white wall with green lights can do the trick. But you need considerable space from your background and your subject.

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In fact, a team in China is already developing AI matting technology. It can be handled well whether your background is green or not. Paper Name: Robust High-Resolution Video Matting with Temporal Guidance. Open source: https://peterl1n.github.io/RobustVideoMatting Show results: https://www.bilibili.com/video/BV1Z3411B7g7

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  • while the research you link to is interesting, it doesn't really answer the OP's question, whether they can use a color-lit background for chroma keying today.
    – scottbb
    Oct 4 at 13:48

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