Roland Switchers: Chroma Key Setup Tips

Setting up a good key can be hard sometimes. Here are some basic steps that you can use to help you with keying using your Roland switcher.



  • Always try and find the best quality green screen.
  • Good Keying always starts with a solid even background.
  • There are various scenarios where you would use a portable green screen background, some of which involves fabric.
  • If you are using a fabric green screen make sure that the fabric doesn't have wrinkles, stains or the obvious tears.
  • For permanent painted background installations of course just make sure the maintenance on green screen is kept up.
  • Have extra paint in case you need to touch up the background before your shoot.



  • Before putting your subject in front of the screen first you have to make sure that the background is lit very well to ensure the green is bright and even.
  • Overhead lights illuminating the back ground is recommended.
  • Check if lighting is even on a background using a waveform vector scope, or camera's zebra pattern setting.
    • The Zebra tool will allow you to see if you have hot spots (overexposure points) on your background.
    • After adjusting lighting, you should see an even zebra pattern on the camera's LCD screen.



  • Make sure that your subject is far enough from the background that you don't cast a shadow onto the background or worse have green from the lighting reflect on your subject.
  • This will vary depending on the space you have to work with.
    • For head and torso shots a safe distance is about 5 ft-10 ft.
    • If you want a full body key then you will need a larger space and add more lighting.
  • Subject lighting should not be as bright as it is on the green screen background.
    • That will create hot spots on your subjects face and hair.
  • An overhead light should face the subject lighting the face, hair and upper body.
  • A floor light facing upward or towards your subject to light the arms, legs and lower body.
    • Lighting the floor helps avoid a shadow casting on the green screen floor. 




So these are some basic tips to help you achieve a better key. I hope this helps you with you production. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time for setup. A good setup and test run will give you the best results on your production.

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