Blog

Make it a DIY Green Screen Party, Best Party Ever

After breaking the bank on the last party for my 5 year old.  I thought there must be a better way.  I want my kids and there guest to have fun but taking 20 kids to a party location or renting a bouncy house cost too much.

That’s when I started thinking of a easy way to add a green screen photo booth to the next party.  Kids love green screen and you can create any theme.  Add to the fun by having the guest dress up as superheros,  pirates, or princesses.  Best of all  this setup uses things you may already own and cost you as little as $5.

Needed supplies

  • Green Backdrop
  • Iphone or Ipad
  • Green Screen App
  • Background photos
  • Well lit area or lighting
  • Props
  • Printer
The Green Backdrop

There is nothing magic about the green backdrop and it may not even need to be green(some software will let you use any color).   You have a green bed sheet sitting around the house, perfect.  Simply take this sheet and duct tape it to the wall.  The key is to keep it tight to avoid wrinkles.  Amazon also has cheap backdrops with stands if you do not want anything taped to the wall.

Iphone or IPAD

With a Tablet you will not need a computer.  This will be your camera, photo editor, display and can send photos directly to a printer or Facebook.

Green Screen App

There are lots to chose from and I have not tested them all.  The one I use is the Greenscreen Wizard app.  It does a good job of removing the green and is simple to use and cost only $5.  The other app I have heard great things about is Green Screen by Do Ink $2.99.

Background Photos

Any photo will work just get creative.  Dollhouse photos, scenes created with your child’s toys or the garden at ground level, have fun with it.  Or you could download something from the internet.

Free Superhero Shadow background

Here are a few of my favorite sources for digital backgrounds

  • http://fantasybackgroundsstore.com/
  • http://freedigitalbackdrop.com/
  • http://www.mystorybookstudio.com/backgrounds-2/
Well lit area or lighting

If you have a room that gets lots of light you have a studio.  A 10’x10′ area will work but the more room the better.  To avoid have green light reflect off the green background try to have your subject stand 2 to 3 feet away from the backdrop.  Direct light can be a bad think.  If a hard shadow is being cast onto the backdrop this will show up in your final photo.  Try opening the curtains and letting the light into the room, but not direct sunlight.  If your phone can take good pictures in this room then you should be ok, just remember kids move a lot so more light will keep the shutter speed faster.  If you do have a soft shadow try to keep it directly behind the subject.  Still need more light, do not use a flash it will cast a hard shadow.  Try lamps with lampshades.  place two behind your subject to light the background, hiding shadow and one in front to light the subject.

Props

Find something that ties the kids into the background, Sword, wands, lego heard.  Just about anything that adds to the fun.  The dollar store is a great place to look for these sort of things

Printer

I was lucky to already have two wireless printers in my house.  Modern Inkjet printers are great at printing photos and are pretty fast.  I also have a Canon Selphy printer that is more portable and prints 4×6 which was perfect for my needs.

Not into DIY here are some products to get you all setup

Click for a FREE DEMO of Green Screen Wizard Pro v9.0. This is a full version demo available now.

Please leave comments on more green topics you would like to see

My Green Screen “Studio” Setup

I have included affiliate links in this post that are associated with the products I use and trust

I thought I would post my “studio” setup to prove that you will not need to spend a lot of money.  I chose my equipment with 3 things in mind.

  • Space, I do not have a permanent studio so needed something that can be done in a small area and stored nicely.
  • Money, I do not have much money to spend on my hobbies and my rule is only spend money my hobbies have raised.  I have made enough money from micro-stock photography to pay for this setup, but needed to make every penny count.
  • My needs,  I knew I wanted my setup to do two things.
  1. The ability to work in layers, by adding layers to a green screen setup a lot of great things can be done.
  2. The ability to be setup as a photo booth.  I love the instant results that green screen and did not want any post processing work.  Someday I may take my setup to a craft show and see how it does.

Software

PhotoKey 8 Pro, this is where I spent most of my money.  Photokey Pro lets me use layers, has a PhotoShop plug-in, and can be used to setup a photo booth.

Review to be coming in a later post.

Camera
Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only), The camera I already owned and love.  Here really any camera will work but a DSLR will give the best results.  I use a Pentax DA 40mm f/2.8 XS Lens to shoot most backgrounds and photoshots.  I do have a Sigma 18-50 F2.8 for when I have to shoot in less space and a Sigma 105mm F2.8 macro to create close up backgrounds.  The one thing I have added to my setup that I love is a Wifi Sd Memory Card 32GB Class 10 2nd Generation Ez Share .  With this my photos go instantly to my computer or smart phone and are imported into my green screen software. 

Lighting

I know most people will not like my lighting setup but it has been getting the job done.  I use a Pentax AF360FGZ II Flash on camera pointed at 45 degree angle to model and a Speedlite YN 560-II in slave mode on a stand and shoot through umbrella.

I will be posting more about lighting in the future so If this does not make scene to you I will explain more on this later.

Background

Impact Super Collapsible Background – 8 x 16′ (Chroma Green)  I love this background, it is huge.  It is large enough to shoot 2 people against it.  Folds up to be about 3′ around and can be taken anywhere.  No need for a stand if you simply lean it up against a wall.

Folding this thing takes some practice so here is a video to help you out

I will be updating this post to include photos so please come back and check it out later

Why Green Screen

I know most photographers do not like green screen photography. If I Google green screen photography, I hate the look of the photos I see too. The internet is full of photos that are clearly people stuck in front of a backdrop they are not part of. Many photographers are turned off by the green cast that a green backdrop may produce.

For me it is the challenge of producing a photo that looks natural, or something that looks like it took hours in Photoshop, but with instantly results. I love the creative side of coming up with a idea, taking the background photos and editing in Photoshop. Then the real fun comes when I have my kids pose for photos and see instant results. All the backgrounds are set up to require no post processing so its just take the photo, make slight position adjustments and boom you are done.

My kids are the driving force behind my backgrounds. One week they may want to be a firefighter and the next a superhero. What you can create with green screen is totally up to you and does not need to look like “green screen”.

Please follow me and leave comments on what you would like to see and how I may help you out

Welcome to My Storybook Studio

Welcome to My Storybook Studio,  I am a hobby photographer who use to enjoy wildlife photography.  With two young boys I found it hard to get out to enjoy my hobby.  I wanted a way to still have fun with photography and spend time with my family.  That’s when my new love for green screen started.  After working with green screen for about a year I found it hard to find backgrounds online that I really liked.  Too many backgrounds just looked like a cutout of a image stuck to a background.  So this year I have started making my own backgrounds and I can now tell you green screen does not need to look bad.  With the right backgrounds and overlays you can have instant results that you and your kids will love.  Please follow me while I create fun green screen backgrounds and show you how to use them.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post.
Please leave comments on what you think and
what you would like to see