Green Screen Backdrop Comparison Guide: What’s the Difference?

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Green Screen Backdrop Comparison Guide: What’s the Difference?

7 Minute Read

Woman in front of a computer with a green backdrop behind her

 

Even if you are not planning to make a Hollywood blockbuster, every serious videographer and photographer needs a green screen backdrop available. Having a plain colour behind the subject of your video or still image means anyone with editing software can remove that background and replace it with a more appropriate scene. Taking away this layer from an image leaves endless creative possibilities. It’s the most effective way to superimpose your subject into any setting. A green screen is necessary for commercial photographers to produce their fashion, portrait, and product shots. It is an important accessory for professional videographers live-streaming interviews and conferences. And it’s standard equipment for anyone in the film and TV industry. This blog post is a green screen backdrop comparison to help you choose the right background for your style of photography or videography.

 

Types of Green Screen Backdrops

Paper Roll Backdrops

Woman recording herself on a camera and sitting in front of a green backdrop with two LED lights

 

A wide variety of green screens are available these days. Paper rolls are popular because they have a seamless finish. You’ll spend less time editing when a green screen background is without wrinkles. With its width of 2.7 metres, there’s plenty of room to use this backdrop for full-body fashion photos, music videos, or flat lay photography. Having it behind and under your subject means you can fully immerse people and objects in any environment during the editing stage. It’s bound to become stained when people walk on it, but you can simply cut that section away, roll out some fresh paper, and continue shooting. These rolls are 10 metres long, so you have plenty to work with. It’s an essential piece of equipment for studio photography and videography.

 

Try the half-rolls if you don’t have space for a full-size roll of green screen. At 1.36 metres wide, these non-reflective and affordable rolls of paper are perfect for photographers doing half-body portraits and headshots. For videographers, it’s ideal when live-streaming or YouTubing directly to the camera.

 

Cotton Muslin Backdrops

Smiling woman standing in front of a green backdrop with a ring light with phone mounted and her arms crossed

 

With a size of 3 x 6 metres, the large cotton muslin studio backdrop is ideal for glamour shots, fashion photography, and videos. One of the many advantages muslin has over paper rolls is its portability. As it’s made from studio-grade cotton, it’s easy to fold up so you can throw it into your kit while you move to the next location. Being finished along the edges prevents it from tearing as you handle it.

 

A cotton muslin backdrop is an economical purchase because you can put it into the washing machine to freshen it up when it becomes dirty. Use a steam iron to remove any wrinkles, and you are set for the next session of filming or shooting. For budget-conscious photographers and videographers, this fabric is also available in a 3 x 3 metre size, which is large enough for most forms of professional photography and videography.

 

If you only have a small studio, the 1.8 x 2.8 metre backdrop is a workable solution, while the reversible 1.5 x 2 metre cotton muslin backdrops give you flexibility and creativity without breaking the bank. It is chroma key green on one side and has a blue screen streaming curtain on the other side. It’s made from premium, wrinkle-free material, so it’s the ultimate background for Zoom calls, Twitch, and for recording YouTube videos.

 

Pull-up Backdrops

Female model sitting on a stool in front of a pull up green screen backdrop with two studio lights next to her on either side and a camera directly in front of her

 

A pull-up backdrop is a fantastic option when you don’t have room for a permanent studio in your home or office. There’s no need for backdrop stands and crossbars, simply roll it up from its hard storage case, and it becomes a convenient 1.48 x 2.1 metre green screen backdrop that’s free of wrinkles. This background replacement screen is large enough for half-body filming of tutorials, conference calls, gaming, portraits, and headshots. When you are finished, it retracts into its compact case in seconds, and you can pack it away until you need it again. Being small and portable means pull-up backdrops are easy to transport to location shoots. Large green screens can blow over with the slightest breeze, but these smaller pull-up options can be used as indoor and outdoor backdrops.

 

Pull-down Backdrops

Woman standing in front of a green backdrop looking at a ring light directly in front of her with a phone mounted and recording her

 

For a larger, more permanent backdrop, attach a 1.8 x 2 metre pull-down screen to the wall of your studio, home, or business. Drop it down when you need a seamless green screen to personalise any presentation, and roll it up when you are finished. It stays out of the way, but it’s ready for action within seconds. It’s a convenient backdrop for photography and videography that’s always ready for your next project.

 

Pop-up Backdrops

Woman sitting at a desk smiling at a computer with a green backdrop attached to her chair and a large ring light

 

The 1.5 x 2.1 metre, green/blue, double-sided pop-up backdrop should be on your shopping list if portability is important. It’s small enough for use in tight spaces but big enough for portraits, headshots, and YouTube tutorials. Unfold the thick oval of non-reflective 150 gsm cotton muslin and attach it to a stand for instant green screening. It’s wrapped around a bendable frame and folds down to a flat 70 cm diameter that slips into a carry pouch when you finish shooting.

 

The ingenious green screen backdrop with a chair attachment is the way to go when space is limited. The green screen is made from durable polyester on a sturdy frame. At 1.42 metres in diameter, you simply strap it to your chair, and then you can customise your background to make it more professional. It’s simple to set up and easy to fold away when you don’t need it.

 

Why Choose Green?

Smiling female model sitting in front of a green paper backdrop on a stand with a camera directly in front of her and two LED side lights

 

Most people prefer green backgrounds because it is the least similar colour to skin tones, but modern software allows other colours to be used. Any plain colour will work, but you have to be aware of certain factors when you choose a colour. For example, you can use blue, but not if the subject has blue eyes. Other colours produce extra challenges, so most people use a green screen. Product photography involves items of various colours, so at Spectrum, there are paper roll backdrops in a variety of chroma key hues to provide contrast and to separate your subject from the background.

 

Comparison Table

Type Of Backdrops

Paper Roll Backdrops

Chroma Key Green Screen Non-Reflective Half Paper Roll Backdrop (1.36 x 10M)

Cotton Backdrops

Chroma Key Green Screen 3m x 3m Cotton Muslin Studio Backdrop

Pull Up Backdrops

'Live Stream Master' Pull Up Chroma Key Green Screen Backdrop for Video (148cm x 210cm)

Pull Down Backdrops

'Instant Studio' Mountable Pull Down Backdrop Screen- Chroma Key Green

Pop Up Backdrops

Collapsible 56"/142cm Portable Green Screen Backdrop with Chair Attachment

Material

Paper

Cotton

Polyester anti-wrinkle material

Polyester anti-wrinkle material

Cotton/Polyester

Sizes

Half length (1.36 x 10M) Full length (2.7 x 10M), custom cut size option available

3 x 6M, 2.5 x 6M, 3 x 3M, 2.5 x 3M, 1.8 x 2.8M, 1.5M X 2M

148cm x 210cm

180 x 200cm

1.5 x 2.1M, 56”/ 142cm

Colours

Primary and secondary colours. Available in over 40+ colours

Plain and Mottled

white, chroma key green

white, chroma key green

Black, white, chroma key green, blue

Approx. Cost

$60-$110

$70- $140

$200-$250

 

$160

$50-$290

Uses

Fashion, portrait, product photography/ videography

Fashion, portrait, product photography / videography, Live-streaming, twitch streaming, video conferencing

Headshots, video conferencing, TV/ film

Headshots, video conferencing, TV/ film, twitch streaming

Headshots, video conferencing, TV/ film, twitch streaming

Pros

Quick set up, non-reflective, seamless finish

Seamless finish, machine washable, quick set up, Simple to use, multiple mounting options, portable, reversible

Quick setup, adjustable, portable

Streamlined design, quick setup, protective case included

Reversible, portable, lightweight 

Cons

Needs a large space for storage, requires a stand

Requires steaming/ ironing for a completely smooth backdrop, requires a stand

Limited colour options

Requires wall mounting

Limited colour options, only works for single person setups

 

 

Which one is Right for you?

Woman sitting at a desk with her screen visible on Zoom with a green screen attached to chair and a LED ring light directly in front

 

If you have a permanent studio, large rolls of paper for green screening are handy for photography and videography because they are clean and smooth. You can extend them under the subject and snip away areas that eventually become grubby.

 

Muslin backdrops are often preferred if you only need the green screen behind you. Muslin is a flexible material that will stay crease-free when permanently set up on a stand. It’s made of dense cotton that is non-reflective and washable. If you want portability, muslin is easier to fold, transport, and store compared to large paper rolls, but you may have to use a steam iron to remove wrinkles from the material when you unpack it for your next shoot. You can't go past the pull-up or pop-up options for a small-size green screen that’s light and easy to set up.

 

All of these are excellent choices for creative photography and videography. Depending on the available space and the shooting style you prefer, one of these listed options will give you years of creative satisfaction.