Common Questions about Studio Cyclorama

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New York is considered the media capital of the United States. However, mainstream media no longer holds the monopoly of information. Modern technology allows anybody to set up a studio in their homes, using mobile phone apps and a green screen.

While most people know it as a green screen, the industry term is studio cyclorama.

A cyclorama refers to a curved wall or curtain that can serve as a background of any production set. Industry insiders typically call it the “cyc.”

Here are some FAQs about the green screen that you should know about.

What is the studio cyclorama used for?

Green screens are known for their flexibility. They can be configured and installed in every type of room. You can convert any space into a theater, TV, broadcast, photography, and movie production. They are used by news outlets to report about the weather, for instance. You can add special effects more quickly to the broadcast with the use of the green screen.

As a bit of trivia, most colors will work for your chroma key production. You can also find white cycloramas in the market today.

However, the color green has become the default option as it does not match the natural hair color and skin tone of the subject. The only rule to remember is never to wear green clothes.

A video editing software can then digitally erase the green background.

What are the types of greens screens?

Although suppliers can customize according to your requirements, the typical green screen is divided into three types:

  1. L-Shape — The L-shape cyclorama is ideal for weather reports, small news productions, and school productions. Just like the name implies, this type only has two vertical sides (apart from the chroma green floor) shaped like the letter “L.” The standard size is 9 feet on one side and 19 feet wide on the background. It has a standing height of 9 feet.
  2. U-Shape — The U-shape cyclorama will cover most of the production space. It has three vertical sides shaped like the letter “U,” in addition to the floor. It is perfect for home studios, news broadcasts, and theater productions. The size can be custom-fitted, but the standard is 12 feet at the sides and 18 feet in the background. The height is about 12 feet.
  3. Flat wall — The free-standing flat wall cyclorama is the cheapest of the set because of the dimension. The typical size of this type is 13 feet x 5 inches wide and more than 8 feet tall. A flat wall is ideal for small spaces like video blogs or podcasts.

The floor must also be coated with chroma green to ensure seamless CGI in the final output.

What are the types of fabrics used in the cycs?

The industry uses mainly three types of fabrics for the studio cyclorama. They are tried and tested materials that produce seamless special effects on any production.

  1. Muslin — The white muslin fabric is very effective in reflecting light. When you stretch it across a full surface, you can guarantee a smooth look. More often than not, suppliers can provide you with any length of white muslin fabric.
  2. Extra-wide canvas — The canvas is typically white, and people order it for large-scale productions. The standard cloth of the canvas is cotton, and the main advantage is durability. You can even purchase flame-retardant fabric for your white canvas.
  3. Scrim — Scrim is the favorite among lighting directors and photographers. The fabric is ideal for diffusing reflection. The soft texture of the surface can diffuse light, which allows directors to play with their graphics.

Cycloramas are not exactly the studio’s biggest secret, especially today when everybody is already aware of how movies make CGI special effects. Nevertheless, they are part and parcel of the magic of movie-making.

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