Setting up The Arri Tungsten Fresnel’s and 4 Key Green Screen Lighting Tips (Episode 3 of Lighting Mini Series)

The most important ingredient in any recipe for good, professional-quality video is light. Video is a medium of light. Other factors – sound, composition and special effects – are also important, but if the lighting isn’t right, then the video just doesn’t look right. An amateurish approach to lighting can reduce any professional video project. The Arri lights will certainly make for some very amazing production quality.

The ARRI Fresnel series is ideal for use where compact, light weight tungsten Fresnel spotlights are required. Arri Fresnel’s are the perfect solution in small studios where grid height is a problem. In the video below we show you how easy it is to setup and use the Arri Fresnel’s and how to properly light a green screen.

Gear used

Arri Softbank Tungsten 4 Light Kit (1x 750W, 2x 650W, 1x300W)

Arri 2000 Watt Tungsten Fresnel (120-240VAC)

Sony Alpha A7S II Mirrorless Digital Camera

Metabones Mark IV Smart Adapter For Canon EF Lens To Sony E-Mount Camera

Canon EF 11-24mm F/4L USM

Canon EF 50mm F/1.2L USM

Benro S6 Carbon Fiber Tripod & Video Head

Cowboy Studio 10′ X 24′ Seamless Chroma Key Green Muslin Backdrop

LimoStudio Photo Video Studio 10Ft Adjustable Background Support System


Why a green screen?

Chroma key compositing, or chroma keying, is a visual effects / post-production technique for compositing (layering) two images or video streams together based on color hues (chroma range). The technique has been used heavily in many fields to remove a background from the subject of a photo or video – particularly the news casting, motion picture and video game industries. The chroma keying technique is commonly used in video production and post-production. This technique is also referred to as color keying. For specific color-related variants such as green screen, and blue screen – chroma keying can be done with backgrounds of any color that are uniform and distinct, but green and blue backgrounds are more commonly used because they differ most distinctly in hue from most human skin colors.

4 things to consider when shooting on a green screen


In order to create an illusion that characters and objects filmed are present in the intended background scene, the lighting in the two scenes must be a reasonable match. For outdoor scenes, overcast days create a diffuse, evenly colored light which can be easier to match in the studio, whereas direct sunlight needs to be matched in both direction and overall color based on time of day. A studio shot taken in front of a green screen will naturally have ambient light the same color as the screen, due to its light scattering. This effect is known as spill. This can look unnatural or cause portions of the characters to disappear, so must be compensated for, or avoided by using a larger screen placed far from the actors.


The depth of field used to record the scene in front of the colored screen should match that of the background. This can mean recording the actors with a larger depth of field than normal.


A chroma key subject must avoid wearing clothes which are similar in color to the chroma key color(s) (unless intentional wearing a green top to make it appear that the subject has no body), because the clothing may be replaced with the background image/video. An example of intentional use of this is when an actor wears a blue covering over a part of his body to make it invisible in the final shot. This technique can be used to achieve an effect similar to that used in the Harry Potter films to create the effect of an invisibility cloak.














The actor can also be filmed against a chroma-key background and inserted into the background shot with a distortion effect, in order to create a cloak that is marginally detectable like Dustin Mclean did in the video below.

Difficulties emerge with blue screen when a costume in an effects shot must be blue, such as Superman’s traditional blue outfit or like in the 2002 film Spider-Man, in scenes where both Spider-Man and the Green Goblin are in the air, Spider-Man had to be shot in front of the green screen and the Green Goblin had to be shot in front of a blue screen. The color difference is because Spider-Man wears a costume which is red and blue in color and the Green Goblin wears a costume which is entirely green in color. If both were shot in front of the same screen, parts of one character would be erased from the shot.

Even lighting

The biggest challenge when setting up a blue screen or green screen is even lighting and the avoidance of shadows, because it is best to have as narrow a color range as possible being replaced. A shadow would present itself as a darker color to the camera and might not register for replacement. This can sometimes be seen in low-budget or live broadcasts where the errors cannot be manually repaired. The material being used affects the quality and ease of having it evenly lit. In order to get the cleanest key from shooting green screen it is necessary to create a value difference between the subject and the green screen. In order to differentiate the subject from the screen, a two-stop difference can be used, either by making the green screen two stops higher than the subject, or vice versa.

Sometimes a shadow can be used to create a visual effect. Areas of the blue screen or green screen with a shadow on them can be replaced with a darker version of the desired background video image, making it look like the person is casting a shadow on them. Any spill of the chroma key color will make the result look unnatural. A difference in the focal length of the lenses used can affect the success of chroma key.

Choosing an ARRI Lighting Kit








The best kit for you depends on your production needs and artistic preferences. Ideally the kit should offer flexibility to work in many different situations. You’ll want to consider fixture types, total wattage and the size and weight of the kit. If you need softer lighting you should look carefully at the kits containing Chimera Softbanks, which is included in our 4 light kit. You will be amazed at the versatility that comes from these lights.  The Arri lights can help even the craziest creative ideas  come to life like in the recent Blade Runner 2049 Movie  were they used 256 ARRI 300-watt Fresnels in two concentric circles were used to simulate the sun and its shadows. The doors were removed so that each lamphead was literally touching the next. Then a slow chase was programmed, it appeared as a soft source of about eight lamps circling the subject. This required quite an elaborate dimmer installation. Lets take a look at the set up and the scene below.













We love these lights for many reasons, one being their compact size and lightweight, the robust construction of rust-resistant, extruded, die cast aluminium, and easy and convenient operation. As we know the Arri lights can really hurt your purse (or wallet, for you fellas out there) but can be rented for a fraction of the cost on our website

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