How to make a simple green screen for Zoom calls in less than Rs 250

Posted by Ryan Mai on

If you’ve got a background that you’d rather not show on a Zoom call, then the best thing to do is use the virtual background feature. However, this effect does not work effectively if you don’t have a uniform high contrast colour—like a bright blue or green—behind you. You could just invest in a studio-quality green screen, but it would cost a few thousand rupees. So unless you are a budding vlogger, you could just make one at home with basic items from the local stationery store without making a hole in your pocket.


What you need:

-A stiff cardboard sheet: Rs 20

-A bright or fluorescent green chart paper: Rs 10

-Masking tape: Rs 50

-BluTack (optional): Rs 155


How to make the green screen:



First place the chart paper on a clean, flat surface.




Now place the cardboard sheet on the green chart paper.




Fold the excess chart paper over the edges of the cardboard sheet. Use the masking tape the stick the paper. Make sure the folds are clean and pulled firmly on either side to prevent the chart paper from sagging in the front.




Now place pieces of BluTack to the four corners of the cardboard sheet. BluTack can be molded in shape and reused. This allows you to remove the green screen every time you are done with your calls.


Tip: Use smaller pieces of BluTack than shown in the picture here and place them along the periphery of the sheet. Larger pieces of BluTack will adhere more firmly to the surface and may even pull the wall paint off. In case you do not want to spend money on BluTack, you can use masking tape to stick the cardboard sheet to the wall. It’s a cleaner and non-sticky option to dual-sided tape. While the masking tape won’t damage the paint, it will form a white frame along your green screen. You will have to adjust your webcam’s position to ensure that this white tape strips are not visible in video frame.



Turn the cardboard over and place it on the surface you plan to sit in front of for your video calls. Press the edges of the sheet firmly to make the BluTack adhere to the surface.


How to enable the green screen in Zoom:




Launch the Zoom client on your computer and sign in. In case you have not created an account, you will only get to the following options when after you enter a meeting session.



Adjust the laptop-webcam position in such a way that only the green screen is visible in the background.



Once you have signed in, click the Settings button (gear icon).



Click the Backgrounds & Filters option in the left pane.



Choose a background from the Virtual Backgrounds tab.




Click the I have a green screen check box to enable it.


The virtual background effect will appear more natural than when the “green screen” option was disabled.

Note: When the green screen option is enabled, you will also get the option to use a colour picker to force Zoom to identify a specific shade it needs to replace with the virtual background.

Instead of using BluTack, you could also try hook-and-look fastener (aka Velcro) strips to attach to the chair’s backrest. This fastener will cost you between Rs 300-500; you can opt for a
green one or the
black version which also comes readymade with an adhesive . Stick the fastener behind the green screen and run the length of it-horizontally and vertically—around the back of the chair. These strips will be shielded from view as long as you are sitting on the chair.

If you need a bigger, wider screen then the easiest alternative is a bright green bedsheet. But it may not be practical for everybody. Instead, you could join multiple carboard sheets with duct tape, follow the steps above to stick green chart paper. Since the cardboard background is larger, you will need to stick an extra cardboard sheet or carton at the back to prop the green screen up like a standee.


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