Learning how to use a green screen with your photo booth activation couldn’t be easier. Using the chroma key feature and Simple Booth HALO® platform, your guests can enjoy a whole array of background options.
The sky is the limit! Just upload your digital backdrops (aka digital photos) to your Simple Booth dashboard, set up your HALO in front of a green screen, and get snapping.
This guide will help teach you everything you need to know about using chroma key and digital backdrops in Simple Booth HALO.
Good To Know: Although chroma key and green screen are often used interchangebly to refer to the same process, they’re actually two different steps of a larger process. “Chroma key” is the technical method of removing one color and leaving a transparency that can be replaced with something else.
“Green screen” refers to a green physical background. Even though most people say “green screen”, the background can actually be any solid color. We use the term “Chroma Key” because Simple Booth, allows a green or a blue screen.
Gather Your Chroma Key Gear
To use the chroma key feature on the Simple Booth HALO platform, you’ll need the Simple Booth HALO app and an active subscription. We also recommend using HALO hardware, but it’s not required. HALO hardware features a large, soft light source that smooths out shadows from the backdrop.
Aside from that, you’ll need a few additional items for a flawless green screen experience. Let’s go over those now:
Use A Green or Blue Backdrop
Simple Booth HALO supports either a green or blue screen, the choice is up to you. However, we recommend using the traditional green screen backdrop.
To achieve a seamless chroma key effect, the color of the background needs to contrast with the subject(s). Green is often the best choice because it’s the farthest color from skin and people are less likely to be wearing green than blue. With that in mind, we’ll be referring to the physical backdrop as a “green screen” throughout this article for the sake of brevity.
Lastly, when shopping for a green screen fabric or paper, check to make sure it is wrinkle-free for the best results. The green screen needs to be as pure green and bright as possible. It also needs to have a matte finish, not shiny or glossy.
Use A Nice Mounting System
You’ll need a way to mount your green screen. This is commonly done by stretching the green screen fabric across a set of stands.
For most applications, we recommend using nice quality support stands like the one shown above. These can be purchased directly from Simple Booth. They are stable, portable, easy to use, and will give your activation a professional look.
In some cases, you may be able to mount a green screen directly to the wall. If so, ensure the fabric is stretched taut enough to keep it completely flat without any wrinkles or drooping fabric.
What Kind Of Lighting You’ll Need
A popular Simple Booth HALO feature is the optimized lighting that makes perfect pictures every time. That means HALO users don’t typically need any extra lighting.
However, if you’re only using the Simple Booth HALO app without HALO hardware, you will definitely require additional lighting.
If you need to add additional lighting, we suggest adding fill lights on both sides. But, it depends on the quality and direction of light where you plan to do your Simple Booth activation.
FURTHER READING: 4 Photography Lighting Tips For Beginners
Where To Get Digital Photos To Use As Backdrops
Photos to use as digital backdrops are readily available online. Just about any digital photo can be used as a digital backdrop, but there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.
First, make sure you have the proper rights to use the images to avoid infringing any copyrights. This is especially true for businesses using images for commercial use.
In some instances, you may need to purchase a license to use the image. Luckily, there are a few sites in which professional quality images can be found free of charge for commercial or personal use.
Our favorites include:
Always ensure you have the proper rights to use a photo before using it, regardless of where it came from. Alternatively, you can also take your own photos and use them as backdrops.
Optimize Digital Photos For Use With Simple Booth HALO
It doesn’t take much to optimize images to use as digital backdrops. In most instances, you won’t need to do a thing. Simple Booth will automatically crop the images you upload to the correct size.
When choosing your images, be mindful of their orientation. Try to use images that are in the same orientation as your Simple Booth setup. For example, if you plan to use Simple Booth in portrait orientation, select a background image that is also in portrait orientation.
Take note that the maximum file size for digital backdrops is 4MB.
How To Manually Resize Images (optional)
Letting Simple Booth automatically crop your images is the easiest and quickest way. But, if you would rather crop the images yourself, we do have some guidelines for you to follow.
Depending on the orientation of the photos you’ll be taking with Simple Booth, your digital backdrops will need to be sized to one of the following sizes:
- Landscape: 1280x960px
- Portrait: 960x1280px
- Square: 960x960px
To properly size the images yourself, you’ll need to use a piece of photo editing software. Photoshop is certainly capable of cropping and sizing digital backdrops, but it could be overkill if you don’t plan on using it for anything else.
Some other photo editing options we recommend are:
- Affinity Designer / Affinity Photo: A paid program similar to Photoshop. Affinity can be used in a browser or mobile app.
- Pixlr: A free program similar to Photoshop. Pixlr can be used in a browser or mobile app.
- Simple Image Resizer: A no-frills, free online image resizer. Great if you don’t need to do any other edits to your images.
Once your images have been properly sized, you’re ready to add them to your Simple Booth HALO dashboard.
FURTHER READING: How To Create An Overlay For Simple Booth
How To Add Your Digital Backdrops To Simple Booth HALO
To get everything set up within Simple Booth HALO, you’ll need to access your Simple Booth dashboard via a web browser. You’ll also need an iPad with the Simple Booth HALO app installed. Once you have access to those two things, you’re ready to upload your digital backdrops.
The entire process only takes a few minutes—just follow the steps below.
- Login to your Simple Booth dashboard and go to the App Presets tab.
- Create a new preset or select an existing one you’d like to add a chroma key digital background to.
- Scroll down to and check the box for the Chroma Key option.
- Select the Chroma Key background color. This should be the same color as your physical background. The most common choice is green.
- Upload the images you’d like to use for your digital backdrops.
- Grab your iPad and open the Simple Booth HALO app. Tap on the appropriate preset.
- While in the app, make sure the Chroma Key option is on and your digital backdrops have been uploaded.
That’s all there is to do to set up the Chroma Key feature with your custom digital backdrops. However, we suggest taking a few test shots before your activation.
Good To Know: Chroma key can be enabled and disabled from the app itself. But, digital backdrop files must be uploaded to your account online. They cannot be uploaded to the app directly.
Do A Final Test Before Your Green Screen Activation
It’s true, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Taking test shots ensures everything is working the way you expect it to before your participants arrive. So take a few minutes to test everything and make adjustments as needed.
Here is what you should be looking for during your test:
- A wrinkle-free background is crucial. Check your green or blue screen for any wrinkles, folds, or droopiness. If you spot one, adjust the clamps and stands until the fabric is stretched flat.
- Check for even lighting on the backdrop fabric. You don’t want any bright of dark spots. Adjust your lighting or bring in additional lighting to correct any discrepancies. You can also adjust the camera exposure in the Simple Booth HALO app.
Learn More About Green Screen
The Simple Booth platform is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive to use. But, sometimes things just don’t go the way we want them to. In the off-chance you run into an issue getting your backdrops set up, here are two resources we recommend checking:
- How can I get the most out of green screen? – A Simple Booth help article full of best practices and pro-tips.
- The Simple Booth Design Guide – The official Simple Booth Design Guide to creating awesome backdrops, overlays, and graphics. Here you’ll find design guides, sizing specifications, image and video software suggestions, and a whole lot more.
Chroma Key Photo Booth FAQ
I have Simple Booth Classic, can I still use Chroma Key?
Chroma Key is available on all the Simple Booth HALO apps. However, it is not currently supported on Simple Booth Classic.
Can the Chroma Key photos be sent to a printer from Simple Booth at an event?
Yes, they can! Check out this video to learn more about printing from your Simple Booth HALO app.
You can also print photos that have been saved to your iPad through the Photos app after your event is over.
Learn More About Simple Booth HALO
Green screen is just one great feature of Simple Booth HALO. Combined with lead capturing, analytics, and custom brand touchpoints, Simple Booth HALO is a marketing powerhouse.
Whether it be for event engagement, photo marketing, or just for fun, we have the perfect photo booth solution for events and venues of all sizes.Ready to join the photo booth movement and try green screen?
Learn About HALO