[u-u] Backdrops...

Colin McGregor colin.mc151 at gmail.com
Thu May 14 11:41:51 EDT 2020

Last night for the UU meeting I APPEARED to be in a very neat and
tastefully furnished den. The truth was I wasn't. Zoom allows you to set-up
a virtual background, which works best if you have a green screen behind
you. So, I have built a simple / small green screen. What was behind and to
either side of the green screen was to be blunt, a mess...

There are commercially made green screen kits (metal frames, green fabric
all in a neat package), but at least when I was checking these were all
sold out at the usual on-line suspects. So I built my own. To build
more-or-less what I built for a backdrop you will need the following:


- Wood saw, almost any will do, as an example handsaw such as
(I used a hand saw inherited from my grandparents).
- tape measure - 8'+ (3+ meters) long.
- screw driver(s) to fit screws used below
- Pencil(s)
- while not strictly required, a drill (and drill bits) to make pilot holes
for the screws should be seen as VERY desirable.
- A miter box to make sure the wood cuts are at a 90 degree angle is
desirable, but not required.


- 6' (72 inch) 1/2" Iron pipe such as :

- two Iron pipe 1/2" floor flange such as :
- 2"x4"x8' (ie: 2 inch x 4 inch by 8 feet) lumber such as :
- 1"x4"x8' lumber such as :
- 2 (+) Spring loaded clamps such as :
- 6+ x 2.5" wood screws for use with the 2"x4" lumber
- 8 x 3/4" #10 wood screw for use with the pipe flange
- green backdrop (a dollar store green plastic table cloth can do okay and
this is what I used for first draft of this set-up. Currently I am using a
5' wide piece of green nylon fabric ordered from https://fabricville.com/
(the nylon advantage being it can be ironed and present a smoother

Do note that lumber companies are allowed to sell boards measured based on
the "unfinished" size, so what is sold as a 2" x 4" x 8' will NOT be 2" x
4" x 8', it will likely have an actual size of close to 1.5" x 3.5" x 8'.
The real vs. advertised sizes I find irritating, but is industry standard,
so just be aware and be ready to deal with this. An example of where this
is an issue is in assembling the base where I put a 2" x 4" piece of wood
over another at right angles and screw them together, to screw those pieces
of wood together you want ~2.5" screws any longer and the screws could poke
through the wood...


- I cut the 2" x 4" x 8' lumber into three 2' length pieces (and had a ~2
length left over for other projects).
- I cut the 1" x 4" x 8" lumber down to a 5' 6" length, in other words a
LITTLE wider than the table cloth / fabric
- Assemble the 2" x 4" lumber in a giant letter "H" using the 2.5" wood
screws. Drill pilot holes for the screws if possible.
- Screw a pipe floor flange into the middle of the "H". Again drill pilot
holes for the screws if possible.
- Screw a pipe floor flange into the middle of the 1"x4" lumber. Again
drill pilot holes for the screws if possible.
- Screw the 6' pipe into the floor flange on the "H"
- Screw the 1"x4" on to the 6' pipe
- Drape the tablecloth / fabric over the 1"x4" lumber and clamp into place

Once the above is together you will need pay attention to lighting, you
will want your green screen evenly lit, and I have spent a bit of time
adjusting the lights in my room (and playing with a table lamp) to get the
lighting where everything seems to work. Finally here are some potentially
interesting sources for background images:

The Behr paint company has several potentially suitable images (you will
see the image I used last evening in this collection :-) ):


To be in a DC Comic have a look here :


Within the DC Comic universe, here are some Batman only backgrounds:


To be in the Marvel Comic universe have a look here :


To be in the Star Trek universe have a look here :


All the best,

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