How do I get Chromablue paint from Home Depot, etc.?
August 29, 2007 9:14 AM   Subscribe

CHROMA BLUE FILTER: Chroma Blue/Bluescreen do I get the exact chroma blue color from a paint store? I don't have enough time to order the specialty paint online. If anyone has experience with large bluescreen walls, chroma color paint, or bluescreening in general, any advice is appreciated! more inside...

I don't even know if this matters for the project, but I've been to Home Depot, Lowes and Sherwin-Williams. They all say the only way they can get a specific color (like the blue I need) is by scanning it in, which means I have to have the color printed out. Pantone, CMYK, RGB, etc. all means nothing to them.

Printing out a true chroma blue is impossible due to printer calibrations, etc. and even then, when they scan it in I can't be 100% certain that it's the correct color, can I?

Now as far as the project is concerned, it will have poor lighting and the camera will be at least 15' distance from the subject, so I really don't even know if getting THE EXACT chroma blue color is that important, or if any generally close color will do?
posted by othersomethings to Technology (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A good digital print shop should be able to print a true sample, or see if you can borrow a pantone color guide to take to the paint store.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:40 AM on August 29, 2007

Actually, you can key to just about any background color for doing chroma-key effects. Most contemporary chroma sets are actually a green shade.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:06 AM on August 29, 2007

the keying will be live, and has to be done through a relatively cheap video mixer that only chromakeys blue. not green, and also luma keys. We usually do luma keying, for our graphics and whatnot, but since we're using a person this time, we tested the luma keying and it was way too shoddy, (blocking out of hair, glasses, etc.) so blue it is.

Thanks for the input, I'm trying to track down a pantone color guide. I guess there isn't one on every street corner.
posted by othersomethings at 10:10 AM on August 29, 2007

You say you tested it already with lumakey, can you just print a couple of near-blue samples and do a quick test with that, then go to the paint store?
posted by anaelith at 10:16 AM on August 29, 2007

Call around to theatre supply places in your area - they often carry all the AV-specific paint for stuff like this.
posted by Aquaman at 10:19 AM on August 29, 2007

Also, any video production houses in your area should have a line on where to get both blue paint and paper.

That paint's crazy-expensive. Something like $60/gal.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:34 AM on August 29, 2007

I don't know how much this will help you, but it's worth finding out.

The "official" blue you're looking for is the Rosco brand Chroma Key Blue. I took the swatch from this page: and brought it into Photoshop.

I pulled the RGB Values (which equal 62R 89G and 161B in LAB mode) and punched them into this web app, EasyRGB. You'll have to do this and it returns a bunch of different Color Space conversions plus a larger swatch, perhaps one of those conversions will be helpful to a paint mixer who knows what they're doing . . .
posted by jeremias at 11:44 AM on August 29, 2007

Duh. I should have taken it a step further, you can then click "Match" and search within a set of manufacturers like Benjamin Moore for the closest match . . .
posted by jeremias at 11:47 AM on August 29, 2007

Pantone will overnight a swatch book to you, which you can then use for matching.
posted by klangklangston at 11:50 AM on August 29, 2007

Don't sweat the blue too much, unless your video mixer is really terrible -- you will have to adjust the lighting anyway, and might as well bring along a full set of the likely gels.
posted by felix at 12:14 PM on August 29, 2007

I've used a few video mixers for live chomakey before. I've yet to see one that doesn't allow for hue adjustment. Even the old Videonics MX-1 does, I believe.

Far more important than the specific shade of blue is the lighting. The Blue has to be lit as flatly as possible (especially with hardware keying) and you'll want to avoid shadows, which means you need plenty of separation between background and subject.

I can't find any really standout chroma lighting pages at the moment, but there are plenty online. One really hand tip, especially if your setup isn't very configurable, is to use coloured backlighting to help separate the subject - so for a Blue screen use a subtle amber backlight to lift the edges of the subject away from the blue - this way you really reduce blue spill into the subject and it helps ensure clean edges.
posted by sycophant at 5:13 PM on August 29, 2007

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