Green Screen vs Set Design

Posted by Summer (slowburnstudio) on

Or, how nice it is to be somewhere pretty.

When I started Twitch, I knew I wanted a green screen. I wanted to be set into my background, to be able to change it at will, to be a PRO STRIMMER. So I have one, I bought a collapsible one before the El Gato ones came out. But I rarely use it. Most gamers use one exclusively. Let's discuss the pros and cons.

space gif

Green Screen

  • Lets you take up as little real estate on the screen as possible while still being visible (great for full game screens).
  • Can put you anywhere in the world - or space - or Narnia - whatever. Even in a cleaner version of your bedroom! GASP have you even THOUGHT of that?!
  • Fun to play with moving backgrounds and meme scenes.
  • Fancy AF.
  • Hides your messy room.
  • Can be used in a relatively small space.
  • UGGGHH can make you claustrophobic if you don't have much space between you and the screen.
  • Your house is still a fuckin mess. Do you EVER clean?
  • Hard to get lighting right without halo or dark spots, esp for blondes. Now you have green hair. That you didn't have to pay for. Woohoo.
  • Feels very "produced".
  • OBS settings. No thanks.
  • Gotta find cool backgrounds. Or boring ones, whichever suits your personality. *sips tea*

Set Design

  • Lets the viewer see your personality in your living space.
  • Can change the whole mood of the same set with just lighting.
  • More comfortable to move around, get up, reach for things.
  • Cool-ass shadows and depth to a scene.
  • Having friends over is NBD - you don't all have to fit in front of your tiny-ass green screen space.
  • Less to deal with in OBS - THIS IS A BIG DEAL TO ME!
  • Can transition spaces into different kinds of use ex: ASMR vs DANCE.
  • You get to live there after the broadcast!
  • Two words. Wind. Machine.
  • Incentive to keep your house nice, which can make for a calm and relaxing work environment.
  • UGGGHH you gotta keep it clean and pretty.
  • The cat keeps walking in and people are paying attention to his furry ass instead of your lame jokes! Maybe this is a pro and not a con.
  • You gotta move/you're bored/you want to paint a wall and now your whole set is up in the air for awhile.
  • The camera was jostled. Now you gotta reframe. Lame. 10 seconds down the drain - Whomp whomp.
  • You forgot to put your sex swing away. It now takes you an extra 10 minutes to start cast as you struggle to get that fucker down from the ceiling mount and out of the scene. *sips more tea*

I love that I've discovered set design. It's fun and I get to have a dope spot to live! I love that my place is so pretty and happy even when I'm not live on camera.  I still use a green screen for special occasions or when I feel like it, but if you're just starting, portable, easy green screens suitable for small spaces like the El Gato popup one can run hundreds of dollars (currently $160 on Amazon), while new pillows or RGB background lights are less than $50. There are cheap green screen options, but they aren't always the easiest to maneuver or light well, and after cast, you either have a painted green wall/fabric wall that lives in your space, or you have to spend time taking it down.

The creativity that pours out of me when I think about all the things I can do with my set is probably my favorite part. I love looking around and envisioning the cool options - lighting things! Background things! I can take the same space I use for dancing and move my ASMR over there! Like...say...this.

asmr set design

How Freakin' Serene.

I'm not a computer guru, and the less digital tech issues I have to deal with when streaming, the better. There's already a ton of things to think about with alerts etc. If I can just get it all sorted and hang in a place I find really beautiful with my community, I'm going to be better for it. Feeling like I'm trapped in a bubble that keeps getting pixelated and making my life an anxiety nightmare is no way to stream. 

I know for gamers the space above is absolutely ludicrous - you need screens, to be able to play your game, etc - but what about this?

set design for streaming


I'm right in front of my screens. Yet, there's a whole world behind me! This can easily sit in the corner of a game screen or be half the screen for a creative cast (which is the case here). In fact, Friskk did a poll on twitter to see what people prefer when watching a cast. The results are clear.

Poll results Friskk

People love seeing a caster's personality. Part of the joy of watching a caster is being brought into their world, and seeing more of that is like getting to know a friend better. You see their taste in decor, maybe their cat, their pile of shit they still haven't cleaned up from that 24 hour cast they did (it's been a month), their stack of G-Fuel containers and Redbull cans, I think there's some Soylent bottles in that pile - wait. How many different "nutrition" bars do you eat in a day?!!

I love having a set because it makes it feel more real to me, too. My life gets to be expressed in the cool shit that surrounds me. I never feel pinned in to my space, or like my set is constantly causing tech issues, which can be the case with a green screen. 

It's not for everyone. not everyone has the space, not everyone has the time. not everyone likes the look. Some people are sharing a shitty apartment with a shitty roommate and their shitty room looks shitty and dumb and a green screen is a way to escape into their cast and feel professional and strong. I completely get this. Also maybe you're a meme king and you need a green screen so you can meme the night away with funny backgrounds every 10 mins between gameplay. That's cool.

Omoroi Yankee Green Screen

Omoroi Yankee, thanking a sub (click the pic for the full clip, it's amazing)

Or maybe you're this guy, who uses a green screen to FULL EFFECT. So do what works best for you.

When you have the chance, though...those RGB lights are so. Much. Fun.

Let me know what you think in the comments below! Feel free to tweet/retweet/look at me funny. You probably do that last one anyway.

I'll be casting tonight if you want to check out my current scene, which is much nicer to live in with my AC unit working again. Ahhhhh...


1 comment

  • Thank you! I’m inspired by you and your channel. This is very helpful for baby streamers.

    Dallas Darcy on

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