A pure black background can be tough to make if you don’t work at a professional studio. However, there’s plenty of do-it-yourself solutions to make a black background without the professional expenses. Not to mention, digital artists can make a black background without the need to set up anything.
For video and photo shoots, a black background creates a memorable aesthetic that emphasizes the subject. Additionally, if you’re in post-production, changing the digital background to black makes the subject really pop out. In this article, you’ll learn how to do both: set up a physical and digital black background. Continue reading and I’ll walk you through each method.
Setup a Physical Black Background
First, let’s discuss how to make a physical black background in your home or outside. The advantage of this method is that you can reuse the background in the future once it’s set up. Here’s a few ways to setup your background:
If you have a black wall in your home, use that. Otherwise, find a black wall outside your house to shoot against. This way requires the least investment if you manage to find the right wall.
If you already own a black sheet, just hang it against a wall to make the background. If not, you can buy black fabric in bulk and stay within a low budget. As with the sheets, hang the fabric against the wall and you’re ready to shoot.
If you want a smooth background, a poster might be the best fit. However, it can be tricky to get a poster big enough for most shots. A way around this is to combine multiple smaller posters until you have the desired size for the background.
Making your own pure black background takes some time and creativity, but the results are worth it. If you consider yourself a photographer or you have a nice camera, a physical background is the preferred method. It’ll help you capture the perfect lighting and nuance.
Replace the Video or Photo Background
Now, let’s talk about how to replace the background of a video or photo that already exists. First, upload your file to an online “remove the background” tool. I recommend Kapwing’s eraser because it’s free and it makes it easy to remove the background for videos and photos within the same app.
For photos, open the Kapwing studio and ‘Click to upload’ the image. Once it’s up, click ‘Eraser’ from the right side menu. Inside, you’ll see two options to remove the background: the eraser and the magic wand.
The eraser gives you exact control over what to delete. Adjust the size to remove bigger areas as you erase the background. On the other hand, the magic wand automatically selects areas of similar color for you to remove. If you want the wand to select a broader range of colors, slide the sensitivity to the right and vice versa.
Once you're done, go back to the studio and deselect the photo. Now, change the background to black and you're finished. For a more in-depth guide on the eraser tool, check out this article about how to remove the background from an image.
Removing a video background without a green screen is not an easy task. But, somehow Kapwing’s editor has a feature that does it with one click.
Just upload your video and change the background to black. Next, select the ‘Effects’ tab on the right side menu. Inside, click the ‘Remove Background’ or ‘Chromakey’ button. Each option allows you to change the threshold to get the perfect fit.
Note that the ‘Effects’ tab is still in beta so the tool might not give you an exact cutout. Record or shoot against a solid background to get a better output from the tool. If you want more information, check out this article about how to remove the background from video.
Export and Download
When you’re satisfied with the background, click ‘Export’, wait for it to process and download the final project to your device.
Now, you know how to set up a black background for a physical shoot and how to remove the background digitally. If you found value in this tutorial, be sure to subscribe to the Kapwing Resources page for new tutorials. And, check out the related articles to keep learning: