Raubay’s popup background stand turns any room into a green screen studio
There’s something about backdrops and backdrop systems. No matter which one we get, there are always things we love and things that annoy us. With this in mind, I’m always on the lookout for new background systems.
While this one was released a couple of years ago, it hadn’t popped up (if you’ll pardon the expression) on my screen before. So, I’m bringing it to you today, in case you haven’t seen it, either. It’s by a company called Raubay, and it could be a great solution for certain uses.
Raubay popup green screen
Despite having the most annoying voiceover ever – where every single word in the script is emphasised – the above video shows how it works quite well. I have a projector screen that works similarly to this – it’s handy when we go camping.
The concept is quite simple. You put a long rectangular box down on the ground, spin out some feet and pull the screen up. A support system behind the screen holds it in place. They’re not a new idea. Popup banners for marketing that work like this have been around for years. But this is the first time I’ve seen it used at such a size for a specific photography or video intent.
I should point out here that this isn’t going to be an ideal solution for everybody. It’s not going to work under certain conditions. For example, if you want to film or photograph somebody full-length, particularly if they’re quite tall.
Where I think it shines, however, is in a home YouTube studio.
A Home YouTuber’s new best friend?
For many of us, if we wish to start up a YouTube channel, we’re doing it at home. We need somewhere to film, but does everybody have a room to dedicate to this? Of course not. Most will at least want to hide their home.
A backdrop like this allows you to do that with ease. It’s easy to set down and pull up when you need it. And it’s also just as easy to pack down and store when you’re done. And you can go with green or blue if you want to do chromakey. Or, you can go with black, white or grey for a more neutral, flat option.
Compact for small spaces
The popup backdrops are available in two different sizes. The larger (or “wider”) version is 78.7 x 78.7″ and costs $209.99. That equates to a hair under 6’7″ x 6’7″. The standard-sized backdrop is 59.8 x 78.2″ or a hair under 5ft wide by 6’7″ tall, and costs $159.99.
In total, there are five colours available in each of the two sizes:
- Green (Standard / Wider)
- Blue (Standard / Wider)
- Black (Standard / Wider)
- Grey (Standard / Wider)
- White (Standard / Wider)
I don’t think I’d use one of these for photography, but I think for regular video use in places where space is an issue, absolutely. I mean, if you can turn a room into a shooting area in a couple of minutes and then pack it all back down and tucked under the couch again a couple of minutes later, why not?
It’s not the only solution
There are, of course, other solutions we can do at home. If we do have the room to make a dedicated space, we can paint the walls and build a real set. If we don’t and still want to get rid of the background behind us, here are a couple more options.
Impact Collapsible Background (8’x10′)
This one’s only really a benefit if you’re going with green screen. For black/white/grey, I think there are easier options, but for green, getting the right material and the right colour can be difficult. You have to be precise. With black/white/grey, you don’t.
The Impact Collapsible Background covers an 8’x10′ area, which is pretty large. It means you can even use it for shooting full-length footage if needed. But you’ll want to make sure you’ve got suitably tall ceilings in the room you wish to use it. And lots of space to unfold it.
They are also available in black, white and various other colours in different sizes, but the green Impact Collapsible Background 8’x10′ is available to buy now for $79.
Westcott X-Drop Kit (5′ x 7′)
The Westcott X-Drop Kit isn’t as large as the Impact Collapsible Background, so it’s much easier to manage. While the smaller size will limit your shooting options in comparison, it’s likely still more than plenty for many situations.
For YouTubers who just want to cut themselves from their background and composite themselves on top of other footage or game capture, this is a great option. Set down and unfold when you need it, fold it back up and store it away when you’re done.
The Westcott X-Drop 5’x7′ backdrop kit is available to buy now for $119.90. The company also makes a larger 5’x12′ version for $139.90. They’re also available in green, black, white or grey. No blue, though.
As I mentioned above, I don’t think the Raubay stand is objectively “better” than the others mentioned here or any other solutions you might come up with yourself. But it’s an interesting backdrop stand that definitely offers some advantages to certain needs.
What do you use as a background for videos you shoot from home?
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.