Choosing the Perfect Background: A Guide to SoftDrop®, Chroma Key & the RDX LAB™ System

Rosco has been providing film, television, and broadcast sets with a multitude of background options for more than four decades. From traditional, large-scale printed backdrops, to blue and green screen materials, to digital backdrops for LED walls – Rosco has the background solution your production needs. Below, we examine all of the available solutions to make choosing production backgrounds for your next project easy.

Have Questions About Rosco Background Solutions? Contact Us!

Rosco Custom SoftDrop®

Rosco SoftDrops are seamless backdrops that are printed on 100% cotton material as large as 39’H x 170’W (11.9 x 51.8 m). SoftDrops can be printed single or double-sided, and they also feature our award-winning Day/Night technology that precisely registers a daytime image on one side of the drop with the matching nighttime image on the other side of the drop. This enables productions to create a day scene by front lighting the SoftDrop, a night scene by back lighting the drop, or dawn/dusk effects by blending the front and rear lighting together.

Custom SoftDrops can be produced using imagery provided by the production, or the Rosco Digital Imaging team also offers custom photography and digital image manipulation services.

Day/Night image files of Berlin, Germany that were used to create the Day/Night Custom SoftDrop for the film I’m Your Man.

Learn more about how a production utilized a Custom SoftDrop in this case study:
Rosco SoftDrop Lights Up Pandemic-Stricken Berlin In I’m Your Man

Reasons to choose a Rosco Custom SoftDrop:

  • Large & seamless backdrops, with a matte surface, that are easy to hang.
  • Specific requirements for the location, size, and characteristics of your backdrop.
  •  High-quality image capture, and consultancy services available.
  • Custom retouching available for time periods, seasonal conditions, etc.
  • Great choice for productions shooting for several weeks inside a sound stage.

Learn More About Custom SoftDrops

Rosco Rental Backdrops

Rosco’s inventory of rental backdrops were all originally created as custom backdrops for specific productions that were bought back afterward. Not only does this process make these backdrops available to be used again on future projects, but it also keeps them from ending up in the dumpster after the original productions wrap. Because every Rosco Rental Backdrop was created to provide a cinematic background for a previous production, that means each drop has proper horizon lines and some even feature levels of blur for creating distance effects on the image.

Rosco Rental Backdrops are the perfect choice for productions looking for an out-of-the-box background solution. They are available worldwide from our warehouses in Los Angeles, CA; Stamford, CT; and Madrid, Spain as cotton SoftDrops or traditional vinyl drops. Image options include Day/Night backdrops, or single day or single night drops, and there are hundreds of skyline, residential, commercial, and landscape drops to choose from – with sizes ranging from 9’H x 12’W (2.7 x 3.7 m) up to 47’H x 330’W (14.3 x 100.6 m)!

Rental SoftDrop transforms an arena into a rooftop basketball court.

Learn how Custom SoftDrops originally created for John Wick 3  were used as Rental Backdrops:
Transforming An Arena Into A Rooftop Basketball Court With Rental Backdrops

Reasons to choose a Rosco Rental Backdrop:

  • High-quality backdrops that are already printed and ready to hang.
  • A large inventory of different images and sizes to choose from.
  • The fastest turnaround for a printed backdrop.
  • More cost-effective than shooting on location.
  • Reusing rental backdrops is an environmentally friendly solution.
  • Great choice for short-term productions or projects that need a backdrop quickly.

Learn More About Rental Backdrops

Rosco Chroma Key System

Whether it’s a simple insert frame behind a window, or a huge cyclorama hung behind the entire set – blue and green screens enable productions to add backgrounds into the scene digitally in post-production. Rosco’s Chroma Key System is a comprehensive solution that productions can use to create a seamless blue or green screen environment for virtual production. The system includes chroma key paint, floor, butterflies, backdrops, and gaffer tape – all available in matching blue and green – to make setting up a chroma key background easy.

Chroma Key studio featuring Chroma Key System: green chroma key cyclorama, paint, floor & ChromaDrop.

With user-friendly solutions that are easy to install, the Rosco Chroma Key System saves time and money during pre-production. All of the products are made using high-quality materials and construction techniques, so they can be trusted to perform during production. And, because all of the products in the range are designed to match Rosco’s standard-setting Chroma Key Paint colors – the Rosco Chroma Key System will save digital compositing time in post because all of the elements will key the same.

Why Choose The Chroma Key System:

  • Flexibility to replace or change the background in post-production.
  • More time to create the background imagery.
  • Additional visual effects can also be added in post-production.
  • Can quickly change the view outside the windows – on set or on location.
  • Great choice for visual-effects-heavy productions or short-term projects.

Learn More About The Chroma Key System

RDX LAB™ System

Rosco’s award-winning backdrop technology is now available for use in Virtual Production! The RDX LAB System with software by FuseFX is a patent-pending ecosystem that creates interactive background imagery for LED walls and LED volumes. A range of customized background solutions is available, including image capture, retouching, and consultation – as well as a robust library of background images that are suitable for use with the RDX LAB System.

RDX LAB System creates a background imagery on LED wall.

The RDX LAB System makes creating content for LED walls and volume stages easy and more affordable, which opens the door for more filmmakers to shoot virtual productions. These “Live Action Backdrops” enable virtual productions to easily control their background imagery using a user-friendly mobile app. Productions can make technical adjustments, like altering the brightness or the contrast of the image, or more artistic changes, such as time of day or adding atmospheric effects and moving elements –all in real-time while on set.

RDX LAB System displayed on the LED wall provides a view outside the window.

Learn more about how filmmakers on MAX’s Full Circle used the RDX LAB System:
Virtual Production Comes Full Circle With Rosco’s RDX LAB™ System

Why Choose The RDX LAB System:

  • A cost-effective solution for virtual production content.
  • An easy step into virtual production – without the complexity and time constraints of full 3D renderings.
  • Photoreal imagery, created specifically for use as a cinematic background.
  • Real-time adjustments of the image on set, at camera.
  • Artistic control over specific elements within the image.
  • Great choice for productions using LED walls or shooting inside an LED volume stage.

Learn More About The RDX LAB System

Choosing Production Backgrounds – Made Easy With Rosco

Every production has a different set of needs and limitations when it comes to its background imagery, which is why we offer different Rosco background options for different production scales. Whether your project requires a custom backdrop or a quick rental solution, a floor-to-ceiling chroma key green studio, or an easy-to-use content solution for LED walls – make Rosco your first call to provide the perfect background solution.

Have Questions About Rosco Background Solutions? Contact Us!



Lacey Colter February 08, 2024 Questions?

About Lacey Colter

Marketing Manager - Film/TV/Broadcast: Lacey Colter has been working in the entertainment industry since 2015. She started in production before transitioning to a cinema lens manufacturer and now covers the film and television market for Rosco. She has spent years of her career interviewing a variety of industry professionals.