Video Studio Design
Frequently Asked Questions
Designing and building a studio space can be a daunting task. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten most frequently asked questions to help you determine what you need from your studio.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How much space will I need for my studio?
- What backdrops will I need?
- Will I need a cyclorama or ‘infinity wall’ ?
- How many cameras will I need?
- What kind of camera is best for my studio?
- Should I use remote control cameras in my studio?
- How many lights will I need?
- Should I install a lighting grid?
- Will I need special power for my studio?
- How much does it cost to build my studio?
How much space will I need for my studio?
Probably more than you might think. While these can be crammed into smaller spaces (e.g. a repurposed conference room), a larger envelope will provide much more flexibility, isolation, and much better camera angles to give a more professional result.
Here are some quick guidelines:
- Single small shoot studio for one person / one camera > 10′ x 20′
- Two people at a desk / three cameras > 25′ x 20′
- Between two and five people on camera and/or large products > 50′ x 50′
Note: Ceiling height is also very important. We recommend a minimum ceiling height of 11’ and ideally 15’ for most small to medium studios.
What backdrops will I need?
The backdrop you need depends on what you’re shooting. Most people will opt for some combination of the following:
- Green, blue, white
- A graphic
- Large photo backdrop
Will I need a cyclorama or ‘infinity wall’ ?
A cyclorama (also known as a ‘cyc’ or infinity wall) is a smooth curved transition from the wall to the floor. These can be very useful if you want to do background replacement of a ‘head to toe’ shot as opposed to just a desk / medium shot. You may also want to consider a corner cyclorama.
How many cameras will I need?
This will depend on what type of work you want to do, if it needs to be in real time or if there is more time to edit afterward. A single camera is great for pieces that only utilize short, single shots. If you want to alternate between closeups (of your talent or perhaps a product) and wider shots, then you need two cameras. If you plan on shooting multiple people at the same time, then three or more cameras are ideal.
What kind of camera is best for my studio?
This will depend on your budget, if the cameras are going to be dedicated to the studio, the size of the space and so on. A good staring point is to consider the lensing and angles first, then look at the other criteria.
Should I use remote control cameras in my studio?
There are advantages and disadvantages to remote controllable Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) cameras. They tend to be more expensive with a lower relative image quality. However, they allow fewer staff (i.e. camera operators), take up less space, and help to minimize contact between the operators and talent. Most of our customers are using remote controllable cameras these days.
How many lights will I need?
This will depend on the size and what is being shot. A very generic guideline is 3 lights per talent and one light for every 4 lineal feet of backdrop.
Should I install a lighting grid?
Lighting grids provide flexibility, free up floor space, reduce clutter and are not that expensive to do. If there is the ceiling height and the need for flexibility, they should be put in. We have found that an ideal grid height is about 12’
Will I need special power for my studio?
Yes. It is preferred to provide dedicated 120V 20 Amp circuits for the electronics and lights. This helps to minimize electrical interference that could produce audio hums, buzzes, and video glitches. Modern LED lighting is much more efficient so typically we specify 2 – 4 circuits for most small to medium sized studios.
How much does it cost to build my studio?
The cost of building a studio varies widely based on the technical needs and type of work. We have done simple studios for under $10,000 and some of the larger ones have been upwards of 1 million dollars.