Painted Green Screen Wall
So what is a Cyc? ‘Cyc’ is an abbreviated term for cyclorama, also referred to as a cyclorama wall or cyc wall. Webster defines a cyclorama as a curved wall used as a background of a stage set to suggest unlimited space.
A cyc is any type of walled background incorporating one or more curved surfaces that are used to create a background with no perceptible beginning or end. In a cyc studio, all corners are seamless. This is referred to within our industry as an “infinity background”. When done properly, it is virtually impossible to discern where the floor ends and the wall begins. We refer to the curved pieces of a cyclorama wall as “coves.” Coves are used to connect the 90 degree intersections of wall and floor, wall and ceiling, and/or one wall to another. A true cyclorama also has a top cove meaning you also cannot tell where the top of the wall ends and the ceiling begins. To expand the effect, corner coves may also be used to connect more than one wall. In essence, being inside a cyc is very similar to being on the inside of a giant egg.
Cyclorama studios are used for a variety of purposes within the following industries: television and film, broadcast media, photography and virtual reality studios. Remember those famous GAP ads with the swing dancers against that infinite white background? Those commercials were actually shot against a Cyc background.
In the virtual reality industry where chroma key and compositing technology are used to create virtual sets, a cyc background is not just beneficial, it is absolutely essential. The computer systems that produce the virtual backgrounds and special effects which you are seeing in more and more movies and various video applications, require that filming be done against an absolutely seamless (no visible corners or shadowing) chromakey backdrop which is then painted a very specific shade of blue or green otherwise known as blue screen or green screen. Chroma key is a method for mixing two images together where a color from one image is removed revealing another image behind it, which is how a virtual set is created. A good cyclorama studio is the perfect solution to meet that need and is great for working with digital photography backgrounds too.