Easy Steps For Video Recording and Chroma keying With Your Home Green Screen

Chroma Keying and Green screen technology sounds very technical and that is why many people get confused or even do not understand how to use these techniques within their videos.

Think Photoshop – Only for Videos

Photoshop has transformed image manipulation and editing for the better. The success behind it is that is allows you to add layers on top of each other and also edit these layers individually enabling you to create visually stunning images. You can create some amazing designs and literally transform your images into works of art.

The beauty of being able to edit each specific layer is you can manipulate, edit, crop and even remove the background of one layer and be able to see what is below (or behind) that layer. By using this technique, adding drop shadows and outlines and many of the other features within photoshop you are able to do amazing things with your images.

You can also have layers similar to Photoshop, only with video

With the correct video editing software, you can add layers, images, remove backgrounds and build up an amazing looking videos with the similar layer options you have available within Photoshop.

The process to remove a color or background in a moving video is called Chroma Keying and this software treats each frame as a separate image, removes the selected color and then allows you to see the layer(s) placed below.

This enables you to produce some amazing effects within your videos.

Are you looking to add extra effects into your videos?

Maybe you’re seeking ways to spice up your videos…

or feel like your video backgrounds are boring or not exciting enough…

Then you can change this very quickly with the use of a green screen and Chroma Keying within your videos.

You are here as you are interested in making your videos better, and looking more professional. With the use of a Green Screen, Chroma Keying and inserting different backgrounds into your videos, and possibly photos you can easily do this.

This technique is also referred as:

  • Green Screen Video
  • Chroma Keying
  • Blue Screen
  • Color Keying
  • Color Separation Overlay

Maybe you have heard of Green Screen and the technology behind it, but didn’t realise you can actually Chroma Key at home with a few simple elements.

Check out one of MY Green Screen Videos Below

(NOTE: this is taken from an older members area)

So why would you use a Green Screen and Chroma Key?

With my videos I love the fact that I can literally insert myself or other subject into any location or with any back drop.

This is also very easy to do when you know how and it also gives you the option to make your videos look more professional and can give you a better location than your home office, or current recording location. You can transport yourself into any location world wide with the use of this technology.

Green screens are relied upon very heavily within the film industry and many top movies will have had this technology applied and you might not have realised this…

Many of the special effects are computer generated today, but with the correct use of green screen and the technology it looks very real.

Check out this sample video of the use of Green Screen in the Movies

So as you can see this is very powerful stuff. As a self confessed ‘Geek’ I LOVE this technology and the possibilities that come with the use of green screens and a little imagination.

So what equipment do you need for a home green screen?

You are going to need:

  • A Camera to record your footage
  • A Green, Purple or Blue backdrop
  • Additional lighting sources
  • A Computer for editing
  • Software to Chroma Key

A Camera to record your footage

First off you will need a camera to record your footage. If you have a modern smart phone, then you already have enough to capture your footage. Of course you can go with a high a quality DSLR to get a better grade of footage, but most camera smartphones already have the ability to record in HD.

If you can adjust the frame rates, then I would also look at setting it at a minimum of 30Fps (Frames Per Second)

The only other thing I would recommend you do, is to ensure you have your camera on a solid surface of tripod where possible. This will enable you to record steady footage without any visible shakiness within your footage.

A Green, Purple or Blue backdrop

You are going to need to have a colored backdrop as this is going to be the area you remove and add your additional background content. The reason for these colors is that they are typically colors that are far away from the human skin tone. The reason this is important is the software will remove all colors within your footage that are similar to the ones you set it to chroma key out. You can of course tweak and fine tune the amount and levels of Chroma keying to get cleaner edges and to remove only the areas you wish.

TIP: You also have to watch what clothes you wear here as your shirt or top could be similar to the background and when you try to chromakey, meaning it may also conflict with your garments making you kind of disappear into the footage.

The same also goes true for striped or patterned clothing. Quite often there are sublte colors the software will struggle with and it gives a weird fuzzy effect on your clothing.

My recommendation is to wear solid colors and single color clothes. But you can of course test this out for yourself.

Additional lighting Sources

Lighting is super important when you are looking to chromakey. The reason for this is the software will remove single colors and if you have various shades of the same color due to lack of light or over exposure, then the software will see this as a different color and it may not remove this or you may have to adjust your settings to remove this leaving the edges or rest of your footage with grainy appearance or struggling to remove the colors.

What you really need when using the chroma key technology is an even lighting source across all of the colored area you wish to chroma key, plus some additional lighting to illuminate the subject.

TIP: You will also need to be aware of the shadows you can throw onto your background by standing too close or in front of the colored backdrop. It is best to stand a distance away from the colored backdrop in order to not cast a harsh shadow and to have lighting from the side to wash the areas with light behind you.

A Computer for editing

You are of course going to need a computer to edit. You can also do this on a tablet with some apps, but the use of chroma key within software can be resource heavy and many tablets may not cope with this.

My advice if you want the best output is download your footage to a computer, this will be where you have a good screen to have a better view of your work and more power from the processor as this will help with the final rendered footage.

Software to Chroma Key

Not all video editing software has the ability to chroma key and remove colors. You are going to need to look for some that does. You may actually have software already and may not realise you already have this ability or functionality.

Another Example of Green Screen In Video Action

Popular Green Screen Software

Camtasia Version 7 upwards

Sony Vegas Pro

Final Cut Pro

Adobe Premier Pro

Adobe After Effects

Your Thoughts on Green Screen Videos

I always welcome feedback and genuine comments. If you have any questions, feedback or would like to reach out to me regarding this or any articles, then please add your comments below as I promise they are ALL read. I would of course love to hear how you got on with your green screen recording and videos. If you have any tips or advice and even if this podcast episode helped you.

About The Author


Chris Cole is passionate about online technology, video and audio. He is from Northern Ireland and has been working online since 2009. He likes to write about his marketing journey online and is also a lover of all thing Video and Podcast related. Follow Chris' journey and while you're here - Watch out for the new Broadcast Geeks Podcast that is coming soon. If you like this site, then why not come and join Chris over inside the Broadcast Geeks Facebook Group (Click Here) https://www.facebook.com/groups/broadcastgeeks

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