How to Use a Green Screen

How to properly use the green screen effect in VideoPad

Using a green screen is a fun and easy way to add a different background behind your subject in a video or movie. Simply put, all you have to do is film against a solid color backdrop and then use a video editor with a chroma key feature to replace that colored background with any image or video. Knowing how to use a green screen is a great way to make your video projects look more professional. Using a green screen allows you to transport your actors to new locations and achieve the impossible. With simple video editing software like VideoPad Video Editing Software, you can quickly learn how to use the green screen and chroma key effect in your videos.

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  1. Set Up Your Green Screen
  2. When setting up your green screen, there are a few important things to consider. If you are using fabric, you want it set up in a location where it will remain still, so that the background is not moving in your shot. The size of your green screen should be large enough that your subject has space all around them when in frame. Finally, you will want your green screen to be well lit, which we will address in the next step.

    Setting up a green screen

  3. Light Your Backdrop
  4. You want your greenscreen in a place with adequate lighting for your subjects, and where shadows won't be cast on your backdrop by them or anything around them. Shadows on your green screen make multiple shades of the background color and it becomes more difficult for the green screen effect to work properly. If you are using natural light, your subject will have to stand farther away from the background the prevent this. If you are using artificial lights, you will just need to light your background and your subject separately in order to eliminate their shadow.

    Lighting a green screen backdrop

  5. Shoot Your Green Screen Video
  6. Film your video against your green screen background as you normally would. Keeping in mind you want the green screen to fill your entire frame in order to fully replace your background. The more consistent you can make all of the different variables, the better your chroma key effect is going to work. That means your camera on a tripod, your background properly lit, your subject wearing bold colors and staying in frame, etc.

    Shooting a green screen video

  7. Download VideoPad Green Screen and Chroma Key Software
  8. Download and install VideoPad Green Screen & Chroma Key Software and launch the program on your computer.

  9. Import Your Green Screen Videos
  10. Click on the Add Files icon at the top of the program, or drag and drop your recorded videos directly into VideoPad to begin editing them. Your imported clips will appear in the media bin in the top left-hand corner of the program. You can double-click on a video to preview it in the preview window before editing. Videos will have a green check mark next to them to indicate they are present in your timeline.

    Importing green screen videos into VideoPad screenshot

  11. Apply the Green Screen Effect
  12. With your clip selected in the media bin, click on the Effects tab at the top of the program and select Video Effects to view the video effects drop down menu. Choose the Green Screen effect option under the Blending and Color Correction effects. This will add the green screen effect as a layer in effects window.

    Applying the green screen effect in VideoPad screenshot

  13. Select Your Background Color to Remove it
  14. Click on the color square in the Green Screen effect layer to launch the Edit Colors window. Then use the eye dropper tool to grab the most prominent color in your background. If you find that there is still background left due to shadows, you can add another green screen effect layer and follow these steps again to remove that color as well.

    Removing green screen background in VideoPad screenshot

  15. Adjust the Color Threshold
  16. Within the green screen effect, there are multiple options to adjust the chroma key settings. The Threshold is what determines how strict the program will be about removing colors. The lower the threshold, the fewer colors similar to your background color it will remove. Increasing your threshold allows more colors in and will help remove almost all of your background. The Feathering option will help smooth out the areas where your background colors blend with your subject. Turn the feathering up to remove the background that is often left in your actor's hair.

    Adjusting green screen color threshold in VideoPad screenshot

  17. Replace Your Background
  18. Now that you have used the Green Screen tool to successfully remove your background, you are ready to add a new background. Import your background video clip or image into VideoPad and then drag it down into the timeline first. Once your background clip is in the editing timeline, you can drag your green screen video into the track directly above it. You should now be able to see your green screen video with the background removed on top of the background you have just added.

    Replacing green screen background in VideoPad screenshot

  19. Save & Share Your Green Screen Video
  20. To export you new video, simply click on the Export tab in the top of the program and select one of the many export options. You can save your project as a video file to your computer, upload it to your preferred cloud storage space, or share it directly to YouTube from within the program.

    Saving videos in VideoPad screenshot

Green Screen Tips & Tricks

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Simply download and install VideoPad Green Screen Software to begin.

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