Chroma keying - live streaming with green screens

Chroma Keying: Live Streaming with Green Screens

Live Streaming Trends Nov 23, 2021

Worried about making your live streams a bit more engaging and professional-looking? Try chroma keying!

In This Blog:

  • What is Chroma Keying?
  • Why use Chroma Keying for your Live Streams?
  • Tips for Using Green Screens
  • To Sum it Up!

✳️ What is Chroma Keying?

You’re probably well familiar with using a green screen for your live streams while filming your video. As a basic principle, chroma-keying is about using a colored background – the green screen- for filming something or someone in front of it. You can then replace everything in the screen's color with whatever you desire – images, presentations, tables and charts, other footage, or visuals.

This filming technique was initially introduced by Hollywood production to facilitate creative teams and directors to capture scenes effectively. The basic premise was that it is cheaper to use a green screen and later camouflage the desired background onto the scenes instead of building expensive real sets. It was a lot safer for actors, for instance, to do stunts in front of a green screen than in a genuinely dangerous location. Today, it has become an increasingly popular technique to do the same for live streams and fix an additional professional look to the broadcasts, pretty much for the same reasons.


📟 Why use Chroma Keying for your Live Streams?

Chroma keying - live streaming with green screens

Don’t be overwhelmed thinking if chroma keying was a technique invented for movies, it must be for bigger projects only. You can still leverage the green screen to save yourself the extra effort and money while adding a specialized look to your live streams. That said, there are several notions to support the use of green screens for live streaming:

❇️ Increase the Value of your Stream

Chroma keying allows you to emphasize the perceived value of your live stream significantly. Using green screens for streaming, you can bring in a lot of creativity and innovation to your videos, making them a lot more appealing and engaging. Share intuitive presentations, interactive graphs, and charts to complement your words, share product features and functionalities to showcase your products, and a lot more.

❇️ Change the Background during the Stream

With chroma screens, you don’t have to stick to one background. You have the freedom to change your background multiple times during a stream. You can change it according to your topic, your script, and even the response from your audience. This will also make your live stream a lot more engaging and appealing.

❇️ Customize your Background for Promotional Purposes

If you’re a marketer, you can use green screens to leverage customized backgrounds for advertising purposes. For instance, if you’re live streaming to showcase your products, you can use your background as an additional component of your streaming-marketing strategy to display product images, product features, and functionalities, calls to action, and a lot more.

❇️ Film Independent of your Location

With green screens, you have the margin to shoot independently of your studio location. All you need to do is set up a green screen and add your desired visuals independently later.


✅ Tips for Using Green Screens

Although the use of the chroma key technique has been around for quite some time, these tips might come in handy for you as a live streamer.

Chroma keying - live streaming with green screens

🟢 Use the green screen evenly. An uneven coloration will only make things difficult to manage.

🟢 Pay special attention to green screen lighting. Use a combination of backlight, key light, and fill light along with diffusers to ensure a final professional look.

  🟢 Chroma keying can be tough on your graphics card. Try hardware   encoding and reducing the bitrate when chroma keying on a subpar computer.

  🟢 Remove reflective and green items from the subject. Anything green will likely be keyed out together with the background. This is to avoid any unwanted chroma key effect.

  🟢 Ensure an adequate distance between the subject and the screen. Avoid having your subject cast shadows on the screen.

  🟢 A green screen works best with modern webcams. Although a basic-level webcam will suffice, most streamers prefer using higher-end webcams for next-level impressions.

  🟢 Avoid wearing the color of your green screen and remove the color from the background that you intend to overlay on your green screen.

🍀 To Sum it Up!

Despite the overwhelming benefits chroma keying has to offer, green doesn’t come without faults. The biggest concern here remains that the color green bleeds over onto subjects, resulting in too overdoing chroma keying. You can simply fix this by using good lighting and avoiding any other green objects in the background or at the front of the screen.

Nevertheless, chroma-keying is a popular technique for adding innovation and variety to your live streams. And the best part is, it is pretty cost-effective and easy to set up. All you need is a green screen, preferably a portable green screen, and you’re good to go. Use OneStream Live to multistream your chroma-keyed streams to more than 40 social media and the web, and reach out to your audiences in every corner of the globe.

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Saba Mohsin

Saba is the Lead Digital Content Writer at OneStream Live. She is a progressive researcher and an ardent blogger with a keen eye on ground-breaking technologies.