Welcome to our guide on how to set up a Green Screen for your live stream! We are going to cover the following
- Why would you use a green screen for live streaming?
- Whats best green screen options for all budgets?
- Lighting and why it matters for your green screen setup
- How to remove your green screen in OBS and Streamlabs OBS
Why use a Green Screen for Live Streaming?
It’s great to see the creative and entertaining ways which some streamers have implemented a green screen into their presentation. But, there are also very practical uses for a green screen. At its core, this technology isolates you (THE TALENT) from the natural recorded environment and places your image against anything you can imagine. You’re in control so stick a solar system background in or even make it look like you’re on top of the Eiffel tower.
For a game streamer, this most commonly means removing their background from the stream. This will allow only their figure to appear over their gameplay. You’ve probably seen a lot of your favourite streamers on Twitch, YouTube or Steam use a green screen in this way.
If you are wanting to set a theme on your steam, then this is a great tool for those streamers wanting to hide the background of their everyday lives. It may also help for those streamers who don’t feel like cleaning their room every time they go live. The first step for streaming this is getting the green screen and the correct lighting, so let’s dive in.
Best Green Screens for Streaming
Over the last few years, independent film production and streaming have become much more accessible and so have green screens. We have our own green screen for just the occasion. I’ve included it below:
Fovitec Chroma Green / Blue Reversible Folding Background (Link)
This is one I own myself, I use this for a variety of things including my Zoom meetings as I work from home and want to hide the background of my office that doubles up as a walk-in wardrobe. This background is great value for money, these green screens are perfect for those streamers looking to venture into green screen gaming but also on a budget. As the name suggests, they’re collapsible, foldable and reversible. You can travel with them and they work for most households as they pack away into a 68cm pouch. No need to constantly have it set up when you don’t need to use it is always a bonus. You also get the choice of using either the green or blue colours. There is no negative because there is also a stand available here, so you won’t have to prop it up against a wall. If you don’t want to use a stand, they’ll need a wall to lean on or hang from to be worthwhile. Since most streamers are working out of a room in their house, this shouldn’t be too hard to manage but the stand is a good bonus.
background lights for streaming with your green screen
You might think that lighting equipment may not be high on the list of a Twitch or Steam streamer’s priorities, but anybody who’s using one to enhance their presentation such as YouTubers and special effects makers will tell you that it’s a crucial addition. This is even more true when you are using a green screen.
- Fovitec LED Daylight Panel Kit
- Fovitec 1050W Photography Continuous Video Photo Studio Softbox Lighting Kit
- Fovitec - 19" (48cm) Bi-Colour LED Ring Light kit for Video Lighting Creators
Explore on your own if these two lights may not be right for you as we have a great range in stock that will fit everyone’s budget that you can find by clicking here but, these are my two recommendations.
Finding proper lighting is all about your environment and how you adapt it to that environment. With a green screen, it’s important to light you (The Talent) and your green screen independently so that it works in line with the software and your subscribers get the best experience possible when watching you. This may mean that you need to buy a couple of lights so keep that in mind.
Tutorial time! Once your green screen setup is complete and your webcam shows you looking like an extra in The Matrix, let’s open OBS and get the green screen working as it should.
With OBS running and your webcam active, check to see if any of your background isn’t fully covered by the green screen. If it isn’t, this might cause problems, so make sure it is fully covered but it is fixable if you don’t have that luxury.
To fix this all you have to do is crop the webcam in OBS. Holding down your ALT key, grab the sides of your webcam window and move them inward to hide any uncovered green screen space. You should also pull the opposite side inward as well, ensuring that you’ll still be in the middle of the frame.
NOTE: It’s important that a streamer still has enough space to move about and entertain, no one likes some who’s just a floating head, right, without getting cropped out of shot every time their head up or hands out of site.
Make sure that your green screen is close enough or large enough to incorporate for this. If your camera space is limited after cropping, just be aware of what space you’ll have to move about in.
Applying the Chroma Key Filter
Right click on your webcam from your list of Sources and select Filters from the drop-down menu. Select the plus icon from the bottom left of the window that appears and select Chroma Key.
Name this as you please or leave it as is, then hit OK. Immediately, you’ll notice OBS is going to identify the green screen that’s set up behind you. It may not be perfect quite yet, but things are starting to come together!
To find the right spot you will want to play with the options and sliders that take up most of the window below the preview of your webcam. The perfect options will be different for everybody. I’m going to just cover what these options do so you’ll be able to slide to perfection.
Chroma Key Settings
- Key Colour Type speaks to the base colour of your green screen. If you have anything besides an actual green coloured screen, use this drop down to find the right base colour.
- Similarity is how close to the base colour you want OBS to also remove. For example, in the darker corners of your preview, you may see that OBS isn’t removing some of the screen. This could be because those corners aren’t as well-lit as the middle of the screen and OBS isn’t recognizing that it needs to remove the corners. Adjusting this slider will allow OBS to grab more of the screen. Make sure not to increase this so much that some of your talent is being removed too.
- Smoothness works in tandem with “Similarity” in trying to make sure that the filter isn’t too harsh. You shouldn’t have to move this to a large degree. Use it to hone in on the perfect amount of what’s left on the screen.
- Spill Reduction applies to the edges of what the filter is and isn’t removing from the screen. If you’re noticing some green bouncing off the edges of your shirt or your head, move this slider to remove them. Know that a little green in the hair isn’t going to ruin your stream.
- The other options should be familiar to most streamers, but they really don’t need changing all that much.
Hitting Close will allow you to take in your newly created Chroma Key filter. Now you are ready to stream and get things underway, perfect.
The setup for Streamlabs OBS is almost step-for-step as it is for OBS. Find your webcam source, right-click, select Filters, then Colour Key. Use the window that appears to adjust the levels of what the filter is and isn’t removing. Easy as that.