How to use chroma key: basics

How to use chroma key: basics

You see that the other streamers look more attractive due to a fancy background: you have to find out how to use chroma key.

Does streamer really need chroma key?

Before coming to the question how to use chroma key – you have to answer yourself if do you really need one.

Using chroma key is your personal choice. Especially if you are using the camera during your streams.


The question is: how many watchers do like the talking head built into the stream picture, and how many just do not care?

But you may know the answer in advance: the use of the camera during the stream is a must to attract people (apart from rare exceptions). 

Based on this, the use of a green screen (sometimes blue is also used) becomes especially important. Is it worth spending money on a chroma key? A lot of streamers don’t bother with this, so why would you?

Does streamer really need chroma key?

What are chroma key benefits?

  • Your bedroom camera does not cover part of the game screen
  • Stream looks more professional
  • The risks of having a “boring background” are absolutely excluded
  • Chroma key – easy to set up, no boring background.

No chroma key – boring background, obstructed game elements, sad viewer.

At the same time there are some exceptions. The image of the room of some female streamers caused a positive response from viewers and, accordingly, an increase in the number of subscribers.

Chroma key is easy to deploy, depending on the software you are using. Usually, the setting takes no more than a couple of mouse clicks.

You don’t have to be like hundreds of other streamers, and a green screen will help you stand out from the crowd. So, why not include a green screen as part of your streamer career budget?

Prices for normal green screens start at 30 USD. 

Here are the pros and cons of using the chroma key. Yes, this is not a crucial thing for a streamer, but it changes everything for the better. 

If you are engaged in streaming, you know that thousands of other people are striving for the ultimate goal together with you. So why not get a head if you have the opportunity?

How to use chroma key?

This simple guide will help you get started with the green screen properly.  

In recent years, streaming on and other similar sites has become a real arms race. Viewers are becoming more selective and prefer the best video quality, streamer skill, and graphics. 

Chroma Key will help you to level up significantly with the Chroma Key image alignment technology built into OBS or the other programs like that and extremely easy to use.

What type of chroma key to choose?

Do you prefer a regular cloth screen, or do you need a popup green screen? 

Beware of cheap folding (popup) screens! The best material for a green screen is finely woven cotton Muslin, which is excellent at absorbing light. 

Light absorption is a mandatory property of a green screen material, which SHOULD NOT reflect light. 

Reflected green light can cause red washes in the frame. 

Try not to use green screens with lighter materials. 

Decide on the size of the screen so that it covers a sufficient area behind you and at the correct distance from the webcam, as described below.

Green Screen and Camera

Now it is very difficult to make a mistake when choosing a camera. 

How to use chroma key?

Most modern cameras are capable of delivering clear images in good lighting conditions at 1080p and are great for working with chroma key. 

Even if the camera has a built-in microphone, you will not need it, the sound quality in such devices is still far from ideal. HOW TO CHOOSE A MICROPHONE FOR STREAMING: TYPES AND CRITERIA

Cheaper cameras and poor lighting will degrade the picture quality. You definitely need to make sure the picture is saturated and the lighting is good. Otherwise, you will have difficulty with chroma key.


This is probably one of the most important aspects. As noted earlier, lighting relieves the camera from the need to programmatically improve the picture, which can lead to reduced image quality. 

The more pixel “disturbance” is seen on the screen, the better you need to work on the lighting. 

Try to use indirect lighting. Softbox (or “umbrella”) is the best solution to this problem. 

Make sure the green screen is not backlit. This makes the green screen irregular, which can create a lot of difficulties in the future.

If you don’t want to waste time installing specialized lights and stands, use a multi-light floor lamp. Such lamps allow you to direct light in different directions, and modern LED bulbs are bright enough and do not heat up at all. 

Foil can be used to redirect light to diffuse the light even more. 


The further the green screen is from you and the camera, the better. 

If you work in a small room, you may move the screen only a meter away from your chair.

Ideally, 1.5-2 meters is sufficient. 

In this case, the biggest problem is reflected green light, which can spoil the image in the frame. 

Experiment with the location of the screen and find the best position for the size of your room.


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