Welcome to the Gaming Careers guide on how to set up a Green Screen for your live stream! In this tutorial we will be covering:

  1. Why would you use a green screen for live streaming
  2. Which webcams work best for chroma keying
  3. The best green screen options for all budgets
  4. Lighting and why it matters for your green screen setup
  5. How to remove your green screen in OBS and Streamlabs OBS
  6. Bonus tips for streamers

Video Guide


As with all of our guides, below we have included a full video tutorial if that is your preferred method of learning.

The Doc


Love or hate him, Dr. Disrespect is one of the best examples of a streamer who uses a green screen creatively. Over the short time it’s taken him to reach streaming stardom, many of us have witnessed Dr. Disrespect revel in well-earned victories as he steps off the battle royale fields and into his Locker Room of Champions.

As much as we want that locker room/helicopter pad/huge studio to be real, Doc’s diverse setting is brought to life with the help of a green screen and filters. This isn’t a technology that’s reserved just for the Doc, oh no no no. Perhaps you want to make your own stream come alive with green screen technology? Let me show you how it’s done.

At its core, this technology isolates your talent from their natural recorded environment and place their image against anything else imaginable.

Why use a Green Screen for Live Streaming?


It’s always fun to see the creative and entertaining ways that 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 your talent (YOU!) from their natural recorded environment and place their image against anything else imaginable.

For a streamer, this most commonly means removing their background from the stream. Allowing only their figure to appear over their gameplay. You’ve probably seen many, many of your favorite streamers use a green screen in this way.

This is a great tool for those streamers who want to set a theme for their stream that the background of their everyday lives wouldn’t contribute to. Or, perhaps, for those streamers who don’t feel like cleaning their room every time they go live. No matter the reason why a streamer wants to use a green screen, the first step is finding a webcam that can effectively sell the illusion.

Best Webcams for Green Screen Streaming


A green screen will work at a basic level with most modern webcams. But streamers who are trying to achieve a next level impression will want to get their hands on a higher-end webcam.

Why is this? Because green screens rely on camera resolution to effectively separate the streamer from the green backdrop. The higher the resolution, the more effective your webcam will be at isolating your figure.

For those streamers who are looking to purchase a webcam that can make a green screen sing. The Logitech C920 HD Pro Webcam will do wonders for you. This webcam is an awesome, cost-effective piece of tech for your streaming arsenal. I’ve been recommending it to streamers for years now and it just keeps getting cheaper.

Best Green Screens for Streaming


As independent film production and streaming have become more accessible, so have green screens. Amazon has a solid selection of green screens that can fit into a variety of budgets. I’ve included a selection here that I either own or have used in the past.

Fancierstudio’s Collapsible and Reversible Backdrop

Cheap and cheerful, these green screens are perfect for those streamers looking for a budget option. As the name suggests, they’re collapsible, foldable and reversible. They travel well and work for most households since they pack away so small. You also get the choice of using either the green or blue colors. One negative is that they’re without any kind of 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.

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LimoStudio’s Green Chroma-key Backdrop

The LimoStudio Backdrops are more traditional in how you might imagine a green screen setup looks. It’s a large screen that comes in around 9 x 15’’ and it’s sure to get the job done without breaking the bank. Though, similar to the collapsible backdrops, it doesn’t come with any kind of stand. There are three clamps included, but you’ll still need to find something to clamp it to. There’s a studio rail that you can purchase as well, but that alone doubles the price of your investment. Due to the large fabric size, this can be the ideal setup for those of you who want total immersion in your green screen environment. Or if you want enough room to have guests on your stream too!

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Elgato Green Screen

The Elgato Green Screen is the green screen I personally own and it’s been one of my favorite additions to the Gaming Careers operation to date. It’s convenient in its size and I can pull it out, set it up, and be streaming within minutes. It has built-in supports that allow it to extend to any height. I love how hassle-free setting up this green screen is. The price may leave your eyes wide in comparison to our other selections, but for me, the convenience in setup and storage have made it a fantastic purchase.

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With a green screen, it’s important to light your talent and your green screen independently.

Lighting for your Green Screen


Lighting equipment may not be on a Twitch streamer’s list of priorities, but anybody who’s using one to enhance their presentation will tell you that it’s an invaluable addition. This is especially true when using a green screen.

Neewer’s 160 LED and Viltrox’s 116T are two professional lighting products that I’ve used for my videos. I’m one of many creators who can say that they’re well worth your consideration. Neither will break the bank and you’ll notice the change they bring to your presentation immediately.

However, Amazon and other retailers are full of great LED lighting equipment that falls within every price range. Explore on your own if these two lights may not be right for you. Perhaps even your favorite streamers have their own lighting equipment listed on their Twitch!

NOTE: Finding proper lighting is all about your environment. Adapting to that environment can sometimes mean purchasing multiple LED kits. With a green screen, it’s important to light your talent and your green screen independently. This may mean that you need to buy at least two of these kits as I did.

Removing your Green Screen in OBS / SLOBS


Tutorial time! Once your physical green screen setup is complete and your webcam shows you looking like an extra in The Matrix, let’s open OBS and actually get the green screen working as it should.

Cropping

With OBS running and your webcam active, check to see if any of your background isn’t fully covered by the green screen. In the picture below, you’ll see there’s a portion of my background that’s still showing a slice of my home office.

Fixing this is just a matter of cropping 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 get wild without getting cropped out of shot every time their head goes too high or hands too far. 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

Not long ago, we explored how to set up a Webcam Filter or LUT. These are filters that you can apply directly to your webcam for aesthetic effect. The first steps of applying a LUT and removing a green screen are very similar.

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 that sweet spot, you’ll 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 Color Type speaks to the base color of your green screen. If you have anything besides an actual green colored screen, use this drop down to find the right base color.
  • Similarity is how close to the base color 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 too 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.

Let’s go LIVE!

Hitting Close will allow you to take in your newly created Chroma Key filter. I hope you’ve got a big smile on your face right now because you should see only your talent laid against a background of your content and nothing else! Move your hands around to see what distance you have to work with and then prepare to show your stream the NEW YOU.

Streamlabs OBS


The setup for Streamlabs OBS is almost step-for-step as it is for OBS. Find your webcam Source, right click, select Filters, then Color Key. Use the window that appears to adjust the levels of what the filter is and isn’t removing. Easy as that.

The ability to apply a chroma key within OBS and SLOBS isn’t just limited to webcams.

Green Screen Streaming Tips


Here are a few things to know and to think about before you head back out to the streaming sea.

  1. Always avoid wearing the color of your green screen or having it anywhere on your body whatsoever. As we’ve learned, OBS and SLOBS are set up to remove that color from the presentation, meaning you could be a floating head on stream if you’re wearing that same color.
  2. The ability to apply a chroma key within OBS and SLOBS isn’t just limited to webcams. If you’ve found a video online that features a green screen in the background, you’ll be able to apply the chroma key to that video and have only the talent of the video play on your stream. JUST DO IT!
  3. If you’re using a webcam that uses Auto White Balance (AWB), I would suggest disabling that feature, as it can change the color of your green screen as it tries to balance out and cause problems through this whole process.
  4. Implementing a green screen in OBS and SLOBS is very intensive on a CPU and can lead to dropped frames. Drops in framerate can be a stream-killer, so if using a green screen is putting your CPU into a lurch, then it may be wise to use your webcam without a green screen for the time being. It also may be time to think about upgrading.

Do you really want a Green Screen?

And lastly, a question for you to think on: Is a green screen truly what you want to use on your stream? I don’t mean to say it’s not a great thing to have, but for many streamers, their natural background becomes part of their presentation.

Some of the most popular streamers around right now like Summit1g and TimTheTatman use their background as a way to visually express their interests to their viewers…Okay, and sure, also for some paid promotion, but that’s never hurt anybody.

The posters on your wall and the trinkets that you display on your shelves give you character and can even help streamers build a relationship with you more than a green screen ever can. There’s no right or wrong, plenty of streamers have had success both with and without green screens. It’s something to consider when looking to begin building your audience.