Chroma keying is not as simple as shooting your subject in front of a green screen and later deleting this green screen to substitute anything else. It involves a lot of attention to details and perfection. Even a minuto error will give you a mismatched subject, heavy color spills, and excessive pixels along the edges. Pulling a good key is no rocket science but it certainly requires a methodical approach. Here is a complete ‘how to’ guide for Chroma keying.

Things you will need

1. A green screen or blue screen backdrop. Always buy a good quality backdrop that must absorb all the light falling on it so that there is no reflection. The lesser the reflection, the lesser will be the keying issues. Always buy 100% cotton muslin backdrops, as they are found to be an excellent choice for Chroma keying.

2.Lighting equipments and accessories. This includes lighting sources such as bulbs and other related accessories such as reflectors, diffusers, softboxes, etc.

3.Camera

4.Tripod

5.Backdrop stand

6.Chroma key software

7.Computer

Directions for setting up the shot

1.Hang the backdrop from its stand.

2.Make your subject stand at least 8 to 10 feet away from the screen. The farther the subject is from your screen, the lesser will be the color spill.

2.Set up your camera according to the available space.

3.Place your lighting at the desirable positions. Choose whether you need front lighting, side lighting, etc. The quality and quantity of light should be purely based on the final outcome that you want.

4.Independently light your subject as well as your backdrop. Separate lighting will give you a proper extraction which is an important factor for green screen photography.

5.Never use direct light to illuminate your subject as it will be too harsh on him leading to sharp shadows. Always use a diffuser such as a softbox or a translucent umbrella to disperse the light coming from your light fonte so that your subject is evenly lit without any harsh shadow or hot spot.

6.Shadows can be extremely dangerous for green screen photography. Any shadow will create sever keying problems; therefore, make sure there is no shadow on the green background.

Shooting and post-production

1.Once everything is set, take your subject’s picture in front of your green screen. Click a couple of pictures and choose the best one among them to work on.

2.Once you have finalized your picture, transfer it to your PC, and editar it using good green screen software such as 123 video magic. You can also use Photoshop but for that you will need to have a good understanding of the layers and other tools.

3.Using Chroma key software, you would be able to successfully key out the green color in just one click. You will now be left with your subject on a blank background. Use a background of your choice to fill this blank o espaço and Bingo! Your subject is now standing on the Eiffel tower or maybe walking on the pista of Paris Fashion week!


Chroma keying is not something for which you have to undergo specialized trainings. It’s a simple process but needs a lot of accuracy. Therefore, never do it in a hurry. Take your time to set things up so that you don’t have to deal with a lot of post-production headaches.