Edited by Pat Bitton
January 21, 2021
Top 10 Free Green Screen Software
Even if you are not familiar with the term, you have seen the Chroma Key effect on TV, when actors are shot against the green screen that later is replaced by burning cars, collapsing skyscrapers, or landscapes of astonishing beauty. It may seem that creating a video with such an effect is complicated. But in fact, all you need to do is shoot a video in front of solid color backdrops and then use a green screen editor to make this solid color transparent and replace the background with a video clip of your choosing. With the right chroma key software, the editing process will be smooth and simple.
If you want to use chroma keying not for the background but for objects like a TV screen or a window, you’ll need green screen maker apps. In this article, we’ll focus on software that can replace the green screen in the background of your video. We’ve reviewed 10 best green screen software to help you choose the option that suits you best.
Movavi Video Editor Plus: A Full-Featured Green Screen Program
Our first recommendation is Movavi Video Editor Plus – green screen software with a rich collection of advanced video-editing tools. Alongside the professional features, this chroma key editor has an intuitive user interface, thanks to which you can edit a green screen video in just a few clicks. The Chroma Key tool in Movavi Video Editor Plus selects the solid color background with precision and makes it completely transparent so you won’t have to worry about the green screen being seen at some parts of the image.
Apart from changing the background of your video, you can also cut unwanted fragments from the video, apply various filters, transitions, and stickers, add titles and music, and much more.
These simple steps will teach you how to use chroma keying in Movavi’s green screen video editor.
Step 1. Import Media Files to the Green Screen Editor
Launch the green screen program. Click Add Files and import two files to the program: one with a green screen background and another one – with the necessary background picture or video which you want to add to the first file. Then drag both files onto the Video Track on the Timeline.
You can find videos with a green screen online on Storyblocks – our media partner site, which provides licensed video content at a reduced price. Click Sample videos and then Download more or visit the Storyblocks page to learn more about this option.
Step 2. Edit Your Video Using the Chroma Key Effect
First, select the green screen video on the Timeline and drag it up. A new Overlay Track will be created. Drop the foreground video onto the Overlay Track, leaving the background clip on the main Video Track.
Double-click the green screen video on the timeline, click More Tools, and select Chroma Key. Use the color picker to select the background color from your video. After that, the green screen will become transparent, and your video from the Video Track will appear in the background instead. Adjust the Tolerance, Noise, Edges, and Opacity sliders so that the background video is clearly visible.
Additionally, you can go to Color Adjustments and adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, and other color parameters of your video.
Step 3. Save Your Movie
When you’re ready to save the result, click the Export button. Here select the desired output format and choose the option that best suits your needs: save as a video file, upload online, or convert for viewing on a mobile device. Then click Start.
As you see, video editing is easy. Make magic videos with Movavi’s green screen video software!
Best Free Green Screen Software
Chroma Key is an advanced video-editing feature, so you might think that it can only be found in paid professional software. In fact, there are several free video editors that let you change the green screen background. Below you’ll find a review of the best free green screen software.
One example of free green screen software is the VDSC video editor. This green screen app for Windows has a lot of video-editing functions. The editor has a free version that you can use without limitations, like a trial period or watermarks. The Chroma Key tool is included in the free version. However, in the free version, you can only use the YUV green screen background remover mode, while the pro version offers a more advanced HSL mode. It may happen that the green color still remains seen around the edges of the objects after you’ve removed the major part of the green screen background. In this case, you’ll need to make additional adjustments manually. You can adjust the hue and lightness deltas, reduce contrast, and apply filters.
- Masking tools let you blur/highlight certain parts of the image
- Motion tracking allows for registering the movements of an object and assigning the same trajectory to elements like titles or images
- Export to social networks
- 4K export
- Wide range of editing tools
- Many helpful tutorials on the program’s website
- You might need to make a lot of adjustments manually to remove the background color completely
- The interface might seem confusing for beginners
Support: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8, 10
iMovie is free chroma key software for macOS and iOS devices. It has a simple intuitive interface and a great number of tools for video editing, which means you can create professional-looking movies easily even if you’re not an experienced user. The green screen effects in iMovie let you change the background of your video in a few simple steps. Advanced color adjustment tools will help you give your video a perfect look. Since the iMovie green screen video editor is available for Macs, iPads, and iPhones, you can start your project on one device and then continue editing on another one.
- Customizable titles
- Template for movie trailers
- 4K video support
- Easy export to social networks
- Intuitive interface
- Advanced video-editing tools
- Available for Apple devices only
Support: macOS, iOS
DebugMode Wax is a video maker and special effects software that you can use for green screen editing. With this program, you can create 2D & 3D special effects, including Chroma Key. You can use this app as chroma key software or as and as a plug-in for some video editors, like Sony Vegas®, Pure Motion EditStudio, and Adobe Premiere®. DebugMode Wax is free for both business and personal use. The interface is quite simple but very outdated.
- Uses graphics acceleration
- Unlimited video and audio tracks
- 2D and 3D plugins
- Offers various effects
- Outdated interface
Kapwing is an online green screen editor. It is a good option if you’re not willing to install green screen software on your computer. Keep in mind that the processing speed will largely depend on the quality of your Internet connection. Kapwing has all the basic editing features, like trimming, resizing, and merging. The chroma key tool is quite easy to use, but the app lacks advanced color settings. After you’ve removed the green screen background, you can replace it with a picture or a video. Kapwing lets you export the video in the MP4 format or as a GIF file.
- Subtitle editing
- Video speed changing
- Title animations
- Access to all tools in the free version
- User-friendly interface
- The free version has limitations, like the size of uploaded files and the length of exported videos
- The uploading speed is lower than in desktop editors
- Limited export options
Support: any platform, works online
ZS4 Video Editor lets you combine and edit photo, video, and audio files. The program can help you make the background of a video transparent and replace it with a video or a picture. So you can use the editor as green screen software for photos and videos. After you’ve replaced your green screen background, you can adjust color parameters, including hue, saturation, lightness, and more.
- Option to create subgroups of tracks and edit them as a single track
- Tools for adjusting hue, saturation, lightness, RGBA, YUV, and tint
- Unlimited number of tracks
- Multiple effects
- Helpful tutorials on the program’s website
- The program is not developed anymore
- The interface is outdated
Support: Mac, Windows, Linux
HitFilm Express is free professional-grade green screen software for Mac and Windows. Apart from green screen removal, the program also offers the spill simulation feature. This tool replaces light reflections from the original green screen video with simulated light from your new background which makes the picture look more realistic. HitFilm Express includes a lot of animations and transitions with even more effects available as paid add-ons.
- Spill simulation for more realistic light reflections
- Ability to create your own color presets
- Advanced color grading tools
- Tools for professional video-editing
- Support for 360° videos
- Multiple transitions
- Many features are not included in the free version
- Few output formats are supported
Support: Windows, Mac
The next on our list of the best chroma key software is Lightworks. The program’s intuitive interface allows for easy video editing – with green screen footage, it will take you a few clicks to change the background of your video. The chroma key settings let you adjust saturation, hue, and luminance so you can achieve a better result. The Lightworks green screen editor supports many video formats, including MXF, MTS, QuickTime, VOB, and more. The export settings allow you to save your videos ready-made for YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also upload your video to YouTube directly from the app.
- Automatic detection and rotation of footage from mobile devices
- Export options for YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Instagram
- Option to edit metadata for multiple clips at one time
- Ability to color video tracks on the timeline
- Wide input format support
- Simple interface
- Access to royalty-free media content
- Some features, like 4K resolution export and additional plugins, are only available in the Pro version
Support: Mac, Windows, Linux
OpenShot is one of the open-source green screen programs with a simple interface and loads of editing tools. The software also lets you adjust such parameters as brightness, gamma, and hue. In addition to basic editing functions, OpenShot supports 2D and 3D animations. The timeline is very convenient – you can add an unlimited number of tracks, drag & drop files, scroll, and zoom. There are multiple video transitions available, and you can preview them in real-time.
- Title templates
- Color inversion effect
- Time effects, including slow motion, reversing, and speeding up
- Convenient timeline
- 2D and 3D animations
- Can be a bit complicated for beginners due to a big number of tools
Support: Mac, Windows, Linux
OBS Studio is a popular screen recorder, but it also can be used as a green screen video editor. With this program, you can record yourself on a green screen background using your webcam. If you already have green screen footage, simply upload it to the app. Apply the chroma key filter to remove the solid color background and adjust additional parameters like similarity, smoothness, brightness, and contrast. Then add a picture or a video that you want to put in the background instead, place it under the track with your original video, and the background will be replaced.
- Video and audio capture from different sources
- Live streaming on Twitch, YouTube, and other platforms
- Option to adjust audio parameters
- You can add an unlimited number of scenes
- Customizable transitions
- Limited editing functions in comparison to video editors
Support: Mac, Windows, Linux
Comparison of Movavi Video Editor Plus and Free Chroma Key Software
|Movavi Video Editor Plus||Mac, Windows||Color correction, variety of transitions and animations, multiple export options||Abundance of features, convenient timeline, built-in media collection||The free trial version is available for 7 days only|
|VSDC Free Video Editor||Windows||Masking, motion tracking, export to social networks, 4K export||Wide range of editing tools, tutorials on the website||Interface might seem confusing for beginners|
|iMovie||macOS, iOS||Customizable titles, trailer templates, 4K video support, export to social networks||Cross-platform, intuitive interface, advanced video-editing tools||Available for Apple devices only|
|DebugMode Wax||Windows||Graphics acceleration, unlimited video and audio tracks, 2D and 3D plugins||Easy-to-use; offers various effects||Outdated interface|
|Kapwing||Any, works online||Subtitle editing, video speed changing, title animations||Access to all tools in the free version, user-friendly interface||Limitations in the free version; few export options|
|ZS4 Video Editor||Mac, Windows, Linux||Option to create subgroups of tracks; tools for color correction; unlimited number of tracks||Multiple effects, helpful tutorials||The program is not developed anymore; the interface is outdated|
|HitFilm Express||Windows, Mac||Spill simulation, ability to create color presets, advanced color grading tools||Professional editing tools, support for 360° videos, multiple transitions||Many features are not included in the free version; few output formats are supported|
|Lightworks||Mac, Windows, Linux||Export to social networks, option to color video tracks on the timeline||Wide input format support, simple interface, access to royalty free media content||Some features are only available in the Pro version|
|OpenShot||Mac, Windows, Linux||Title templates, color inversion effect, time effects||Convenient timeline, 2D and 3D animations||Can be a bit complicated for beginners due to a big number of tools|
|OBS Studio||Mac, Windows, Linux||Video and audio capture, live streaming, option to adjust audio parameters||Unlimited number of scenes, customizable transitions||Limited editing functions in comparison to video editors|
Frequently Asked Questions
To remove the green screen background and replace it with a video or an image, try one of these programs:
- Movavi Video Editor Plus
- OBS Studio
The cost will vary depending on the program. Here are some examples:
Movavi Video Editor Plus: $59.95/lifetime;
HitFilm Pro: $349/lifetime;
Kapwing Pro: $20/month;
Lightworks Pro: $24.99/month; $174.99/year; $437.99/lifetime.
Yes, instead of a green screen you can use a background of any other color. The important thing is that the background should be a solid color with uniform lighting and as different from the foreground colors as possible. So make sure the background color is different from the colors of your clothes, hair, and skin. A blue background will be the best alternative to a green screen since both these colors differ from human skin colors the most.
Zoom has the virtual background feature which lets you replace your background with an image or a video during a Zoom meeting. For better results, use a solid color background, the green color will be the best options. This feature can also work without a green screen background. But you want to make sure that your background is of uniform color, the lighting is good, and the color of your clothes is different from the background color. This way Zoom will be able to differentiate you from the background.
Great! Now you know the best programs for editing green screen videos. We recommend using Movavi Video Editor Plus since it combines professional editing tools with a simple interface. Have fun creating videos with the chroma key effect!
Movavi Video Editor Plus
Your next step in video-making
- Edit video clips, images, and audio on a timeline
- Add transitions, filters, titles, and stickers
- Animate objects using keyframes, use more built-in media
- Export videos in any popular format
* The free version of Movavi Video Editor Plus has the following restrictions: 7-day trial period, watermark on the output videos, and, if you’re saving a project as an audio file, an ability to save only half the audio length. Learn more