Written by StreamYard
Best Green Screens For Live Streaming
Do you want to improve your live streams and give them a more professional look, but can't invest in a high-end production studio? Do you have a good mic, camera, and monitor, but still feel something's missing to leave an impact on your viewers?
If so, then here's a simple tip: Focus on the backdrop.
Remember, a live stream's backdrop is a critical element that helps live streamers and content creators add a nice, professional look to their live videos. This can help you stand out from competition with engaging, interesting streams.
But is a green screen vital for live videos, and what do you need to consider when choosing a green screen?
In this guide, we'll explain how a green screen can support your live streaming goals, what to look for while buying a green screen, and provide a list of the top green screens available on the market.
What is a Green Screen?
A green screen is a green backdrop used while filming or live streaming.
It could be a huge frame covering the entire background or a small cloth placed only over the object/background that you want to remove in real-time.
How does a green screen work during live streams?
When you use a green screen for removing the background and replacing it with a virtual one, it's called chroma keying.
While green screens are named after their color, not every green screen is green. You'll find light blue ones too.
That doesn't make a difference because chroma keying works by removing or "keying out" a particular solid color and replacing it with whatever graphics you want.
But why the green color then?
It doesn't match most hair colors and natural skin tones. When it comes to removing it from a scene or setting, you generally won't have to worry about removing parts of the subject. It is essential, however, to ensure that the environment shouldn't have the chroma key color anywhere else, especially on the talent/live streamer's clothing.
Why do you need a green screen for live streaming?
Much like choosing the right mic and camera, it makes perfect sense to have a green screen. Here are a few reasons why:
To offer an immersive live experience
If you're like most live streamers, giving your audience an immersive live experience could be your top goal. A green screen can help you do that by keeping the focus on you, not the backdrop or a messy background behind you.
To fuel your creativity
In a world where brands, celebrities, and influencers are constantly trying to one-up each other with their live streams, adding a green screen can help you catch the eye. You can easily change the background using a green screen. This can help fuel your creativity, and even improve your branding when live streaming.
To elevate the production quality
One of the easiest ways to spice up your background is to use a green screen. You may want a cool live production setup with fancy RGB lighting or a minimalist backdrop that adds a sense of elegance to your stream. But, notwithstanding your requirements, a stunning background requires an investment, and space. Adding a green screen for live streaming can help you level up your production quality with exciting virtual backgrounds without having to invest significant amounts of money and effort in creating real ones.
To help you focus on your live stream
Is your live streaming background too busy? Or too plain? Whatever may be the concern, using a green screen for live streaming can remove it and give you the ultimate peace of mind by taking your attention away from what's behind you and focusing on what's in front of you, your audience.
To add flexibility to your streams
Adding and removing a green screen for live streaming is quick and effortless. Plus, most streaming software offer presets that work with green screens, which adds to the flexibility. So, you can choose to stream with or without a green screen without worrying about going through a cumbersome process. Remember, with a green screen, you'll get the added flexibility to customize your background with whatever you like.
Buying a Green Screen for Live Streaming: Things to Consider
A green screen comes in varying sizes and at different prices. So, how do you pick the right one for your live streaming needs? By considering the following:
- Size: Depending on the space you want to cover with the green screen, you can either use a large screen or a smaller one.
- Portability: If you live stream from different locations, consider investing in a green screen that can be moved easily.
- Material: Another critical factor to consider while picking a green screen for live streaming is the material it's made of. You can select from various materials, including muslin, cotton, polyester, paper, etc.
- Non-reflective Surface: As you decide on the material, make sure it's non-reflective to avoid shadows and reflections while streaming. For example, cotton is a great pick if you need a non-reflective surface as it doesn't cause reflections when you light up your green screen.
- Color: As already mentioned, not all green screens come in the color green. So, choose the shade by ensuring that it doesn't interfere with the color of your clothing or other objects in the foreground, or even your logo.
- Cleaning/Washability: One of the essential things to keep in mind while buying a green screen is to ensure that it's easy to clean. You can either pick a machine washable green screen or something that can be cleaned just using a damp cloth. Either way, the idea is to have a product that's easy to clean and maintain to ensure that the chroma keying works well.
- Stand: Based on your usage and real estate, you may or may not want a green screen that comes with a stand. While a green screen with a frame is easy to prop up, it may take up a lot of valuable space. So, evaluate your situation and pick the product that seems right.
- Price: This one is a given, but it influences the purchase decision the most. If you want to splurge, you can invest in a high-end screen. But if you're looking for something on a budget, shortlist your options accordingly.
Lighting Your Green Screen
While using a green screen for live streaming helps in several ways, improper lighting can affect the keying results. Here's what to keep in mind:
Ensure the green screen is clean and taut. Once you have found a green screen based on your requirements, make sure it's flat and smooth before you use it. For example, if you're using a cloth, ensure it's hung tight on the frame or is taut and wrinkle-free. If you're using a painted surface, have the same paint ready with you to touch up any scratches.
Use individual lighting. First, use different lighting for the screen. Don't think the lighting you use to light up your or your guests' faces on the screen will also work for the green screen. Instead, use separate lighting for your green screen to avoid shadows on the backdrop, which could result in an uneven gradient. Further, it can help prevent the green color from bouncing off on you or another subject, which can affect the quality of the chroma keying.
Go for soft, diffused lighting. Always use diffused, non-directional lighting that lights up your screen from top to bottom. Lighting the screen smoothly will avoid shadows and reflections by giving it an even texture. The smoother the lighting, the easier it will be to key out the color. You can diffuse the screen's light through softboxes or white bedsheets.
Pro tip: Experiment with distance between the green screen and the subject to get effective results.
12 Best Green Screens for Live Streaming
Want to know which green screen to buy for your requirements? Here we bring you our top 12 picks for the best green screens, in no particular order.
Dimensions (Extended): 5 × 6.6 feet | Material: Muslin | Price: $55.99
The Neewer Chromakey Collapsible Backdrop is a fantastic choice for live streaming with pop-up functionality for quick setup, double-sided green and blue screens for better flexibility, and a whole host of other excellent features.
It comes with three loops for effortless mounting on a stand or wall-mounted hooks in vertical or horizontal orientations. When not in use, fold it into a circle and can be easily stored in its complementary carrying bag for hassle-free portability.
Dimensions (Extended): 58.27 x 70.87 in | Material: 100% Polyester | Price: $159.99
This one from Elgato isn't the cheapest option on this list, but it's one of the best for ensuring you have a quality, durable green screen for chroma keying that can fit even the tightest of spaces.
Apart from being wrinkle-resistant, it's easy to set up and pack up for quick usage whenever and wherever you want to go live. You also won't have to worry about wrinkles in the green screen, as it rolls up into its own stand.
Dimensions (Extended): 78.74 x 70.86 in | Material: 100% Polyester | Price: $159.99
This mountable green screen from Elgato is pretty different from its other sibling mentioned above. Talk about incredible design with high performance, this green screen for live streaming delivers it all. While its panoramic dimensions cover the streamer perfectly, it doesn't occupy any floor space. And its studio-grade compositing fabric gives you a clean, wrinkle-free spread.
You can easily mount it on your wall or ceiling, pull the handle down to your preferred position, and the precision roller will automatically lock the green screen in place. In fact, packing it up is as simple. Just give the handle a little tug and release. The screen will retract into its protective metal casing. This one, with its high quality and incredible features, is a great screen for the price.
Dimensions (Extended): 5 x 6 feet | Material: 100% Polyester | Price: $99.99
Another one from Neewer, this mountable green screen gives you the ultimate freedom for that seamless installation wherever you want. Thanks to its wall mount with screws and ceiling mount with hooks on the upper two sides of the screen, setting it up and taking it down is a matter of seconds. And after use, it secures nicely into the built-in aluminum alloy shell case.
Made of a thicker and flatter material, it doesn't wrinkle easily. So, choose it if you're looking for a green screen that's easy to maintain and delivers remarkable results.
Diameter: 56 inches | Material: 190T Polyester | Price: $30.99
Looking for a green screen that fits your live streaming chair? This VONOV camera background, with its 56-inch diameter, double-sided collapsible backdrop, and durable material, is an excellent choice. Featuring a unique strap design, it can easily slide onto most chair types.
At the price point, it strikes a perfect balance between cost and features. For live streamers who need a lightweight and anti-wrinkle green screen that also ensures no fading, this is the one to go for. It is easy to setup and use, and can be ironed, and can fold-up when not in use.
Dimensions (Extended): 61.02 x 72.44 inches | Material: 100% Polyester | Price: $134.99
This Emart entry is loaded with some fantastic features. Heavy-duty, rugged and lightweight, it's also retractable and can be adjusted for use on various height settings. And being completely flat and smooth, it also keeps those lighting issues away.
So, if you have been searching for a retractable green screen that's quick to set up, this could be your best bet.
7. Khomo Gear Green Screen Collapsible Pull-Up Extra Large Streaming Portable Backdrop Setup with Auto-Locking Frame
Dimensions (Extended): 55 x 78 inches | Material: 100% Polyester | Price: $129.95
This pro-level chroma key screen from Khomo Gear is one of the most accomplished green screens from the manufacturer so far. Adequate for live streamers who need a quick setup, it claims to be ready for use in 3 seconds. Simply position the legs, open the screen and lift the handle to a suitable height. To lock it in place, there's a sturdy, pneumatic X-FRAME that does the job automatically.
It's also wrinkle-free and durable, making it a must-have for budding live streamers.
Diameter: 56 inches | Material: Polyester | Price: $59.99
In addition to its massive 56" diameter, it also features an integrated stabilizer and adjustable strap that ensure that it sits snugly against almost any chair.
But it's not just the design that makes this green screen a compelling pick – it's also more durable than most of its rivals and compatible with all chroma-key-enabled programs.
Dimensions (Extended): 10 x 20 feet | Material: 100% Cotton | Price: $149.99
The Fancierstudio Chromakey Green Screen Kit is more than capable of giving most of its competitors a run for their money. With two 105-watt 5500k daylight color fluorescent bulbs, one background light, and one heavy-duty backdrop support system, this is a complete green screen package that won't burn a hole in your pocket.
But that's not all. There are also two 7ft height light stands, one background light stand, three AC adapters, and two 33″ silver reflective umbrellas to help you make the most of your green screen for live streaming.
Keep in mind, this type of green screen setup requires a bit more space, along with some assembly.
Dimensions (Extended): 5 x 7 feet | Material: Polyester | Price: $15.90
The Limo Studio Green Screen Chromakey Background is the most cost-effective product on this list. But don't let the unbelievable price fool you. It's one of the top-selling items from the brand, and rightly so. Choose this one if you are looking for a durable, machine washable, and inexpensive green screen for live streaming – you won't be disappointed.
Dimensions (Extended): 1.8m x 2.7m | Material: Muslin | Price: $43.99
Why go for just a green screen when you can have an entire kit? If you've been searching for a complete photography kit that helps you make stunning live streams – look no further.
It comes with one 2m×3m backdrop stand, one 1.8m×2.7m cotton muslin backdrop, two 135W energy-saving light bulbs, two swivel sockets, two premium white soft light umbrellas, two 6.6ft light stands, and one nylon carrying bag. This kit covers all your needs in a single package and allows you to live stream in style.
Remember, this type of kit requires a lot of space to setup, and although it can be packed up, it's not very portable.
Dimensions (Extended): 5 x 7 feet | Material: 100% Polyester | Price: $119.90
If you're a live streamer who values seamlessness, this X-Drop Wrinkle-Resistant Backdrop is a brilliant companion. Not just designed to be super portable, it's also washable, reflection-free, and wrinkle-resistant. Additionally, it comes with a heavy-duty aluminum stand that expands to 5 x 7 feet and locks into place.
Facilitating easy setup, this system lets you attach the backdrop to the X-Drop's hooks using built-in grommets. There's also a pole pocket for hanging.
FAQs on Green Screen for Live Streaming
What is the best material for a green screen?
It depends on the use case, but more often than not, cotton is considered the perfect material for a green screen. That's because it gives a tight weave and reduces the chances of glare and reflections, unlike most of the other materials. Another suitable material is nylon-spandex because it stretches tight and gives a smooth look when extended on a frame. Moreover, it doesn't wrinkle much, which makes it a good choice for live streamers on the go.
Can I make my own green screen?
Of course you can! Many live streamers on a budget often use large rolls of fabric (mostly cotton or muslin) to create that easy and affordable DIY green screen for live streaming. You can even use green poster board, but make sure it is large enough, and free of defects, creases, and markings.
How can I make my green screen look better?
You can make your green screen look better by focusing on the lighting, the type of material it's made of, and the streaming software you're using. While we've covered the lighting and material sections earlier in this guide, you can check out StreamYard to level up your live streams with green screens. Here's how to live stream with a green screen in StreamYard:
Using a green screen for live streaming might be tricky at first. There is a lot to consider, such as setting up your green screen, how much space you have for a studio, how often you'll use your green screen when live streaming. With constant use, you'll feel that it's one of the best additions to your live streaming setup. So, go ahead and make your live streams livelier with a green screen.
If you are a fan of a blurry background and want to learn how to get a blurry background for your live streams, here's the perfect guide for you.