How to Use a Green Screen in OBS

When streaming with OBS, you might want to touch up your background. This ensures an appropriate backdrop for your stream, making it look appealing. Fortunately, OBS has a simple method that allows you to apply this. Also known as the Chroma Key option, the feature is directly available on the OBS interface.

How to Use a Green Screen in OBS

Read on to learn how to use a green screen in OBS.

The Chroma Key Green Screen Option on OBS

Using the Chroma key option on OBS is a quick and easy way to apply a green screen to your stream. It also allows you to choose from a green or blue color while giving you extra customization options. However, we recommend having a well-lit background in the first place and not wearing a shirt the same color as the chroma color option.

With that all out of the way, here’s how you can use the Green screen in OBS:

  1. Launch OBS on your computer and select the “+” option under the “Sources” tab.
  2. Select the “Video capture device” from the option list, then type out a name.
  3. Your camera will appear in the device field. Select it and then click “OK.”
  4. Once you see your preview, select the “Filters” option.
  5. From the “Effect Filters” option, select the “+” option and then click on “Chroma key.”

Once you select the chroma key option, you can adjust it to fit your stream settings perfectly. You can choose from blue or green and use the smoothness bar to adjust the effect. Generally, this will depend on your camera quality, distance from the camera, background colors, clothes colors, and lighting. You’ll also need to save the settings before moving on with your stream.

Replacing Your Background

Once you’ve used the chroma key option on OBS, you can move on to changing the background so it’s better suited for your needs. While the screen might appear green to you, those viewing your stream will see it as see-through, so no additional steps are required to make it transparent after you’ve activated the chroma key.

As for a new background, you’ll want to make sure you have a saved HD image or video that you want to appear. Some good ideas might include:

  • A luxury room – If you want to show a little class for your stream, you can choose an image with fancy bookshelves, candles, or even a sleek office.
  • News background – If your stream is about updating viewers with the latest news on a specific project, using a news station can add to the whole project.
  • A podcast studio – Perhaps your stream is supposed to mimic a podcast. Famous podcast hosts use fun and interesting studios that draw attention. Fortunately, you can find an image online that can do the trick.
  • A video – If you have other footage you’ve filmed, you can use it in your stream, especially if it covers a relevant topic.
  • A single color – Maybe blue or green isn’t your style. You might have a personal brand that you want to communicate. To do this, single solid colors can work nicely in your stream.

Once you’ve gotten your image or video saved on your desktop, here’s how you can use it for the OBS studio:

  1. Select the “+” option under the “Sources” tab in the OBS studio.
  2. Depending on if you’re using a picture or a video, select “image” or “Media Source.”
  3. Name the source before confirming it.
  4. Browse for your image or video and then click on “OK.”
  5. Ensure your new source image appears underneath the chroma key source on your interface.

It’s as simple as that. You’ll be able to use a brand-new background on your OBS stream. However, you might need to do a little readjusting. Fortunately, you can do this simply by selecting the source and adjusting the formatting options that appear.

Remember that the effect of your new background can sometimes clash with the old one, depending on the lighting. We recommend avoiding harsh lighting to ensure the best results, as they can make sharp shadows. Instead, consider using ring lights or a lightbox for the best soft glow.

Issues with the Chroma Key in OBS

In some instances, the chroma key might not work. This problem’s source can be because of poor background options or issues with your computer. Suppose you’ve ensured you have a different color shirt than the chroma key and uniform soft lighting. In that case, there are still some other aspects to consider, including:

CPU and graphics card – For your green screen to work properly, you’ll need a quad-core CPU such as a Ryzen 5. A good basic graphics card would be an NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. By today’s standards, these options are the minimum you need for decent-quality streaming.

Update issues – Developers are constantly making changes to the OBS software. You want the most updated version; otherwise, certain features like the chroma key won’t work.

Webcam problems – You’ll also need a high-quality webcam to distinguish the green light from your background. If your camera is causing issues, consider adjusting its white balance, contrast, and brightness. You can also use your phone’s camera with the OBS software for better quality. However, this requires extra apps or plug-ins. You can also buy a new webcam.

Using Alternative Streaming Software

If the green screen problem persists, you don’t have to be stuck with OBS. While this is a free and easy-to-use streaming option, others also allow for the chroma key. Some examples might include:

  • Streamlabs OBS – This option features a more user-friendly interface while still offering the same streaming options the original OBS has.
  • Lightstream Studio – Lightstream lets users store their streams on a cloud and has additional features allowing for collaborative streaming for multiple people at once.
  • Camtasia – While not focused strictly on streaming, it offers more comprehensive video editing processes for tutorials and how-to videos.


Can I install other chroma key colors?

Unfortunately, there are only green and blue chroma key colors on OBS. However, this won’t play as much of a role since it’ll appear transparent on the stream either way.

Should I use my real background or a picture?

That depends on your specific streaming needs and goals. If you have a messy background, a single picture can easily mask it so you can continue streaming while looking your best.

Why are chroma keys typically green or blue?

This is because camera sensors are especially sensitive to green and blue light. They’re also the colors furthest away from skin tones.

Amazing Backgrounds with OBS

Presentation is a big part of streaming. Next to having a good webcam and microphone, you’ll also need an excellent background. The chroma key option in OBS does the trick nicely. Simply access it from the primary sources tab to make your background transparent. You can also add other pictures or a video for additional visual effects.

Was it easy to make your background transparent with the chroma key on OBS? Do you prefer a transparent or picture background while streaming? Let us know in the comments section below.

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