OBS Studio 134 – Chroma Keying & Green Screens – How to use green screen in OBS Studio (TUTORIAL)


With the rise of game streaming on Twitch
and similar platforms, the use of “green screens” – or chroma keying – to cut out
a host from their apartment backdrop and more seamlessly fit with the gameplay has taken
off. Personally, I feel that this is overused – and
given that the vast majority of streamers aren’t able to set up proper, professional
chroma keying setup – bad green screening tends to be more distracting than helpful
to a stream experience. But my personal feelings shouldn’t prevent
me from walking you through the setup process, right? Right. Here we go. Any high-tier live production needs a variety
of scenes to show and quick, precise switching between them. The Elgato Stream Deck gives you 15 keys with
customizable LCD screens behind each, that can execute macros, application launchers,
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description. I’m EposVox, here to make tech easier and
more fun, and welcome back to my OBS Studio tutorial course. I have many, many more videos on the software
in the playlist linked in the description. Check that before asking questions, and check
the introduction video to learn how this course works, if you get confused. There’s actually a wide variety of methods
you can use to set up a chroma key workspace, but I’m going to focus on the main method
here. I’ll mention possible variations where I
see fit along the way. For a green screen setup, you will need a
camera or webcam to capture video in front of the green screen. For OBS we’ll be using a webcam, of course. You’ll need a green screen material. This can typically be a specific lime “chroma”
green, or a “chroma” blue. No, you can’t use black, white, or anything
else without major issues. You can get backdrop material for cheap enough
on Amazon or eBay – or if you want to get creative and give yourself headaches, you
can use green paper taped to a wall, or paint your own walls chroma green. You’ll also need a backdrop stand or other
way of hanging or mounting your green… screen. Again, you can get cheap backdrop stands on
Amazon like this one – or even get combo kits of both a green screen and a stand in one
kit for a good deal. There’s also a chroma background from “Impact”
on Amazon that is collapsible and much easier to hang than normal cloth material. Funny enough, Elgato – the company known for
their gaming capture cards – has recently released their own green screen that makes
a lot of this process a lot easier. It stays wrinkle-free and works much like
how projector screens at schools work, but instead of hanging it, the screen stands on
the floor. Raise it up to your desired height and lock
it in place, and you quickly have a green screen ready to go. Then it can pack away for easy storage. You do pay a premium for this, however. You can also install hooks on your ceiling
or wall and use a wood dowel to hang the screen. You have some options here, but the material
MUST be flat. Big creases or spidering wrinkles will create
shadows or a change in light and RUIN the chroma key effect, or at least make setting
it up on the software side a complete nightmare. So that means if you’ve kept green screens
folded up and stored in your closet for years – since there’s no other realistic way to
store them – it’s time to break out the iron or steamer. Yeah… not fun. The same applies if you order them online
too, since they’re almost always going to arrive folded up. The collapsible models typically need time
to smooth out, too. So you’ve got your screen and stand and
hung it up, smoothing out folds and wrinkles. Time to put it in front of your webcam and
you’re good to go, right? Sure…. Try it… good luck. Nope, successful chroma keying requires some
serious lighting. Your backdrop needs to be evenly lit so that
your camera sees the green color evenly and can easily cut it out. But you also need to be well-lit, too. Even lighting needs to be used so that you’re
not casting crazy shadows on the backdrop, and so you stand out from it. Avoid green clothes, of course. Or blue, if you’re using a blue screen. You can get cheap clamp lights from your local
hardware store, and then get some true white lightbulbs. The Philips Daylight LED bulbs are a good
option if they don’t show up as a flickery mess on your camera, or you can order dedicated
video bulbs from Amazon. Links in the video description. If you want to set up stands, tripods, or
some sort of mounting equipment, you can also use cheap LED panels from Amazon or B&H, too
– just make sure you check reviews for issues with flickering, and that you get really big
batteries or dedicated power supplies for them, too! Hardware-side, that’s it. Set up a flat green screen, light it well,
and go. Sadly, this doesn’t bode well for those
of you in small spaces. You need a decent amount of space between
you and the backdrop, and room for lighting on both you and the backdrop. This lighting can get hot, too. Green screen setups CAN be done in small spaces,
it just takes a lot of patience, a little creativity, and lots of tinkering with the
software settings. Speaking of which, let’s jump into OBS. You know, what this series is actually about. In OBS Studio, add your facecam to your scene
as you normally would. Once it’s set up, right-click its Source
Listing, and click “Filters.” Here, you can add lots of effects and edits
to your audio and video from this source. Under “Effect Filters” click the Plus
sign. You can use either “Color Key” or “Chroma
Key” – one may work better, depending on your setup, but the intended purpose is basically
the same. Pick one and choose your “Key Color Type”. For most, this should be Green, but you can
do Chroma Blue or a weird Magenta, too. This should automatically start to cut out
some of the green. You can now use the controls for “Similarity”,
“Smoothness” and “Key Color Spill Reduction” to clean up your image. “Similarity” controls how much color similar
to Chroma Green it cuts out. If there’s lighting differences along your
screen, you will want to adjust this – being careful not to go too far and cut out other
colors. “Smoothness” smooths out edges and the
overall keying of the color. Too much can start to dissolve the rest of
your image, though. “Key Color Spill Reduction” aims to help
you reduce keying of other colors – but again, messing with this too much can affect your
image on the whole. For most uses, “Opacity” should be left
alone. This affects the opacity of the entire video
source, so you want that at 100% unless you have a reason for doing something else. This filter also gives you controls for Contrast,
Brightness, and Gamma – but these should be left alone in most cases. This is something you need to adjust in your
webcam’s settings instead of here. Especially if the webcam has been left on
default automatic modes, you may notice your skin has now started to turn red on-camera
due to it trying to compensate for the green backdrop. Once you’re mostly happy with the keying
effect – remembering to mess with lighting as much as the software settings – it’s
time to hit “close” so we can tinker with the webcam. Again, right-click your video source, this
time hitting “Properties.” Then click “Configure Video.” In most cases, this should pop up a fairly
spartan-looking “Properties” menu for your webcam with a lot of sliders and a couple
tabs. You’ll want to use this to tweak your webcam’s
image to look better with the green screen. Brightness, gain, contrast, and so on. There are a couple key points you’ll want
to tackle first, though. First, uncheck the box for Auto White Balance. This is what makes your skin look red. You want to manually adjust the slider until
your skin tone looks natural and colors look right. On the second tab, uncheck “Low Light Compensation”
and the Auto box for “Exposure.” You want your lighting and webcam’s interpretation
of the lighting to remain consistent for keying to work and your image to look good. Then balance the Exposure slider and Gain
slider on the previous tab, along with contrast and brightness to get a desirable image. If there’s some flicker or refreshing of
your LED lighting, try messing with the “Powerline Frequnecy (Anti Flicker)” drop-down selection
to see if that helps. Once you’re done here, go back to your Filter
settings and finish cleaning up your chroma keying settings. They should be much easier to manage with
these webcam settings fixed now. And viola! You have a chroma key setup for your facecam. Just keep in mind that moving things, variation
in lighting and so on can affect this, so you may find yourself tinkering with it frequently. If all this sounds like too much of a headache,
certain webcams come with the capabilities to perform “virtual chroma keying” or
software-based background removal to achieve similar effects. We’ll cover these in the next video in the
course. I hope this episode of my OBS Studio tutorial
course has been helpful for you. If it was, drop-kick that like button and
subscribe for awesome tech videos. If you like game streaming, come follow me
on Twitch and drop a message in chat. Until next time, I’m EposVox, Happy Streaming! Thanks for watching this episode of my OBS
Studio tutorial course. More videos like this and a full master class
are linked in the playlist in the video description. Click to learn more. Also consider joining us on Patreon to help
keep tech education free. Go to Patreon.com/eposvox to sign up.

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