This guide to the best green screen software for filmmakers will help you create convincing composite footage.
Whether you’re combining takes, swapping out backgrounds or creating awesome visual effects, the right green screen software can make your post-production workflow much easier.
All the software in this guide will let you choose any colour for your chroma key and use powerful adjustments to isolate and blend footage.
You can also use various keying methods to ensure the final movie looks natural.
Let’s take a look at the top options.
Table of Contents
What Is the Best Green Screen Software in 2023?
1. Adobe After Effects (Top Pick)
- Powerful green screen effects and removal capabilities
- The software includes tons of presets to help you create faster
- It integrates with other Adobe Creative Cloud tools (e.g., Premiere Pro)
- Adobe software users will find it familiar
- It has a steep learning curve
- At seven days, the trial period for this software is rather short
Adobe After Effects is my top-rated green screen video editing software. This application is the industry standard for creating imaginative post-production videos.
It’s packed to the teeth with amazing features. Naturally, one of those features is green screen removal.
Aside from removing green screens, Adobe After Effects excels at everything motion graphics.
You can use this popular green screen software to animate text and graphics, add and remove objects from your videos, and create full-blown animations.
The software even handles 3D with ease. When you install Maxon’s Primatte Keyer plugin for the software, you can automatically remove green backgrounds from your videos.
Given how powerful this advanced video editing software is, you can be forgiven for thinking it isn’t the most beginner-friendly of the green screen apps on this list.
However, once you master it, removing a green screen background will be one of many creative abilities you’ll have at your fingertips.
2. DaVinci Resolve 18 (Highly Recommended)
- Its user interface can seem overwhelming for beginners
- The free version has limited features
Blackmagic Cloud’s DaVinci Resolve 18 is one of the best video editing software applications with chroma key functionality.
Hollywood editors have used it to work on CGI-heavy movies like “Thor: Love and Thunder” and “Dr Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.”
In addition, it’s been used to edit award-winning movies like “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” and “Minari.”
This all-in-one green screen solution is a post-production powerhouse. It provides editing, visual effects, audio post-production, color correction, and motion graphics within the same platform.
Also, DaVinci Resolve 18 is an excellent choice if you work as part of a team. The software provides collaboration features that make it possible to build a remote post-production studio.
Meanwhile, its Neural Engine leverages machine learning and artificial intelligence to take the drudgery out of repetitive editing tasks.
You can rely on this technology for sorting your clips and performing similar tasks.
3. VSDC (Best Free Editor)
- It’s 100% free to use
- It has a huge collection of effects
- It supports all popular video and audio formats and codes
- You can use the software on outdated PCs (low system requirements)
- Only available for the Windows operating system
- Complicated-looking user interface
VSDC is a free green screen software and video editor. It has a powerful chroma key tool that makes green background removal stress-free.
Given that this software doesn’t require much in computer resources and has a feature-packed free version, it’s little wonder why over five million users worldwide rely on it for their video-based projects.
This nonlinear software program lets you stack multiple layers of footage within the same timeline, meaning you can blend them together into a single composition.
The quality also means you can create effects like split screens, pictures within pictures, and so on.
If you decide to pay for the pro version, you can look forward to features like video masking, motion tracking, footage stabilization, and real-time voiceover recording (among many others).
4. Vmix (Best for Live Streaming)
- Hundreds of high-quality animation effects included
- The software includes built-in virtual sets to use as chroma key background replacements
- It supports all popular video formats (AVI, MOV, MP4, etc.)
- Generous 60-day free trial available
- It only works with Windows 10 operating system
- Some users may find its interface outdated
Although geared toward live streaming productions, vMix is a capable green screen software application with multiple uses.
This video editor doubles as a mixer and switcher, meaning it has live mixing, switching, recording, and live streaming of SD, full HD, and 4K video sources.
You can use it to produce everything from concert productions to sporting events.
vMix includes several effects you can use to liven up your videos.
When you remove a green screen, you can replace it with one of many virtual backgrounds that come with the software.
Its chroma key capabilities are high-quality, giving you versatility in the types of videos you can create.
As a bonus, vMix has a built-in audio mixer.
One quality that makes this software stand out to me is how it can handle HD productions without being too demanding on your computer’s CPU.
It means you don’t need a high-spec PC to get the most out of vMix’s impressive capabilities.
5. Filmora (Best for Beginners)
- Incredibly easy-to-use green screen editor
- It includes an affordable cross-platform plan
- You can get new backgrounds from the Filmora stock library
- In-app edits (trimming, filters, transitions, subtitles, etc)
- Adjusting the video subjects after removing the backgrounds takes getting used to
- Not enough variety in the subscription plans’ features
Filmora by Wondershare is one of the most beginner-friendly professional green screen software applications on the market. Its AI-powered chroma key tool makes editing green screen videos effortless and enjoyable.
You can swap out a green background for any backdrop of your choice, with the only limit to what you can create being your imagination.
The Filmora video editing software experience is as follows: you import your recorded footage, complete with the green background, select it by clicking on it once it’s in this green screen editor, and enable Filmora’s chroma key feature.
Like magic, the tool will remove the green background, leaving you with a transparent background you can fill with a new image or video.
It’s that simple, and Filmora provides tons of effects and advanced features you can use in your creations to wow your audience.
6. Adobe Premiere Pro (Great for Pros)
- In-app tutorials help you master the software’s basics quicker
- You can edit audio using the Adobe Sensei feature
- It includes a huge collection of motion graphic templates
- Premiere Pro has remote collaboration capabilities via Frame.io
- You may need to use it with Adobe After Effects, which is sold separately
- Monthly subscription cancellations attract a fee
Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the best chroma key software tools for making Hollywood-standard video productions. This software is excellent for transforming green screen footage into amazing videos for several reasons.
One of the most prominent ones is its huge library of stock footage, which acts as a fantastic source for replacement backgrounds.
Speaking of replacing backgrounds, you can easily do chroma key editing when you install Maxon’s Primatte Keyer plugin.
Aside from its chroma-keying capabilities, Premiere Pro has several other features that make it a must-have for professional video editing.
For example, its color correction functionality lets you play with the mood in your videos in just a few clicks, while its automatic transcription feature will seem like a godsend if you make YouTube videos.
This software is versatile in the file formats you can work with. It doesn’t matter whether your green screen clip was shot on a smartphone, GoPro, or DSLR – the software will handle your green screen editing with ease.
7. Final Cut Pro (Best for Mac)
- High-quality green screen video editor
- Includes plenty of useful video editing features
- You can share your projects between your Mac and iPad
- The Apple/Future Media Concepts partnership means you can earn a Final Cut Pro certification
- Not available for Windows users
- The software isn’t as beginner-friendly as other options
Mac-only users get exclusive access to Final Cut Pro, a powerful video editing and green screen tool for Apple systems.
This video editing app has many incredible features that go beyond basic video editing features and make it an excellent tool for making high-quality videos.
Notable mentions include its advanced color grading and cinematic mode features.
Final Cut Pro is also adept at motion graphics. You can make 2D or 3D titles in-app, and its chroma key tool means you can give your video an awesome blue screen or green screen effect.
Speaking of effects, the software makes applying them as straightforward as dragging and dropping the ones you want.
This green screen app has useful integrations that give you greater flexibility when creating videos.
You can access new font styles with its Font Audition integration, get stock photos from Shutterstock, and get background music from APM Music.
8. OBS Studio (Free Green Screen Software)
- 100% free
- The software is straightforward to use and highly configurable
- Available on all major computer operating systems
- You can set hotkeys (shortcuts) to speed up your workflow
- It doesn’t have a stock library where you can get background replacements
- It’s not as feature-packed as paid software programs
OBS Studio is a free green screen editor for green or blue screen video production editing that offers live streaming features.
This open-source application is widely available, meaning you can use it with a computer that runs the Windows, Mac, or Linux operating systems.
Since the project is funded by user contributions, you can download it without paying a dime.
Some of the tool’s many impressive features include intuitive audio mixing, real-time video and audio capturing and mixing, and customizable transitions.
Its user interface is easy-to-use and features a docking system that lets you arrange the panel layout as you see fit.
There’s no limit to the number of scenes you can create when using this software, and you can switch between them without effort using custom transitions.
Also, the multiview function gives you a high-level view of all your scenes, letting you make good decisions when cutting and arranging them.
What Does Green Screen Software Do?
Green screen software, or chroma key software as those in the biz like to call it, is a game-changer for filmmakers.
So, you’ve shot your talent in front of a green screen, or any solid color screen really.
Here’s where the magic happens. Green screen software finds that green (or whatever color you used) and makes it disappear.
Now, you’ve got a clear stage to drop in any background you want. Want to put your actor on a beach, in outer space, or at a swanky party?
No problem. You can use stills, other video footage, CGI landscapes – the possibilities are endless.
And green screen video software gets even smarter. It helps you clean up the edges around your talent to make the new background blend perfectly, so nobody’s gonna know it’s all smoke and mirrors.
Some of the advanced chroma key software can even help sort out things like shadows, lighting, and color spill to make everything look super real.
So, in short, green screen software is your secret weapon for teleporting your talent anywhere your creative mind wants to go.
It’s all about making your work look epic and believable, no matter where you’re actually filming.
What Features Should I Look for in Green Screen Video Editing Software?
When you’re hunting for the best green screen software, here are the goodies you’ll want to keep an eye out for:
First up, you’ll want software that’s user-friendly. Trust me, nothing kills the creative vibe faster than wrestling with a clunky interface. You want something that makes your life easier, not harder.
Next, you gotta check out its keying capabilities. Does it make your green screen disappear cleanly? Can it handle tricky spots like hair or translucent materials? The best software will make your green screen vanish like it was never there.
Then there’s spill suppression. Sometimes that green screen can throw a weird glow onto your talent. Top-notch software will have tools to neutralize that color spill and keep your colors looking true to life.
Look for something with robust compositing tools too. This lets you control how your talent and new background blend together. You want to be able to adjust lighting, shadows, and edges to make everything mesh together seamlessly.
And let’s not forget about motion tracking. If your talent is moving or you’ve got a shaky cam, you need software that can keep up. It should be able to track movement and adjust the background accordingly.
Lastly, consider the software’s compatibility with your other gear. Can it play nice with your editing software? Does it support the video formats you use? The best green screen software will slip right into your workflow without a hitch.
FAQs on Green Screen Video Editing Software
Is green screen software free?
Yes. There are free chroma key software applications like VSDC. However, the majority of software programs you can use to edit green screen clips are paid tools you can either buy outright or subscribe to on a monthly or yearly basis.
How do I use a green screen on my PC?
You can create homemade green screen footage using webcam software, a green screen you bought from a photo supply store, and a green screen app. The steps you take next will depend on the particular software you decide to use for your project.
What is the best software for chroma key?
Adobe After Effects is the best green screen editor on the market. It’s the one I recommend beginner and veteran video editors use for any project involving a green screen, as it deftly straddles the line between beginner-friendliness and powerful capabilities.
Does Adobe have green screen software?
Yes. Adobe has created a few green screen software applications, two of which are on my list. The software programs in question are Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro.