How to Create a Green Screen Video Without a Green Screen

You can now create green screen videos without owning or using a green screen. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to remove the background from videos using a free online editor.

How to Create a Green Screen Video Without a Green Screen

The green screen is a timeless piece of movie making hardware that creators and artists have relied on since the 1930s. This simple screen teleports actors and performers to distant lands and other worlds at almost no cost whatsoever. They can be as simple as a piece of a cloth hung in a Twitch streamer's bedroom or as elaborate as a 20-foot wall on a Hollywood sound stage.

We love the green screen and don't think it's going away anytime soon, but software that automatically removes the background from video is rapidly becoming more accessible. We've seen some great examples of digital greens in apps like Zoom and TikTok that can remove the background behind a person. These solutions both require creators to have a mobile phone or powerful PC at their disposal, though. It's now possible to create green screen style videos for free online with almost any browser using Kapwing's Studio Editor.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to make a green screen video for free inside of a web browser on your iPhone, Android, PC, or tablet even if you don't have a green screen.

  1. Upload a video to Kapwing Studio
  2. Apply the green screen effect to your video
  3. Replace the background in your video with a new background
  4. Export and Share your green screen video

Step 1. Upload a video to Kapwing Studio

Kapwing's Green Screen effect – or more accurately, ChromaKey, since it can work with any near-solid color – is still in Beta, but it gives you full functionality over the way you want to erase and replace the background of any video. The Green Screen effect works best with videos that include a single person standing in front of a solid background like a wall. The background can be any color, as long as it doesn't contain any major variations in tone or hue.

When you're ready to get started, open the Kapwing Studio and upload the video you want to green screen. Once the clip has fully uploaded, you'll be able to automatically remove the background.

A video featuring a bearded man standing in front of a white wall is seen inside of the Kapwing Studio Editor.
Videos featuring a solid background work best with the green screen feature

Step 2. Apply the green screen effect to your video

Applying a green screen effect to your video only takes a few clicks. Select the video you just uploaded and click the Effects tab on the right side of the screen. Inside the effects tab, click the Remove Background or Chroma Key button to instantly remove the background in the video without ever using a green screen.

Once you've removed the background from your video, you can use the Threshold sliders to adjust the strength of the green screen effect. The more you move the threshold sliders, the more pixels that are removed from your video. In the Chroma Key settings, the hue threshold will remove colors that are close to the one you selected, the saturation threshold will remove fainter or more intense colors, and the brightness threshold will remove lighter or darker colors near the one you selected. You'll want to adjust the slider back and forth a bit until you are happy with the removal of your video's background.

After the background is removed, you'll likely notice a reduced frame rate in the preview of your original video. This is a known issue in the beta version of the Kapwing Green Screen feature and once your video is exported and processed the framerate will return to normal.

Step 3. Replace the background in your video with a new background

Now that you've achieved a green screen effect and removed the original background from your video, it's time to add a new background into your video. There are several ways to approach Green Screen content and Kapwing can help support you in all of them.

Add an Image to the Background

The most basic green screen technique is to add a flat image into the background to make it appear that you are in a different static environment. You've seen this done countless times on Zoom and the effect is similar here. To add a new image to the background behind you, upload the image into the Kapwing Studio or use the Images button to search for an image you want to use.

Once your new background image is in the studio, select the image and then click the Send Backward button until the background is behind your original video layer.

A cutout of a bearded man appears in front of a meme where a man holding hands with a woman looks back at the cutout of the man while the woman looks upset.
A static image is the easiest background to add with the green screen effect

Add a Video to the Background

Replacing the background of your green screen video with a new video layer is a technique found in reaction videos on YouTube, gaming clips on Twitch, and full blown movies. Kapwing makes the process of creating this type of green screen video just as simple as working with a static image.

You can upload a video to use in the background from your desktop or import a video directly from YouTube using the Upload button in the top left of the Studio editor. When you background video is fully uploaded, select the video layer and click the Send Backward button until the video background is behind your original video layer. With your background is in place, you can also choose to resize your original green screen video and move the person to a different part of the screen.

A cutout of a bearded man appears small in the corner of a video of gameplay footage from Call of Duty inside the Kapwing Studio
Adding a video layer into the background makes it easy to create reaction videos

Step 4. Export and Share your green screen video

When your green screen video is finished and you're ready to download it, click the red Export Video button in the top right of the screen.

The final video screen in Kapwing after a project has been processed

This will process your video on Kapwing's cloud servers and stitch all of your edits together for free with no watermark as long as you are signed into Kapwing. You can leave this screen and come back at any time without affecting this process. After a few minutes, your video will finish and be ready for downloading or sharing on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, or anywhere else online.

And just like that you've created a high quality green screen video without ever investing in or owning a physical green screen! Follow us at @KapwingApp on Twitter and Instagram to show us the great videos you're making with the Kapwing Studio editor. We're always inspired by the things you create and can't wait to see more.

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