I’m not sure if you know this, but a lot of people are using video conferencing, and not all video conference tools allow you to use virtual backgrounds. 😱 That’s a bit of a problem if your washing is permanently on display in the background.
I finally took the plunge and ordered a green screen, but how do you go about using it? Fortunately Samuel Nitsche mentioned Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio, so like the obedient sheep that I am, I gave it a go. This post contains some quick notes to get you up and running if you want to try it.
You can download the software from here.
Add Your Camera
- Open OBS Studio.
- Click “+” in the “Sources” panel.
- Pick “Video Capture Device” from the popup menu.
- Type in the name you want for your device. Using all the powers of my imagination, I decided on “WebCam”.
- Click the “OK” button.
- Your face should be on screen now. If you have multiple cameras connected, select your camera in the “Device” dropdown.
- Click “OK”, and your camera will be in the “Sources” list.
Enable Green Screen (Chroma Key)
- Right-click on your Source (WebCam) and select the “Filters” option from the popup menu.
- Click the “+” under the “Effect Filters” panel.
- Pick the “Chroma Key” option, and on the subsequent dialog click the “OK” button.
- Select the background colour under the “Key Color Type”. The default is green. It will also allow you to set a specific colour using a colour picker from the background. The default “Green” option worked for me.
- Adjust the settings until the background is all grey, and you still look clear. The “Similarity” setting seems to make the most difference for me.
- Once you are happy with the look, click the “Close” button.
- You should now see yourself on screen with a black background.
- Position and stretch your image as required. For things like Teams/Zoom meetings, you probably want to make yourself full screen. You can zoom in a little if the edges of your background are showing.
Green Screen Tips:
- Try to remove big creases from your green screen. Small creases won’t make a big difference.
- Try to have even lighting on your green screen. Shadows, including any caused by you, will make the green screen less effective. Another tip from Samuel Nitsche.
- The background images can have a big impact on how good the green screen effect works.
- Play around until your are happy. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
Add Background Images
- Click the “+” in the “Sources” panel.
- Select the “Image” option from the popup menu.
- Enter a meaningful name for the background image, and click the “OK” button.
- Click the “Browse” button and pick a background image from your file system.
- Click the “OK” button.
- The image will be in the “Sources” list, and it will be higher in the list than your camera.
- Use the up and down arrows in the source panel to move the image below the camera.
- You should now be in front of the image of your choice.
- Add multiple images and use the “eye” icon next to them to switch between them.
Start Using It
- Click the “Start Virtual Camera” button.
- In your conference tool (Team, Zoom etc.) select the “OSB Virtual Camera” device as your video input.
- Everyone will now see your studio quality green screen. 😉
As the title says, this is my first time using this, so my suggestions and advice are probably not worth much. 🙂
PS. I’ve posted a quick breakdown of the equipment I’m currently using here.