You may have watched movies that incorporate some out-of-this-world sceneries or seen news anchors reporting live in front of a weather map. Some of these productions may seem complex at first. However, with the chroma key technology, you can have the same set up on your live streaming or video recordings. 

Using a visual-effects technology popularly known as the green screen technology or chroma key, you can add distinct settings to your video that transport your viewers to an aesthetic of your choosing. 

So how can you use chroma key for your own video in Streamlabs? Well, it’s quite simple. We will walk you through an easy-to-follow stepwise manual on how to chroma key in streamlabs right from the comfort of your home. Let’s dive right in.

How to Use the Chroma Key in Streamlabs?

Chroma key is a special effects technology that allows you to replace a color on your video with your desired visual. With this technology, you can take your video production skills to the next level and provide a rewarding, creative delivery to your videos. 

In practice, the best colors to use are chroma key green and chroma key blue. These colors stand out the most in the color system codes to give the most favorable outcome. 

There are two things that are essential to achieving a visually appealing chroma key video. The first is making sure your camera has the best setting. The second is enabling the chroma key. 

In the following section, we will go over how to set up your camera and then enable the chroma key.

How to Add a Camera Source

To add the chroma key setting in Streamlabs, open your Streamlabs application on your computer.

  1. On the Streamlabs home page, go to the Sources window at the bottom of the page
  1. Click on the + icon on the upper-right of the menu.
  1. You will see an Add Source window pop up on your screen. Under the Essential Sources section, select the Video Capture Device option. Then, click on Add Source.
  1. You will see an Add Source window pop up on your screen. Here, enter your preferred Source name and click Add Source
  1. The Settings window will pop up on your screen. On the device drop-down menu, select your camera. Feel free to update your resolution, color space, and range to your preferred option, then click Done.

How to Enable Chroma Key

  1. On your Streamlabs home page, you will see your newly created source. Right-click on the name of the source, click on Filters, then click on Edit filters.
  2. You will see a Filters window pop up on your screen. Click on Add Filter on the left menu.
  1. Select the Filter type drop-down menu and scroll down till you see the Chroma Key. Choose Chroma Key and then click Add.
  1. Finally, you will see a left panel where you can adjust the chroma key settings to how you see fit. There are no standard settings for the perfect filter type given everyone’s different lighting, skin tones, hair, and background. Feel free to play around with the key color, similarity, and opacity settings to achieve the best result. When you’re done, click Close.

Does the chroma key have to be green?

You may wonder why a green screen has to be the color green. Why not use a different color? Surely yellow or orange pops out more? An interesting fact is that green screens were originally blue. Now, the reason why green screens became more popular is that there is no human being with a green skin tone. Which serves the main purpose of using a green screen in the first place – to replace any other object in an image or video except the person inside the frame. 

Of course there are accessories and clothing that people wear in the color green. The technicalities are more complex, but simply put, it is easier to replace an object’s color than a person’s skin tone. With a variety of tests on other colors, green proved more accurate than the rest.

How do I chroma key without a green screen?

It is, in fact, possible to chroma key without a green screen. Unfortunately, the chroma key in streamlabs only works with a green screen. There exists other applications such as OBS Studio where you can chroma key without a green screen. This is through a ‘remove background’ filter that implements a chroma key similar to using an actual green screen. 

If you are using Streamlabs, there are some alternative options to consider, though you may have to go through a bigger hustle in spending and functionality. Keep in mind that these are multi-purpose everyday use items that you can make into your makeshift green screen. So, essentially they will still employ the green key color ideology.

In the list below, we have compiled a few alternatives to green screens for your consideration. 

  • Sheets – You can purchase some green sheets from a local hardware store and make a makeshift green screen for less than $20.
  • Paint – You can paint a solid material the color green. This can be a cardboard or wood
  • Cloth – Fabrics are the most widely used green screens by streamers. Look around for any sizable clothing you can use. 

Which cloth is best for chroma key?

We recommend a dense material such as muslin or cotton since it absorbs light easily, sparing you the trouble of having to deal with unwanted shadows, reflections, and color spill. Things to look out for in a good chroma key green screen are uniformity in the spread of the green color, opaqueness so it absorbs light rather than pass through it, and smoothness. If possible, make sure to iron out any creases before filming.

Wrapping Up

That is all you need to know about how to chroma key in streamlabs. With these steps locked in, you will be sure to have a seamless and creative process making green screen videos. Be sure to leave us a comment on your chroma key experience moving forward.

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