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Video editing and video manipulation have come a long way since their inception. Even the oldest black and white movies had certain elements of editing involved in their creation; silent movies featured some basic video editing such as placing informational frames in between action frames.

These informational frames usually explained what was happening on screen, the inner thoughts of characters, and even humorous statements.

Nowadays, video editing has expanded; it requires and includes skills such as motion graphics, green screen effects, making the perfect video background image, and various other post-production effects.

In today's article, we'll go over the most popular and best professional green screen software and see how good they are for various video editing processes. You'll also learn what to look out for when choosing the best green screen software for you, as well as a breakdown of what this software is.

Our Top Picks for Best Green Screen Software

Reviews of the Best Green Screen Software

Adobe Premiere Pro CC

Adobe Premiere Pro CC Homepage

A green screen editor must have plenty of features, as well as the chroma key functionality, in order to be worthwhile. That's exactly where Adobe Premiere Pro CC excels - loads of features and a powerful chroma key feature.

Video editors can expect a clean, sharp design with plenty of editing features, including the chroma key tool. This tool is divided into two pieces in Adobe Premiere Pro CC - the color key and the luma key.

The color key lets you manipulate and separate the background (green or blue, depending on which screen you've got), whilst the luma key separates the area with continuous luminance.

Additionally, you'll be happy to know that this green screen video editor supports 4K editing, 360-degree video editing, and Multicam editing. All this allows for unparalleled versatility during the editing process.

On top of that, the software is available on all major platforms which helps as well since you might not always be working on the same platform, especially in an office environment. There are also numerous effects that you can apply to the green color background, as well as transitions to seamlessly switch frames.

However, don't expect your time learning this software to be easy - it's somewhat difficult to beginners due to the sheer amount of features as well as a unique user interface that takes some getting used to.

Unfortunately, the pricing situation is somewhat binding as well. If you opt for the monthly subscription ($31.49/month) it's fairly expensive compared to others.

If you choose the annual subscription, it'll cost you around $19.99/month but it's billed annually - meaning the price comes out at $239.88/year.

Overall though, this is one of the best green screen software out there; one with plenty of features and loads of opportunities to create the perfect green screen clip.

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Camtasia

Camtasia homescreen

Camtasia is the perfect green screen video editor for beginners and editing enthusiasts. It features all the basics that you'll need to start your video editing career. Camtasia is a pretty popular choice among novice video content creators and up-and-coming Youtube channels.

One exceptional feature of this green screen editor is screen recording. This allows users to record what's happening on their screens and edit these recordings instantly.

The whole process is made easier due to how simple the software is to use - just drag and drop the effects and transitions where you want them.

Other than that, as soon as you're done editing, the video can be uploaded to either Youtube or Dropbox, saving you the time you'd spend doing it manually. Camtasia is available on Windows and Mac so it's got good coverage of major PC platforms.

Now for the juicy bit - Camtasia is the video editor beginner's choice due to the vast number of templates available. Simply select a template for your chosen video, make the wanted edits, and voila! All done!

The software costs $249.99 for lifetime access which, although expensive as a one-time fee, is cheaper due to longevity. However, not all is great. Thanks to Camtasia being perfect for beginners, it isn't ideal for professionals as some features just aren't powerful enough.

Its library of effects and transitions also isn't as large as what you'd expect but in general, Camtasia is a great choice if you're just starting out and it will serve you for a long time until you're ready to move on to more powerful software.

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iMovie

iMovie homepage

Apple users rejoice! iMovie is the best free green screen software that you can get. Editing videos has never been easier on a Mac thanks to the iMovie green screen editor. Even though it's mostly used as a traditional video editor, it's still very capable when it comes to manipulating the green screen.

It also comes with some advanced features such as 4K video support, Hollywood-type effects, and an impressive chroma keying process. And none of these features are complex to use which makes iMovie both beginner-friendly and powerful enough for use by professionals.

Users can expect more than 80 soundtracks that can be applied to their videos, the ability to add bespoke, custom logos and graphics, access to an impressive number of professional editing templates, and much more.

Additionally, videos can be rotated and cropped; something that a few competitors do not support. Unfortunately, there are a couple of drawbacks with the biggest one being that it's only available on Apple devices.

iMovie is also not very kind to disk space as even the simplest, most basic videos take up a gigabyte or more HDD space. It also doesn't work well with MP4 files and you'll most likely have to convert them into a supported format.

Nonetheless, iMovie is a free green screen software - something that cannot be overlooked nor diminished in its importance. And with all the other features, some of which you'd expect from more expensive green screen programs, it definitely belongs near the top of the list.

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Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects homepage

The thing about Adobe software is that, you usually don't want to use only one (except in isolated circumstances where others are not needed). Adobe After Effects works great with Adobe Premier Pro and as such, it can get expensive very quickly.

Most professional video editors nowadays use the combination of these two, which means it costs almost $500/year to use them. Most beginners don't have this kind of money and generally don't need such complex and powerful chroma key software.

However, professionals will have an exceptional time with After Effects considering all the features. The software comes with VR and 360-degree video support, as well as motion graphics, animation, and compositing.

Technically, it's a 3-in-1 video editor (Animation, editing, green screen video production).

Compared to others in the field, After Effects is the best one regarding animation and the like, and an incredible green screen software as well. However, it is expensive in the long run and as said before, not really for beginners.

The user interface comes with loads of tools and features but is fairly complex so even some experienced professionals will take time getting used to it.

Nonetheless, applying a green screen effect is as simple as with other video editors which makes Adobe After Effects a great choice if you're a bit more experienced!

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OBS Studio

OBS Studio homepage

OBS might not be a dedicated piece of chroma key software but it's definitely a capable video editor. It does come with some basic chroma key capabilities but it's more oriented towards live streaming than editing recorded videos (although this is possible as well).

Most streamers today like OBS Studio because they can make these edits on the fly and some prefer it specifically for the green screen characteristics which kind of makes it a chroma key software.

In any case, this is a free video editor and it's also open-source, meaning anyone can contribute to its development. You can also expect a user interface that's clean and easy to use, as well as support across the three major platforms (Linux, Mac, Windows).

The OBS Studio free video editor is a pretty good choice for beginners whether they're looking to edit green screen videos or live stream on Twitch or Youtube. Unfortunately, it is because of this that OBS Studio isn't used by professionals in the industry.

Its features, templates, and effects are pretty standard and not nearly as numerous as what other green screen software offers. With all that said though, OBS Studio is recommended by many streamers as the best choice when you're starting out.

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Buyer's Guide for Popular Green Screen Software

Although a video editor with green screen support might look great on paper, you can't really know if it's better than the others or not until you compare them directly. To do this, an analysis of certain aspects of such software is needed.

These aspects define the software itself and are considered basic metrics during research and selection of green screen software. Let's take a look at the important bits.

Price

Free green screen software is few and far between but they do exist.

This is why most video editors that are starting out have a hard time choosing - you don't want to pay a lot but at the same time, your options are limited.

Green screen video editing software is inherently expensive; after all, playing around with the effects, applying certain green screen features, and using advanced editing techniques doesn't come cheap.

Adobe After Effects is much more powerful than Adobe Photoshop (if we disregard their purposes); more features, better editing, and various other factors contribute to its higher price.

And the same can be said for other green screen video editing software. So make sure you find one for a price that's comfortable for you and base your choice around what you need and what you get for paying for it. As a beginner, you most definitely won't need all the features of the most expensive one.

Ease of Use

Free video editing software is arguably easier to use due to fewer features and a simpler user interface. On top of that, they're made predominantly for beginners who want to edit videos and try things out with a green screen.

Some video editing software is completely oriented towards professionals; not people creating green screen videos for the fun of it.

Because of this, it's best to select the software you deem is appropriate for your skill level. Of course, you can choose the more complicated and difficult ones but it's generally not advised as you'll lose time adjusting and learning the many features it has, supported popular video formats, niche video effects, and more.

Lastly, if your chosen software has a video timeline, your life will be made easier thanks to how versatile this little feature is. You'll easily be able to access any part of the video, as well as the applied effects, by using the video timeline feature.

Video effects and other features

Video editing usually involves a multitude of various activities, especially when it comes to green screen video editing. Because of this, you'd want your chosen software to be jam-packed, or at least rich with features and effects.

These include transitions, effects (animated, 3D, or still), audio mixing, and potentially even presets. If you want to edit videos properly and intuitively, a couple of effects must be used depending on the scene itself.

In general though, free green screen software doesn't necessarily have as many features and effects as paid versions.

Frequently Asked Questions about Green Screen Software

What is green screen software?

Green screen software is a term attributed to video editing software with the capability to use a 'Chroma Key' - a method where you tell the software that the green color of the screen needs to be editable.

Green screens are predominantly used in filmmaking as well as streaming and video editing. With them, a video editor can easily manipulate the green screen and place a new background in place of it (as an example).

Without green screens, most movies and shows nowadays simply wouldn't exist due to CGI's heavy reliance on them.

Why is green the most used color in chroma-keying?

The shade of bright green used in green screens is not found anywhere in nature and thus, it's very easy for the green screen editing software to differentiate it from other elements and colors of a video.

It's also very visible to the naked eye which is why most video editors prefer it over blue.

Yes, blue can also be used (blue screen) as the specific shade of blue is also found nowhere in nature. In general though, green has gained much more popularity in recent times due to its vibrancy and ease of manipulation for advanced video editing.

How does green screen software work?

Although finding dedicated green screen software is difficult (software made specifically for editing videos that contain a green screen), almost all the basic video editing software also supports this feature.

And for this article and explanation, we'll just use proper video editing tools that a professional video editor might use during the editing process.

Green screen software works by allowing you to select and edit the green screen through a process called 'Chroma Keying'. A Chroma key is used to determine which color from the video is editable (in our case it's green).

You input the exact color code and after this, you can either remove the green screen part or edit it according to your wishes.

You can even place an animated video in place of the green screen, within the main video itself. In general, a green screen provides countless possibilities and even Hollywood-style effects.

Just remember that you will need to hone your editing skills as most video editors have a steep learning curve and aren't quite beginner-friendly.

What equipment do you need?

There are a few pieces of equipment you'll need in order to create a high-quality video and apply green screen effects. Also, depending on who you're editing for, you may or may not need to get these pieces of equipment by yourself.

Final Thoughts

The great thing about green screen videos is that you can do virtually anything you want, provided you know what you want. If you take a look at the biggest movie hits today, you'll find loads of CGI being used in most of them.

On the other hand, creating such epic effects and environments is no easy task and usually requires more than a dozen people to perfect and finalize. Still, all of these people started from somewhere and they probably never expected that they'll end up working on such large projects.

In the end, if you want the best video quality, video effects, even motion graphics support - these few pieces of green screen software will help you out.

Lastly, if you don't have a lot of experience in the video editing skill department, it's best if you choose a beginner-friendly video editor; just to get a feel for what can be done using a green screen and a powerful green screen tool.

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