Why are Green Screens green?

When watching video or stream you might come across people using a Green Screen to change their background, I recently looked into purchasing a Green Screen and while doing some research it made me wonder why are Green Screens green? Well I looked into it and here’s what I found.

Green Screens are green because they need to be distinctly different from the subject who is standing in front of them, green is most commonly used as it does not match the natural skin tone and hair color of the subject or the clothes they wear. This makes the process of green screening much easier.

How does a Green Screen work?

The process using a Green Screen is actually called Chroma-Keying and is the technique of isolating a single color in an image or video and making that color transparent, another image or footage can then be placed beneath the transparent color.

The Chroma-Keying process can be done during both production and post-production which allows for streamers to use a green screen in their live streams to remove their background.

Why are Green Screens green?

Now we have an idea of how the Green Screen process works, you might be wondering, why are Green Screens green?

Green is the go to color for green screens because the color is very distinct and doesn’t match any natural colors of the subject standing in front of the screen, such as their skin tone, hair color or clothes they are wearing. 

This makes the whole process much easier as the Chroma Keying process can easily tell the difference between the green background and the subject standing in front of it, this means you wont need to change too many settings and should be able to get good results fairly easily.

Can you use another color for Green Screens?

You might be wondering if you can use a different color for a Green Screen and if so what colours can you use?

Chroma-Keying is the process that can remove any solid color from the image or video, therefore, Yes you can technically use any solid color for your Green Screen, other commonly used colors include; White, Black, Grey and Blue.

If you need to use a Chroma Key in a scene where the subject is green or wearing green, you would need to use a different color screen, often a blue screen is used in this instance, however, other colors have been used in the past depending on what other colors are in the scene.


I hope you now have a little more understanding about why Green Screens are green, however, the subject of Chroma Keying is quite vast and it can be quite a difficult technique to master.

I will be putting together a complete Green Screen guide to help people learn the basics, however, for now if you have any questions, leave them in the comments below and i’ll get back to you.

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