Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Chroma Key and Green Screen

Chroma Key vs Green Screen

Movie making technologies have gradually evolved from its early days and more techniques are being developed to add special effects and other eye candy to videos as well as photos. One of the early technologies used was chroma keying, which is often referred to as green screen. There is actually no difference between chroma key and green screen because they are actually the same principle. Chroma key is the practice of replacing a certain color or shades of color in an image and replace it with an image that is not actually there. The term green screen became popular in lieu of chroma key because of the general practice of using a green backdrop. This is because of how distinct the color green is from the human skin, making it easier to tell them apart when processing the video.

Even though the green backdrop is most commonly used, just about any color can be used in chroma keying. Blue is one of the popular alternatives to green in chroma keying. You can also use any other color as long as it is very distinct from the color of the person or object that you are capturing. Wearing colors that are close to or similar to the backdrop may make that article of clothing disappear and letting the background peer through it.

One of the most common uses of chroma key or green screen is in weather forecasting. The anchorman or woman stands in front of a green screen and then an image, typically of a map with animations of the weather, is overlaid on the background. This gives the illusion that the forecaster is standing in front of a large screen that shows what the weather would be like. Since the anchorman cannot really see what is being displayed, a monitor is usually placed off-screen so that he can position his body and hands accordingly.

Nowadays, chroma keying or green screen technology is used in a variety of applications. Computers have made it much easier than even ordinary people with an able computer and the appropriate software can use chroma keying in their own videos or photos.


  1. Chroma Key is the actual term while green screen is its common name
  2. Green screen uses a green backdrop while just about any color can be used in Chroma keying

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1 Comment

  1. My first thought was a bunch of utility carpeting to both deaden foot falls and and take down reverberation directly below talent. My second thought comes from my studio days. I thought gobos, or baffling, panels. I was thinking either a bunch fo stackable ones or some larger rolling panels. perhaps one side could be painted chroma green and the other black for light reflection.

    I feel like I may be thinking in the wrong direction, or missing something obvious. Any other thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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