The Ultimate Guide to Live Green Screen Software

By Todd SitrinMay 8, 2024

Does your business currently use live streaming to engage your audience, or is looking to do so? Live streaming is a fantastic way to broadcast quality video content to customers, prospects, or anyone who your business wants to reach!

Of course, one of the best ways to increase the professionalism and flexibility of your live productions is with a green screen. If you’re wanting to incorporate green screens into your live broadcasts, we’re here to tell you how to do it, including the live green screen software you need to make it happen.

Read on to find out which chroma key software you need to use green screens during your live streams.

Table of Contents

What is Live Green Screen Software?

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Live green screen software – also known as chroma key software to video professionals – is a tool for broadcasters to replace a mono-colored background with some kind of digital image or video.

Why Use a Green Screen?

It turns out green screens aren’t just for entertainment content! Chroma key technology can also be helpful in a business production. 

For one thing, you can easily swap out virtual backgrounds to ensure they’re adapted to the current theme of your live stream. You can also create compelling digital sets and environments a lot more efficiently than physical ones.

For educational content, the green screen can help provide a backdrop for displaying key points or changing scenes to better illustrate what you’re teaching. And for live corporate content like keynote addresses or product launches, your green screen canvas can easily be swapped out for a digital background that reinforces your corporate identity.

How to Get a Live Green Screen Effect

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What does the process look like for getting a green screen effect working on your live stream? 

Well, just like with any production that uses a green screen, you’ll need the proper setup, including a green screen, lighting, and cameras. You want the green screen to fill the entire frame, and you want at least two lights pointed at  your green screen from different angles to smooth out shadows.

We’ll talk about the software you can choose in a bit, but just know that you’ll need some kind of application with built-in chroma keying functionality in order to achieve the green screen effect. Then, you’ll add your video source (i.e. your camera feed) and apply the Chroma Key filter. 

You may need to adjust those settings to make sure you’ve completely keyed out the color of your green screen background. Lastly, you’ll need to import some kind of digital background, which can be a number of different elements, such as:

  • A simple static image
  • A pre-recorded video set to play back during the stream
  • Another live feed

Once all of this is working, you can start streaming like usual. The only other caveat is that chroma keying in real time can be more taxing for a live stream production, and you’ll need to be mindful of any changes in lighting or movement that could impact the green screen effect.

Choosing the Right Live Green Screen Software

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Shopping for the right live green screen software doesn’t have to be challenging. Let’s break down the three key factors you should look at when deciding on a live streaming tool that supports chroma keying.

1) Hardware and Software Compatibility 

First of all, live streaming software is just like any other software: it’s not always compatible with your company’s hardware or software. Think about the operating system your computer(s) use: is it Mac, Windows, Linux, or something else? And consider other software in your workflow, from video editing software like Adobe Premiere Pro or DaVinci Resolve to encoding software like vMix.

Beyond software, consider all of the input and output formats you work with. Are you using hardware like controllers, mixers, switchers?

While many of these tools can work together, you’ll want to double-check that any new software you add to your tech stack will play nicely with everything else.

2) Essential Functionality

Some features for your green screen software are must-haves. For one thing, the chroma keying should be high quality. It also needs to support real-time processing and support for multiple camera inputs.

This kind of software can be incredibly robust, so you should consider all of your needs and see which software addresses all of them. 

3) Customer Support

Like with any other enterprise-level application, you can’t afford not to work with a company that isn’t reliable. We don’t need to tell you that live stream events can be a make-or-break for a company, with brand perception related to how smooth and professional the stream is. 

Beyond reliable tech support, you want to go with a tool with an extensive knowledge base or community forums and that provides regular updates to its software. 

As for why we didn’t mention price, the good news is that this type of software is quite affordable, so it’s really a matter of which one feels like the best fit for your live production environment and workflow in terms of compatibility, functionality, and support!

Top 3 Live Green Screen Software Options

We put together a quick list of three quality live green screen software options for you: OBS Studio, Wirecast, and XSplit. These tools all come with chroma key functionality built-in, so you can use any of them to replace the background to your video feed in real time. 

1) OBS Studio

Best for: Budget users with technical skill


OBS Studio from OBS Project is open-source and free to use, so it’s a popular choice for many individuals or organizations looking to start live streaming. 

As for green screen options, OBS Studio comes with robust mixing and chroma key features. However, OBS Studio isn’t necessarily the easiest tool to pick up and use. With a complex interface and steep learning curve, OBS Studio may be the best fit for technical users. 

Luckily, there's an active community forum on the OBS Project website to help you if you ever get stuck. OBS Studio is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Pricing: Free

Because it’s open-source, you can use OBS Studio 100% for free, though there is an optional donation button on their site.

How to Get Started:

Right-click your video source under the ‘Sources’ panel, select ‘Filters’, then add a ‘Chroma Key’ filter. You can then pick the color to be keyed out (usually green) and adjust sliders to fine-tune the keying edge, similarity, and smoothness.

2) Wirecast

Best for: Professional-grade live productions

Developed by Telestream, Wirecast is probably the best option for you if your enterprise needs the most advanced features for your live stream. You’re easily able to capture, produce, and stream with this tool, and it comes with a lot of customization options, from sources to multi-channel audio ingest to support for most standard controllers. 

For live streaming specifically, Wirecast supports chroma keying and even includes a number of virtual sets you can use with your green screen. This live green screen software is available for both Mac and PC and across two different packages: Wirecast Studio and Wirecast Pro.


  • Wirecast Studio: $35/month
  • Wirecast Pro: $46/month

Packages are non-refundable and will auto-renew.

How to Get Started:

Click on the shot with your video feed, go to the ‘Effects’ tab, and choose ‘Keying’ followed by ‘Chroma Key’. Select the color and adjust the controls for ‘Despill’, ‘Tolerance’, ‘Edge’, etc. 

3) XSplit Broadcaster

Best for: Users newer to chroma keying and streaming  

XSplit offers its Broadcaster studio software for live streaming and recording with a production feature called Chroma Key Threshold for crystal-clear Chroma Key sensitivity. 

It can also have expanded functionality through plugins, extensions, and tech integrations, while still having an accessible user interface. Note that XSplit is only available for Windows.

Interestingly, XSplit offers a different software for webcam backgrounds called VCam that makes it easy to remove backgrounds on your webcam without a green screen. This doesn’t replace the need for green screens on all professional productions, but it may be interesting if your live stream often features a single talking head.


  • Broadcaster Premium: $5/month for annual plan, or $15 per month on monthly plan

Note that XSplit does have a “free” tier, but this free plan comes with a watermark, so your production would almost certainly want to go with the Premium plan. 

How to Get Started:

Right-click your camera source, select ‘Color’, and then ‘Chroma Key’. Choose the color and adjust the settings like ‘Threshold’ and ‘Exposure’ to get the cleanest key. 

Make Maestro Your Live Streaming Solution

Setting up a quality video feed using live green screen software is one thing, but a professional streaming experience also requires a place where you can host, monetize, and measure your streams! 

Maestro is an online video platform with the versatility and power of an enterprise-level video platform at an excellent value for brands of all sizes. Our live streaming hub makes it easy to create interactive video experiences, monetize your videos, and even build a unique branded site for both live and on-demand video content.

Are you ready to publish and monetize your own high-quality videos on Maestro? Contact us now to book a demo!

Contact us to get started.