As a current or potential green screen user, ensuring a professional appearance during video calls and presentations is paramount. In the realm of virtual communication, green screens emerge as indispensable tools for enhancing visual aesthetics and elevating your online presence. In this comprehensive guide, we dive into the intricacies of green screens, exploring their functionality, cost considerations, and common applications.

What is a Green Screen?

A green screen, also known as a chroma key screen, is a backdrop typically composed of a vibrant green fabric or material. Its distinctive color facilitates seamless background removal, allowing content creators and remote professionals to superimpose alternate backgrounds or visual elements during video editing or live broadcasts.

How Does a Green Screen Work?

The principle behind green screens hinges on chroma keying, a technique wherein software discerns the specific color (green, in this case) and renders it transparent, enabling the overlay of alternate backgrounds or digital assets. By positioning oneself in front of a green screen and leveraging compatible software, individuals can effortlessly integrate custom backgrounds or visual effects into their video content.

Common Uses of Green Screens

Home Office:

In the realm of remote work, a green screen serves as a versatile asset for cultivating professional video environments within the confines of your home office. Whether conducting virtual meetings, delivering presentations, or recording instructional videos, a green screen empowers remote professionals to curate visually appealing backgrounds that resonate with their professional image.

Video Production:

Beyond the realm of remote work, green screens play a pivotal role in video production across various industries. From blockbuster films to online tutorials, the ability to manipulate backgrounds and integrate computer-generated imagery (CGI) affords content creators unparalleled creative flexibility and visual storytelling capabilities.

Video Calls and Zoom Meetings:

Amidst the paradigm shift towards remote collaboration, platforms like Zoom have become ubiquitous conduits for virtual communication. Integrating a green screen into your home office setup enables you to transcend the limitations of physical space, fostering immersive meeting environments and enhancing engagement during video conferences.


Green screens offer podcasters a creative edge by allowing them to enhance the visual appeal of their content. While podcasts primarily rely on audio, incorporating video elements through green screens can captivate audiences and enrich the viewing experience. Podcasters can use green screens to display dynamic backgrounds, graphics, or visual effects that complement their audio narratives. This visual dimension adds depth and engagement to podcasts, offering listeners an immersive and multifaceted entertainment experience.

Green Screen vs Blue Screen

While green screens reign supreme in many applications, blue screens offer a viable alternative under certain circumstances. The choice between green and blue screens often boils down to the specific requirements of a given project or production.

Green Screen:

  • Advantages: Green screens are widely favored for their versatility and compatibility with a diverse array of skin tones and wardrobe choices.
  • Ideal For: Home offices, general video production, live streaming, and virtual events.

Blue Screen:

  • Advantages: Blue screens excel in scenarios where the subject matter features green elements or clothing, minimizing the risk of color spillage.
  • Ideal For: Specialized productions, such as sci-fi films or projects involving extensive outdoor scenes.

Green Screen Cost

The cost of green screens varies depending on factors such as size, material quality, and additional accessories. Portable green screen options are available at a wide range of price points, catering to diverse budgets and requirements.

Entry-Level Options:

  • Basic green screen kits featuring collapsible fabric backdrops and tripod stands typically range from $75 to $150, offering affordable solutions for casual users and beginners.

Professional-grade Solutions:

  • High-end green screen setups, including motorized backdrop systems and professional lighting rigs, can command prices upwards of $500 to $1000, catering to the exacting standards of professional videographers and content creators.

The Downside of Green Screens

While green screens unlock a world of creative possibilities, they are not without their drawbacks. Have you noticed someone on a video call with a virtual background and their actual background seeps through? Yea, that’s color spillage, which is a drawback of virtual video backgrounds in general that even a green screen can’t always fix. Common challenges associated with green screens include:

  • Color Spillage: Inadequate lighting or improper chroma key settings can result in color spillage, wherein the green screen color inadvertently affects other elements within the frame.
  • Setup Complexity: Achieving optimal results with a green screen necessitates meticulous attention to lighting, positioning, and software configuration, requiring a degree of technical proficiency and troubleshooting acumen.

The Best of Both Worlds with an Anyvoo Voodrop

Choosing a green screen, or even if you want one at all can be a difficult choice. That’s why Anyvoo created the Voodrop which allows you to use a green screen on one side, and a customized fixed backdrop on the other. This way, you can use the static side for your video calls or podcasts that warrant a fixed logo or fun design, and then can turn it around for a green screen when you are filming something that needs some customization and/or video effects. Start designing yours today!


When NOT To Use a Zoom Green Screen

While a green screen can be fun, they’re not always the best choice. If you’re on a sales call, an interview, or any meeting where you need to impress the person on the other end, a green screen is likely to undermine your professional image.

Why? Because in a video meeting, green screens with virtual backgrounds can create a subtle impression that something is off (see our article on portable green screen pitfalls for more information).

Even with advances in technology, a green screen is relatively easy to spot. Because the person in the frame is in a different space than the background, it’s impossible to make them look completely natural. While your virtual background may look a lot better with a green screen, it will still look like a virtual background, mostly because of differences in lighting, coloration, and focus between you in your physical space and the virtual background.

Want a branded video background that’s uniquely you? Configure your custom Anyvoo video backdrop today.

Downsides Of Green Screens For Video Conferences

If you’re planning to use a green screen for video conferences, you may want to consider some of the following downsides:

Difficulty With Lighting

In order to make the green screen effect work, it’s crucial to have proper lighting. The backdrop must be completely wrinkle-free and evenly lit throughout with soft lighting. Otherwise, any variation in lighting will be interpreted as a color gradient.

Achieving this can be very difficult in a home office setting, and even harder if you’re in a temporary workspace. If you have natural light coming into your room through a window, the lighting on your face will change depending on the amount of light, but your background will not. The best way to avoid this is by having a physical background in the same space as you. That way the lighting will be consistent across both you and your background.

Inconsistency Across Video Platforms

A green screen on its own is ugly. (That’s why it’s the color it is, remember?) If you’re using a video platform that doesn’t have virtual backgrounds, this suddenly becomes a liability. Now you just have an ugly green color behind you. This looks bad on other platforms, and it doesn’t look or feel great to have in your workspace.

With a physical backdrop, you’ll have the same background no matter what platform you’re on. You can record a Quicktime video from your webcam, switch over to Vidyard for a sales meeting, record and send a Loom video, take a Slack video call, and then jump onto a Zoom conference and your background will always be consistent.

Lack of Portability

If you have a lot of space to hang a large green fabric and you’re only doing video meetings from that location, a green screen isn’t a problem. But if you have a smaller space, need to move your background, or travel, moving a green screen setup quickly becomes infeasible.

While there are smaller, portable options like collapsible backgrounds that can be used as a green screen, these come with their own issues (see our article on pop up backgrounds for more information).

Looking for the best way to appear professional on video meetings?

When you really need to look professional, communicate at your best, and be consistent in your presentation, there’s no substitute for a good physical background like the Anyvoo video conference backdrop. With an Anyvoo backdrop, you can have a great-looking, custom branded background (or use one of our professionally designed images) for your video calls that will look more natural than a virtual background ever can. Since you and your background are in the same space, you don’t need to worry about lighting issues or movement spoiling the effect.

If you travel a lot, Anyvoo backdrops come with a travel frame and are easy to set up and easy to move. And because Anyvoo backdrops are double-sided and offer a green screen option, you can still utilize a green screen whenever you want. Got questions? Ask us—we’re here to help.