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Gimp Green Screen

Liza Brown
Liza Brown
Originally published Mar 08, 22, updated Dec 05, 23

Chroma key with gimp green screen is the method by which photographers (and videographers) use a monochromatic backdrop, then replace the blue or green "screen" with a virtual background. This is the method employed during every evening weather broadcast: the newscaster is standing in front of a blank screen, but the viewers at home see a weather map.

Green screen Chroma key can also be used with photography. Subjects can be photographed in front of a monochromatic screen, and a virtual background can be put behind the subject once the screen is removed. For example, a duck can be photographed in front of a green or blue tarp, which is then replaced by a photograph of a river.

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How to use green screen in gimp

If you take a picture with a solid colored background (blue or green works best), then you can have a computer program pull out the blue or green pixels and replace them with another color or a transparent layer. This process is called "chroma key" and is used in weather forecasts and other special effects. The terms "green screen" and "blue screen" also refer to the chroma key process.

These directions outlined below describe how to use GIMP to add a transparent layer and remove blue or green pixels from an image. This allows you to layer images on different backgrounds or use pictures as Sprites in Scratch or Greenfoot.

Brief outline of process:

  1. Start GIMP
  2. Open the picture file.
  3. Create an "Alpha Channel" (Transparent Pixels)
  4. Select "Like Colored Pixels" (Click on the Green or Blue background)
  5. Control->K to delete the pixels and reveal the Transparent background.
  6. Save the picture as a .gif file. (Not .jpg!)

Detailed Directions:

  1. Start GIMP: (The "Gnu Image Manipulation Program")
  2. Click the "K" menu
  3. Select "Graphics"
  4. Select "GIMP Image Editor"

Note about the GIMP:

Most computer applications run in one window. GIMP will run different windows for each function or object you are working with. (Separate windows for paintbrush menus, images, backgrounds, etc . . .)

  1. Select "File-> Open"
  2. Navigate to your File Area and select a chroma key picture
  3. Once your picture opens, add the "Alpha Channel"
    a. Select "Layer" from the picture menu bar
    b. Select “Transparency”
    c. Select "Add Alpha Channel"
  4. Click the "Select Region by Color" icon.
  5. Click once on the green or blue color in the background.
  6. Press "Control -> K" on the keyboard to delete the colors. The background will appear as a gray checkerboard pattern.
  7. Repeat the click and "Control-K" process to remove the background colors.
  8. Once the background colors are removed, save the picture:
    a. Select "File-Save As" from the menu bar.
    b. Type "LastnamePicture.gif" as the filename.
  9. Select "Convert to Indexed" - Click Export
  10. Click “OK”
  11. the picture should save.
  12. You can now use this picture in Scratch for a sprite, or in other graphics projects to combine with backgrounds.




Best GIMP alternative to edit images


Krita is an application for image creation and image manipulation. We focus on painting, illustration, concept art and other creative work. This is a short an incomplete list of the most important features Krita provides. 

Krita provides an OpenGL based canvas in addition to an unaccelerated canvas. Krita’s filters, histogram computation and image recomposion are multi-threaded and make use of multiple cores if available. The effect of filters is previewed on-canvas.

Key Features

  • File Formats

Krita has support for a variety of file formats. Not all file formats are supported equally well, and for some there is only import, not export. Krita supports metadata for kra, ora, tiff, jpeg and png file formats.

  • Color models

Krita does not support indexed color models. In general, Krita does not support color models without an alpha channel. Krita supports different channel depths, from 8 bits integer to 32 bits floating point per channel.

  • Layer types

Krita supports the both layers and masks. Masks are associated with a single layer, while layers are grouped in a hierarchy.

  • Tools

There are several types of tools: vector tools, raster tools, guidance tools, canvas tools and selection tools. Note some types of content are not implement as tools but as “shapes” that can be inserted, for instance richt text, text-on-a-path or geometric shapes.

  • Brush engines

Krita is different from other applications in that it supports brush engine plugins. These brush engines are used in the pixel tools to stroke your painting.

  • Filters

Krita provides filters that can be used directly, i.e. destructively on the pixels of a layer, when painting, or dynamically as a filter layer or filter mask.


Paint.Net is a free and very capable image editing software for Windows. Great alternative to Photoshop for people that do not need all the stuff PS offers.

In order to handle multiple images easily, Paint.NET uses a tabbed document interface. The tabs display a live thumbnail of the image instead of a text description. This makes navigation very simple and fast. Extensive work has gone into making Paint.NET the fastest image editor available. Whether you have a netbook with a power-conscious Atom CPU, or a Dual Intel Xeon workstation with 16+ blazingly fast processing cores, you can expect Paint.NET to start up quickly and be responsive to every mouse click.

Key Features

  • Performance

Extensive work has gone into making Paint.NET the fastest image editor available. Whether you have a netbook with a power-conscious Atom CPU, or a Dual Intel Xeon workstation with 16+ blazingly fast processing cores, you can expect Paint.NET to start up quickly and be responsive to every mouse click.


  • Layers

Usually only found on expensive or complicated professional software, layers form the basis for a rich image composition experience. You may think of them as a stack of transparency slides that, when viewed together at the same time, form one image.

  • Automatically Updated

Updates are free, and contain new features, performance improvements, and bug fixes. Upgrading to the latest version is very simple, requiring only two clicks of the mouse.

  • Special Effects

Many special effects are included for enhancing and perfecting your images. Everything from blurring, sharpening, red-eye removal, distortion, noise, and embossing are included. Also included is our unique 3D Rotate/Zoom effect that makes it very easy to add perspective and tilting. Adjustments are also included which help you tweak an image's brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, curves, and levels. You can also convert an image to black and white, or sepia-toned.

  • Powerful Tools

Paint.NET includes simple tools for drawing shapes, including an easy-to-use curve tool for drawing splines or Bezier curves. The Gradient tool, new for 3.0, has been cited as an innovative improvement over similar tools provided by other software. The facilities for creating and working with selections is powerful, yet still simple enough to be picked up quickly. Other powerful tools include the Magic Wand for selecting regions of similar color, and the Clone Stamp for copying or erasing portions of an image. There is also a simple text editor, a tool for zooming, and a Recolor tool.

  • Unlimited History

Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody changes their mind. To accommodate this, every action you perform on an image is recorded in the History window and may be undone. Once you've undone an action, you can also redo it. The length of the history is only limited by available disk space.


Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the commercial image editor that set the standard in creative illustration and design work with a sophisticated, layer-based workflow and robust, professional feature set.

Over the years, Photoshop developed from a small photo editing tool to an Industry-leading software that dictates the global graphic designing and multimedia industries. With every new version, Adobe introduces in the Photoshop; the graphic designing communities wait to check out the next big leap where Photoshop can take them.

Key Features of Adobe Photoshop

  • Layers

With Layers palette, you can draw or design various elements of your document independently in layers and stack them up as per the order of display. With this advantage, control over every single object is catered at the click of a mouse. Mistakes happen, but the effects of the mistake are limited to the part of the canvas; you can choose to work on the particular part and leave the rest of the canvas as it is. This benefit is lacking in the traditional painting method. Artists are not allowed to relax at any part of the drawing or painting once their concentration is diverted and a stroke of painting goes wrong! They are bound to change the whole canvas.

  • Selection Tools

Photoshop’s selection tools are so handy to use that designers worldwide are addicted to the set of selection tools Photoshop offers. However, there are a bunch of competitive software and open-source software designed to give tough competition for Photoshop. Users are still stuck with Adobe’s torch bearer software due to the ease its tools provide.

  • Pen Tool

Today, Photoshop cannot be imagined without a Pen tool. Though the pen tool, by nature, works for drawing paths along with the anchor points, the creative scope it provides is limitless. The tool is designed so flexibly that the designer can draw any shape or edit the existing shapes as good as he is using his bare hand. The amount of control we have through placing the anchor points in the right places is taken further with the three types of Anchor points that can allow you to draw and edit paths precisely.

  • Shapes

The outlook of the shape layers in Photoshop may be limited, but the capabilities of the feature go a step further than what we assume about it. In the traditional marquee selection tools, the selection is limited to the raster process, and in many cases, the output will result in the sharp pixilated edges, which are never good looking. But the shape layers can act as an individual object within the document with its attribute to maintain the finest quality.

  • Vector Mask

The layer masks create a masking portion of an object by using the grayscale color combination (Shades of Gray). Once the masking part is done, the area of the object under the layer mask disappears.

  • Retouching Tools

Retouching tools are an accumulation of various tools such as Stamp tool, Pattern Stamp tool, Spot Healing tool, Healing tool, Patch tool, Redeye tool and much more. Though the numbers are more, every tool has its importance. The development of retouching tools did not happen overnight. Adobe was working hard identifying the problems of the photographers and finding the solutions for the problems from time to time.

Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is a professional, full-featured raster graphics editor. Working in Affinity Photo is always live and you can pan and zoom at 60fps, with live previews and non-destructive application.

Whatever your genre of choice, be it landscapes, portraits, macro or anything else, Affinity not only has an unbeatable set of tools to help you, but it’s also laid out in an intuitive way that is ideal for newcomers and those switching from other software alike. There are a series of modules, called Personas, that bring you dedicated interfaces, such as Tone Mapping, RAW Developing and even a powerful liquify interface that makes complex reshaping a breeze! Even better, you can take the full functionality of the desktop app on the road, thanks to the iPad version, which is the most powerful mobile editing solution available. With so much on offer for so little, it’s time that you incorporated Affinity Photo into your workflow and moved your photography to the next step. To get you started, we’re going to give you some great tips to get the most from this brilliant software and get you well on the way to creating your own Masterpieces.

  • Develop RAW Files Like A Pro

The first milestone in any photographer’s journey is unquestionably learning to shoot RAW. This image format captures even more data than JPEG and can be tweaked to create the perfect image or a solid base for further editing. To take advantage, all you need to do is open up your RAW file of choice into Affinity Photo and the Develop Persona will load up automatically. From here you can apply exposure adjustments, recover highlights and shadows and even craft a split toning effect. There’s a Curves adjustment for precision tweaks, a savvy noise reduction component and a lens correction module to combat distortion. It has everything you need for that all-important first step to brilliance.

  • Professional Skin Retouching At The Click Of A Button

If you shoot portraits, you’ll doubtless know about the power of frequency separation. This technique is favored by many pros to get that glossy high-end look that screams professional. While it may sound complicated, in Affinity Photo it’s as simple as going to the Photo Persona and clicking on Filters>Frequency Separation. Once you’ve done this, you can set your Gaussian Blur amount in real-time, click Apply and the software will split your shot into two layers, one with the color and one with the detail. From here, you can remove blemishes, add your own dodge and burn and tidy up colors – a game changer!

  • Ramp Up Your Dynamic Range With Tone Mapping

Amazingly, Affinity Photo has its very own Tone Mapping Persona with a full suite of tools to get your well on the way to high dynamic range images, whether you have a series of bracketed shots – identical photos taken at different exposures – or a single shot as we’ve used. Opening this Persona brings up a toolbar on the right-hand side with the usual exposure and enhancement tools, though also gives you access to Tone Compression, Local Contrast and detail sliders. There’s even a series of presets to get you started. Like most of Affinity, the effects can be seen in real-time and are completely reversible, meaning there’s no such thing as a permanent mistake. What we love most about the Tone Mapping Persona is the subtlety compared to others on offer, meaning you’re able to keep your shots looking natural while still getting the most from your work!

  • Adjustments Are Plentiful And Powerful

Adjustments refer to a series of functional layers that apply specific effects to your shots. These can be as simple as Exposure, Vibrance or Brightness and Contrast, which do what they say on the tin, all the way up to more powerful options like Gradient Maps, Channel Mixers and Color Balance for creative effects and color corrections. Because they’re layers, they can be altered at any time in your editing process and moved around as you see fit. They affect any layers below them in the Layer palette but can be set to cast an effect on only a single-pixel layer by using the brilliant Mask to Below feature. You can also stack as many Adjustments as you wish, giving you a huge amount of flexibility to fine-tune your work in any way possible.

  • Layers Offer You The Ultimate Creative Freedom

An editing software that doesn’t allow Layers will really set back your creative choices. Happily, Affinity Photo gives you full control over its layer system. This means that you can bring in additional elements into your scene. You can then take advantage of Affinity’s hugely powerful selection engine to select the parts you wish to cut out or scroll through the full list of Blending Modes for a more refined and creative look. To add the birds to our shot, we took one landscape and added in a shot of birds taken against a white sky. From here, it’s as easy as setting the Blending Mode to Multiply and voila, the white sky has gone. Of course, there’s no need to stop there, and you can find yourself creating in-depth composites that are truly only limited by your imagination - set yourself free!



Pixlr makes it easy to transform everyday images into stunning works of art. Whether you’re applying a quick fix to your photos or adding your personal touch with effects, overlays, or borders, Pixlr has everything you need to make your moments beautiful.

For now, Pixlr is free for all users: individuals to the enterprise. There is no news yet if and when the platform is set to charge people from using it. For content creators and artists on the go, Pixlr is a great app to use. It is free and available on the web. Regardless of your device, you only need an internet connection to get access to a free app but with serious functionalities. You just open your files from your device through the app like you would any popular image editing software and you are good to go. Furthermore, images edited on Pixlr are set to private. This makes your interaction with the app, over the net, is secure. Also, Pixlr does not store any copy of your images in their systems.

Key Features

  • Free and Safe

Pixlr, for now, is free. There is also no indication that the company will charge users soon. It is a legitimate site that does not engage in fraudulent activities or perpetuate any hidden charges. The images that you edit or make on Pixlr are also free for commercial use. For freelance artists and small businesses, this is the perfect starter app. For enterprises with content creators in the field, it is good to let employees know about Pixlr’s no-cost offer.

  • Versatile and Lightweight

Any browser can access Pixlr. Users can access the image editing suite regardless of device type and operating system. If you are on Mac, Windows, or Linux using Safari, Edge, Firefox, or Chrome, Pixlr is available at your disposal. All you need to have is a Flash plug-in.

If you are on mobile using iOS or Android, you can download the native apps. They do not take much of space and memory. It is a true lightweight app that packs a punch when it comes to functionality.  

  • Quick Fix

Pixlr is known for being the lightweight app that packs so many editing tools and functionalities at no cost. But, maybe, more importantly, it also includes many tools for quick fixes. This is something essential for people on the go or those that just need minor adjustments. Just open your browser on any device and apply touch-ups. You do not have to open your laptop or go to your desktop for simple needs.

  • Spot heal

Super useful, the spot heal tool can help remove scratches or blemishes by simply clicking on the area. Additional options: Besides size of brush, you have a choice of Pixlr choosing to blend the area with nearby area values or generate a pattern. Generally, you will only want to choose a pattern if you’re blending an area that has a pattern (e.g., a chain-link fence).

  • Dodge

Use the dodge tool to lighten specific areas. Note that this is a tool that deals with contrast (light vs. dark) and not color, although color may sometimes appear to change based on your lightening. Additional options: You can change brush size and exposure settings. You can also choose to focus your lightening on shadows, midtones, or highlights.

  • Sponge

The sponge tool enhances or sops up color, depending on your settings. It’s a great tool for saturating or desaturating specific areas of an image. Additional options: You can change the brush size and brush strength, but the most important setting is whether you want to saturate (increase) or desaturate (decrease) coloring.


When choosing an object for use in chroma key, it is important to verify the background "screen" color does not exist on the object. For example, choosing a blue background for a blue butterfly would be a poor choice: portions of the butterfly would be deleted along with the background.In addition, it would be a good idea to become familiar with basic GIMP functions before attempting this tutorial: a basic knowledge of the Layers dialog and toolbox items is necessary prior to attempting this photo editing technique.

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