Instructables

How to add Chroma key (green screen effects) to a movie for FREE!

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UPDATE NOTE: A new intructable that shows how to use a free, bigger and better program to add Green Screen effects to your movie has been made

Wanna make a movie like the pros? Using green screen editing? It's all free (besides the actual green screen itself) with this awsome program. Debug Mode's WAX is a video/picture/music editor. It has a drag and drop time line like in Windows Movie maker, so you can add pictures and music to your video.

I made this video with this awsome program. (Part's of the bluescreen still is shown because I did not have an even lighting)

This demonstrates how you can make an invisability cloak with chroma key. Just replace the bluescreen image with a picture of your video's background.

Thanks to laferty
 
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Step 1: Download the software

Picture of Download the software
To dowload WAX version 2.0, click Here

Step 2: Start your Movie!

Once all set up, open WAX up and add your video file. Your file may need to be converted to work with WAX so try this free Video converter here and if that converter gives you troubles, try using this.

Step 3: Set the Chroma Key

Add the Video file to the time line and then add another video/picture to the timeline. Now select the tab called Video Plugins. Click and drag "Chroma key" onto your main video in the timeline (on your video - not under it like background video/picture).

This is by far one of the absolute WORST programs i have ever used in my life. Seriously, it sucks.

Epic im following you
fish_dude1 year ago
when i try to render the video it gets up to 15% then has an err message any ideas?
cclementi65 years ago
 wheres the updated version?  and when i drag the video onto the timeline, it doesnt play on the preview window. any suggestions?
Wax is getting pretty old now. Try something a tad more recent. http://www.nchsoftware.com/videopad/screenshots.html or http://www.thugsatbay.com/tab/?q=zweistein_screenshot
depotdevoid2 years ago
Thanks for this, I've used it to make a birthday video for my daughter!
beefbonger4 years ago
 Hello, the program seems to be what I need however I cannot open any of my .avi files into it. It says "Unable to Open File"
scott!5 years ago
My green screen just isn't working for me, if I want to key out the background, I always get mostly keyed out too! I think it is because I can't get the lighting to work well, can some please help me?
dude you should really check out this Video!!! http://www.indymogul.com/backyardfx/episode/BFX_20081215
inept scott!5 years ago
Lighting's usually the problem. Make sure you don't have any wrinkles/shadows on your green screen. It should all look like one uniform sheet of green/blue, with no variation in tone.
my greenscreen doesnt really work, it has patches that wax wont remove. how do i stop this?
it might be your lighting is your green screen lit all the way or is it dark in some areas, also it might be the shadow from standing in front of it you must me at least 4 feet away with the proper lighting
mishmosh5096 years ago
i really dont know how to work this! I am gettin a green screen but i need help trying to get the video or picture on the green screen! Help me someone! THXX
did you pay attention at all to the instructable??? everything on how to use the program is included.
freaking1235 years ago
so do i stand in front of a green screen and make the video and then later on i can fix up the background so its different. cuz thats what i need.
yes, that is exactly what happens. you can also put selective greenscreens up, like for windows or something.
flash13226 years ago
thank you soooooooooooooooooooo much it worked really well for me
WAX is awesome!!! It totally works for me. Check out some of my vids at The O News
tmg4eva6 years ago
When I converted my video to wmv. file format and it didn't work and i used the converters given. Then i tried every other format and none worked. Which file format works???
BluryBlue (author)  tmg4eva6 years ago
You mean to get the video to work with WAX? Convert it to AVI. If that doesn't work, look at my other Instructable showing how to use a another free Greenscreen program. That one actually works. WAX is a very crappy and glitchy program, in fact I'm just about to want to delete this instructable.
rc jedi6 years ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9p4VxxIZBA
YouTube - Weird Al, Osmond Pro Bro style!

here is 1 i did from a u tube green screen
i stole and used
gobengals6 years ago
I did the video on my camera and added it to my computer but it wont let me open it on wax
PLease help me I made 20 videos and it still would not work
BluryBlue (author)  gobengals6 years ago
I really would encourage you to use my new tutorial (click link in the Update Note) It shows how to use a way better program than WAX. WAX has so many errors that I can't even explain.
halballew6 years ago
Hey, I would like to do transparent videos (alpha channel) but I need some help. I have several video programs but no instructions. Any ideas? Let me know, Hal
BluryBlue (author)  halballew6 years ago
Well, the instructable is about Chroma Key, not Alpha Channel, and I didn't really learn how to do that... Sorry, can't help you there. :'(
bennor36 years ago
how do you find the video???
BluryBlue (author)  bennor36 years ago
What? The video I used? I didn't put it on the web for download, make your own green/blue screen video.
429936 years ago
Help! I took my video and selected a background film but no matter what I try it won't work! It won't let me use any file format but AVI and when I do use AVI I don't get anything where the video is supposed to show up so I can't green screen it. The project I'm doing this for is due in 3 days Help!
BluryBlue (author)  429936 years ago
I'm so sorry I made you wait till last minute! But the tutorial is complete! Get to it by click on the UPDATE NOTE on the top of this instructable. I hope the tutorial is useful, and I hope your project was a success!
BluryBlue (author)  429936 years ago
Oh...!
3 days...?
I sure hope you can wait until later tomorrow (I typed this on the day you posted). Because I'm currently under construction of a new Instructable that shows how to add green screen with a better, higher quality, and has a lot more input/output format compatibility program. I'll even have a video tutorial on the page. So please hang in there...

Yes, jimtran93, I am talking about T@B ZS4.
BluryBlue (author)  BluryBlue6 years ago
Oh, and FlyingMonkieBoy, this is also available for Macs. Linux too!
halballew6 years ago
Hey, the instructions for green screening were great, easy to use...BUT...how do I convert the saved file into a windows movie format? I can't figure it out...thanks, Hal
BluryBlue (author)  halballew6 years ago
Use the one of the free video converters listed on step 2, and convert the exported video file to Windows Media Video (.wmv)
jimtran936 years ago
This is soo kool.

The only problem is that the color picker only lets you pick one color. This could be a problem if you don't have perfect lighting. I've seen other programs that can let you choose a spectrum of colors from the video, making it look better. The only don't side to the program is that it is almost imposible to use. It take some one with an IQ of 1 billion to understand the program. :O

Click HERE for the program.
BluryBlue (author)  jimtran936 years ago
I've tried this program before! It is pretty much impossible, lol!
miketwalker7 years ago
This is awesome, I didn't realize there was free software to do this. Great find and great instructable. Has anyone had any luck finding, or maybe somehow using this software, a way to do real time chroma keying (i.e. 2 video inputs to a computer with video capture cards and doing the keying)?
BluryBlue (author)  miketwalker7 years ago
Thanks! That would be good idea, but I don't think you can do it with WAX.
Do they have Wax for Mac computers? or is there a free program like it?
I'm downloading the following programs; I'll repost once I've had a good look.
Okay, it looks like MediaEdit 3 (www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/33144) is the best one. iVideo is in French (and just a bad program) and QuickMix is extremely basic. To add Chroma Key in MediaEdit, select your clip, then go to the Effects and select Composition > Chroma Key.
THANK YOU!!!
iVideo, MediaEdit, and QuickMix
BluryBlue (author)  FlyingMonkieBoy7 years ago
I'm sorry. I searched Google for hours looking for one for you (and other "mac-ers". I don't know what to tell ya buddy.
actually if you search how to make a green screen on a mac on google the first or second link is a "wikihow" link and i just made a blue screen similar to this one. good luck
awwwwwww
rc jedi7 years ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59eJ6eCDHHg
YouTube - Stormtrooper green screen
rc jedi7 years ago
HEY! it works! thanks so much. I did a stormtrooper still with a green background and added an avi behind them. cool thanks so much.
jjlw67 years ago
Please help me. I can't seem to make my movie files(.avi and .wmv ) work with WAX. can you help me please
BluryBlue (author)  jjlw67 years ago
You're not being real specific on what the problem is. Did you try to load the movie file by going to file/open like keyon ketherson? That's not how you do it. Read the previous comments. or, Did you use the video converter mentioned on step 2? You should convert it to AVI to work with WAX. You should resend your comment. Be a bit more specific.
jjlw6 BluryBlue7 years ago
sorry about that. Well... I made a new project, used the project tab. chose add media files, added an AVI video. looked in my media pool. dragged video clip into timeline. tried to play and nothing came up. i tried adding chromakey just to see if it had something to do with it but i couldn't make it work. i also tried adding the audio as well. I tried using both converters as well. sorry about my 1st comment not making much sense. please help. Thanks.
BluryBlue (author)  jjlw67 years ago
This has happened to me once. That was a long time ago and I forget what I did... But none of my viewers shall be disappointed! (except for you, FlyingMonkieBoy, sorry...) I searched on Google for the answer, and found this on the WAX forums: Try right clicking on the video in the time line and uncheck "Use Alpha Channel".
If that doesn't work, I can't tell you what next, but try checking back to this forum page I got this info from.
jjlw6 BluryBlue7 years ago
Tried the uncheck Use Alpha Channel, tried going to gorum page for help, but no luck =(. <br/>
BluryBlue (author)  jjlw67 years ago
I'm sorry. I'll try to figure it out.
Seiko1257 years ago
I used the Audio/video converter, the first link, and when I tried doing the conversion, there was no chose of the file, wxp. That is the only type of file that will work on wax...please help me!!!
BluryBlue (author)  Seiko1257 years ago
What do you mean? What's "wxp"? Could you reword your comment?
I mean the video converter that the maker of this page requested does not convert other files into the .wxp file extension
BluryBlue (author)  Seiko1257 years ago
Oh, you're mistaken for the Open Project bar. That opens a WAX project (which uses .wxp as it's extension). Look on the picture above and highlight the yello square that says: "your added media". In that box, right click on it, and select add media files. There you can import all compatible files. The video must be in a .avi format.
Thanks a lot
ok...thank you very much...this was extremely helpful...just one suggestion in the instructions though... when i added the chroma key...i got confused and put it underneath the picture settings instead of inside the picture settings...might be helpful to others if that is specified thank you :D
BluryBlue (author)  Tomatogrower7 years ago
Good point. I'll add that now.
How do you save it in a movie format? cheers.
BluryBlue (author)  just_visiting7 years ago
Click the bar that says "Use Software Renderer" (above the preview screen)
BluryBlue (author)  BluryBlue7 years ago
Sorry I meant the green arrow. I know. I'm stupid.
hueffmea7 years ago
Great guide! I am lost on a few points though. Could you help clear them up? #1 Do you need to stretch the picture out on the timeline so it takes up the same ammount of time? #2 When I click "Use software rendering" it just opens up and asks if I'd like to use hardware acceleration or software rendering. #3 when I hit "Render" the green arrow. It brings up a window that says... "Closing all open plugin windows...Done Creating file video.avi Start compositing video... Start compositing audio... Unable to read element data! Rendering over." The elements are converted from MPEg to AVI using the converter you reccomended. Help?
BluryBlue (author)  hueffmea7 years ago
#1 You can extend the length of a photo's time line appearance as much or as little as you want. #2 You want to click Software rendering. #3 Recently I have been having troubles with the program too. I was trying to make a demonstration video to add to this instructable, but I have encountered the same problem. It could be the converter, so I will post a new converter and see if that helps. I have emailed the creators of WAX about adding more compatible input formats, try contacting them on the main WAX page.
Joe Martin7 years ago
Don't want to sound mean but I would highly recommend getting Sony Vegas, my version of wax went all funny and I cant render on two computers now and Vegas takes all formats of video unlike wax but hey thats freeware for you!!!! Joe
wer can i get vegs
BluryBlue (author)  Joe Martin7 years ago
Or use FX Home Vision Lab Studio. But Hey, $500? Could you loan me $500!?
Hold_out7 years ago
does the program have multiple sound/music lines. Cause I'd like to have a backround music track and also have my sound effects.
BluryBlue (author)  Hold_out7 years ago
This is another thing Windows Movie Maker lacks, INFINATE TRACKS! On the pic above, you see that little number 1on the left of the timeline? That would be track one. Once any kind of media file is added (pics, music, videos) to that track, another track is automaticly made for more media to add! So yeah.
nikel7 years ago
well thanks blury for giving instructions
wildsurfer7 years ago
This is so cool i have used wax before but this is amazing!!!! Keep up the good work. :)
tipsychimp7 years ago
or you could just click and drag the picture into ms paint and draw on top of it probably lots easier
lol yeah there is way easier ways to do this.
You did good! a very satisfying instruction. Keep on working!

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potentato7 years ago
It would be nice to see an example that used a person in front of a real green-screen, to see how well this would work in "real life". Is there any chance of adding one?
BluryBlue (author)  potentato7 years ago
Maybe. I've got myself only one of those cheap $100 video cameras. Until I can get a higher quality vid cam, that stick figure will have to do.
Someone did an instructable on this program already, but I think you did a better job, congrats :D
BluryBlue (author)  Weissensteinburg7 years ago
This is my first instructable, so thanks for the nice first comment!